Scotland

Scottish independence: The Scotsman newspaper backs 'No' vote

The Scotsman newspaper Image copyright other

Edinburgh-based newspaper The Scotsman has come out in support of a "No" vote in next week's Scottish independence referendum.

On its front page it said its "verdict" about the choice faced by voters was "better together".

Its 2,000 word editorial comes after the London-based Financial Times declared itself in favour of "No".

In May, the Sunday Herald became the first newspaper to publicly back a "Yes" vote on 18 September.

Voters in Scotland go to the polls in a week's time when they will be asked the "Yes/No" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The Scotsman, which was founded in 1817, laid out to readers the reasons why it had backed the "No" campaign.

It pointed to arguments on currency, EU membership and defence.

It believed that Scotland has succeeded in being a "prosperous, peaceful, successful country" as part of the UK.

The paper's leader continued: "So, with the choices before us, the conclusion is that we are better together, that Scotland's best interests lie not in creating division but in continuing in the Union and using its strengths to help us continue in our success.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Although The Sunday Herald supports Scottish independence, the weekday Herald has yet to declare

"That is not a view taken because of fear, or lack of confidence, or lack of patriotism. It is the very opposite. It is not a view that simply does not want to take risk.

"It is a measured view that assesses risk against possible benefit and loss. It is seeing where the best interests of the Scottish people lie, understanding the benefits of working with the people in these islands in collaboration and partnership and seeing the opportunity to shape the strongest, most secure, fair and just society that we all want."

Meanwhile, the FT's editorial claimed "the case for Union is overwhelming", citing trepidation in the financial markets and "inconsistencies" in the "Yes" argument.

It continued: "Empires and nation states are not immune to break-up, but there is little precedent for a hitherto stable modern democracy splitting in peacetime, in the middle of an economic recovery. This is not the time for recrimination. For the moment it is enough for this newspaper to declare that the path of separation is a fool's errand, one fraught with danger and uncertainty."

Editorial freedom

The only widely-read newspaper to openly support independence so far is The Sunday Herald.

The front page of the weekly title stated on Sunday, 4 May, that the "Sunday Herald says Yes". A giant thistle and Saltires in a design by artist and "Yes" supporter Alasdair Gray also appeared on the front cover.

At the time, an article on the Glasgow-based newspaper's website said: "The Herald & Times Group, publisher of the Sunday Herald, The Herald and the Evening Times, is giving the titles' editors freedom to take their own editorial position on the constitution.

"The company is non-political and neutral."

The paper supported the SNP in the 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.

It said it would remain balanced in its reporting.

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