British state is an artificial entity – Scottish minister
Scotland is a rich country; it is the largest oil and gas producer in the EU, but unlike Norway, it has been unable to transform its economy and society. Instead, the British government, headed by Tony Blair, used Scottish oil to fight an illegal war in Iraq, argues MacAskill.
He refused to talk about other nations gaining independence from the UK, such as Wales or Northern Ireland, because the Scots must decide for Scotland and others are free to decide for themselves.
It is true that independence for Scotland could serve as an example for some violent groups in the EU, such as the Basques or the IRA, but Scottish nationalists have always been peaceful, having no truck with violence of any sort and will never support any violence anywhere, believes MacAskill
“We want to make Scotland a better, a fairer place, we want those who have the most contribute the most,” MacAskill said, adding that SNP seeks friendship with central left parties around the globe, Scandinavian ones in particular.
“We have been elected with two mandates: one is to pursue our claim for an independent Scotland in the right for a referendum. Equally, we have been elected as a government to make Scotland a better place and we seek to do that by driving our economy forward and making our country a fairer, greener, safer, wealthier and healthier.”
According to Kenny MacAskill, Scotland is going to have representatives in the EU to have the right to speak out on what is important for Scotland and also make its opinion heard in the UN. He believes once the referendum is conducted and the majority of Scots vote for independence, the international community will recognize Scotland as an independent country, the way it has been with the other newly-formed countries in Europe.
The minister is sure that the referendum will not be a waste of time because associates “do not take anything for granted.”
“I’ve been told throughout my lifetime that there would never be a Scottish parliament – now there is, I was told that there would never be a Scottish national party in the government– yes there is, and now there is a Scottish National Party majority in the government, though people said this never is going to come about because of the device of the voting system to make sure there would never be a SNP majority in the government,” Kenny MacAskill said.
He also assures that the relations with England would only improve once Scotland is independent and they would have a good friends’ relationship.
“It is the British state that is an artificial entity, not Scotland and England,” he stated.
MacAskill also confirmed that London has already given a clear signal that if Scotland decides to conduct and independency referendum it would not interfere and if Scots decide to separate from the Union they would be allowed to do so.
As for the US$21 billion worth of oil and gas extracted in Scotland annually, Kenny MacAskill agreed that this is a matter of negotiation and proclaimed Scotland’s right to use its natural resources to the benefit of its people.
“Scotland and Norway discovered oil at the same time. Some years ago, Scotland was turned into an industrial desert and Norway has transformed its society and its economy, they have billions in the bank, whereas we have seen ours wasted on missiles and weapons of mass destruction and illegal wars,” he maintains.