On Scotland and the Union

Scotland and the UnionOn Tuesday, the chamber was a quarter-full. The journalists were in the coffee-shops, gathering gossip on the Prime Minister’s forthcoming speech on Europe. And the television was investigating horsemeat in hamburgers.

No-one it seems was listening to the debate in the main chamber.  But the subject – a referendum for Scottish independence – was the most important political decision of our generation. The reason, I think, why no-one was listening is that they either believed independence was inconceivable, or that it was irrelevant. They were complacent or indifferent. And this suits the Scottish Nationalists.

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Thoughts on my father

I have spent a lot of the last four years thinking about my father, and writing about him, and walks through Cumbria, in a book, published last week, called The Marches. I thought – at first – that I could learn more about him by interviewing him. Often, therefore, when we sat down for dinner […]


We’ll Be Stronger Together

First published in Time on 28 August 2014 The Scottish National Party is one of the most attractively crafted nationalist movements in history. It has cloaked itself in progressive liberal language; it claims to be in favor of higher immigration; professes great friendship for neighboring nations; is anti-militarist; and instead of focusing on the past, […]


Gretna becomes focal point for Scottish independence No vote

Published by the Financial Times on 24 August 2014. In a field not far from Gretna Green, a place long associated with weddings, a monument to the sense of Britishness felt by people on both sides of the border is growing day by day. With less than a month until Scots vote on whether to end […]

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Celebrating Scotland and the Union at the ‘Auld Acquaintance’

Hands Across the Border has launched a new film to celebrate the ‘Auld Acquaintance’ and the thousands of volunteers who have traveled to the cairn to lay a stone. There is still a month to go before the referendum, and we are encouraging anyone still eager to show they care about Scotland ,and who want […]


Preserving the Union

  A trainee teacher: “Scotland separating from the United Kingdom? So? Does it matter?” A retired General. “I’m not saying I believe this, but there are some people who think it might be quite good for England. That Scotland is taking advantage of us.” An artist. “I’m not that political. Shouldn’t you be asking a […]

Skelton Show

Scotland and the UK: Standing Together

Something amazing just happened. Yesterday alone another one thousand people signed up to join a human chain to unite Britain. On the evening of 19th July we will link arms in a human chain stretching from coast to coast: thousands of English, Irish, Welsh, and Scots, together. The chain will begin at Gretna and finish […]

Scotland and the Union

Rory speaks on Scotland’s place in the UK

Rory also spoke on the BBC’s Daily Politics show with Andrew Neil about the importance of preserving the Union. The interview can be found here – www.bbc.co.uk/i/b03tvhl9/?t=8m57s Transcript of House of Commons Backbench Debate – 6th February 2014 Rory Stewart(Penrith and The Border, Conservative) One thousand nine hundred years ago, Rome divided Britain with a wall. […]