As published in The Hull Daily Mail
‘We will not be flying the flag for Scotland’
Hull City Council leader Steve Brady has rejected a call to fly to Scottish flag over the Guildhall ahead of next week’s independence referendum.
Hull East MP Karl Turner had suggested the city could use the flag to make a symbolic gesture ahead of the historic vote on Thursday, September 18.
But Councillor Brady, leader of the Labour-controlled council, poured scorn on the idea, suggesting raising the Saltire would be little more than a publicity stunt.
He said: “I accept there is inte- rest in the referendum, because of the national media interest.
“But I do not think raising the Saltire above the Guildhall would affect one single vote in Scotland. Besides, we don’t have a Saltire and we are not about to go shopping for one.”
Mr Brady believes, rather than strengthening the case for Scotland remaining part of Britain, putting too much pressure on the Scottish could backfire.
He said: “Personally, I do not believe independence would be good for Great Britain. But I also believe that the more pressure that is put on the Scottish, the more likely they are to be belligerent.”
Mr Turner, who also supports the Better Together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, took to Twitter to ask Cllr Brady to consider raising the Saltire.
He tweeted: “I’ve asked @Hullccnews leader Cllr Steve Brady to fly Saltire over Guildhall to show solidarity with the Scots. #bettertogether #indyref.”
Mr Turner’s tweet prompted a reply by law lecturer Alex Murray, who professes to be “sceptical” about government.
He tweeted back: “Have you thought about wearing a kilt until the referendum? @KarlTurnerMP @Hullccnews”.
Mr Turner appeared to take the comment in good humour and retweeted it.
He later told the Mail that raising the Saltire would “show we achieve fairness, equality and social justice better together than we do apart”.
David Davis, Conservative MP for Howden and Haltmeprice, warned that an independent Scotland would have “huge constitutional implications”.
He said: “We have a whole series of Bills going through the House now, which will not apply to Scotland – should Scottish MPs have a say on these matters? Someone has to draw a line.”
On the international ramifications, Mr Davis said one of the first things that would be called into question is the UK’s position on the United Nations Security Council.
He said the election would be “tight” but that he thought the Scottish people would vote no.
Mr Davis said: “If Scotland leaves, everyone will be worse off.”
Meanwhile, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Ed Miliband, the leaders of the three main UK parties, have banded together in an effort to keep Scotland in the UK.
A statement, issued by all three politicians, said: “There is a lot that divides us – but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together.”