Simon Heffer examines the supposed crisis many in England feel they are approaching as the prospect of Scottish independence looms, arguing that it may, in fact, be in England's best interests.
Should England be independent from Scotland?
May 1999. The Scots have their first opportunity in 300 years to elect their own parliament. In 2014 that referendum will finally take place.
To many in England, the continuing rise of Scottish nationalism causes unease. Scotland could well choose to leave the United Kingdom. In this provocative polemic, Simon Heffer argues that England must let Scotland go. The lessons of trying to coerce Ireland should have been learnt: there is nothing to be gained by pressing the Scots to stay against their will.
Heffer argues that an English parliament could begin to concentrate solely on the needs of the English people. There could be economic gains and greater financial accountability in favour of the English taxpayer. If the English would abandon their sentimental attitude to a country that feels little towards them, says Heffer, they could be happier, richer and more cohesive. The Scots believe that independence and nationalism can lead to freedom and self-confidence for Scotland: why not the same for England?