Scots expats missing out on momentous independence vote

Published:  15 Sep at 6 PM
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Scots living or working overseas can only watch from the sidelines as the crucial independence referendum threatens to change their home country for ever.

Hundreds of thousands of expat Scots are forbidden from making their feelings known about potentially their home country's most momentous decision in several centuries. According to many, watching and holding strong views but unable to make them heard is agony.

Confusion, frustration and even homesickness predominate in Scots living in England, Europe or even farther afield, all due to not being allowed to vote. Those who’ve always intended to return to Scotland to live after retirement are the worst affected, as they fear they won’t recognise their homeland should the ‘yes’ vote win.

Traditionally, Scots communities overseas, especially those in the USA, are far more close-knit than many other groups of strangers in a foreign land. National costume is worn on special occasions and the bagpipes are played, occasionally to the dismay of locals who don’t appreciate this unique instrument.

According to international online forums, opinions amongst Scottish expats are as varied as amongst those in the home country. Similar concerns about the economy, the effect of independence and higher taxes on the tourist industry are being balanced with a wish to finally shrug off the British yoke after 300 years or so.

National pride is strong, wherever in the world Scots are living, but common sense and an appreciation of the complexity of the 21st century international perspective are also part of the argument. Only one thing’s for sure, the vast majority of expat Scots, whether they're living next door in England, on the other side of the world in Australia or in the USA, New Zealand and many other destinations, all wish they had a chance to have their say.
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