James Forsyth James Forsyth

The case for Britain is being made in Scotland, now it must be made in England too

At times in the last few months, it has seemed that if no one was making the case for Britain in Scotland. Too often it seemed that Better Together knew the price of separation but not the value of Britishness.

But that is changing. Yes closing the gap, and taking the lead in a couple of polls, has prompting an outpouring of emotion about the United Kingdom from those on the No side. At a pro-Union event in Edinburgh on Friday night, I was struck by how speakers from Gordon Brown to Danny Alexander to George Galloway all talked about Britishness in raw, emotional terms.

This focus on Britishness is long over-due. The Guardian’s ICM poll finds that among No voters the most popular reason for voting No is their feelings about the UK.  One of the biggest mistakes of Better Together has not been to try and tap into this reservoir of British patriotism.

Now, it is important that the rest of the United Kingdom demonstrates that it values Britishness. That is why I hope as many people as possible will join us for tea at The Spectator and the Unity rally in Trafalgar Square on Monday at 6pm.

Once this referendum is done, there’ll have to be a constitutional reckoning. When more powers are devolved to Scotland, the English Question will have to be answered as part of this package. But all this will be academic, if the Union is not preserved on Thursday.

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