Thursday 10 June 2021 12:04 pm

UK needs to shake off British empire image to avoid Scottish independence, think tank says

The UK needs to shake off the nationalist stereotypes of its British Empire to avoid Scottish independence, a think tank has reported.

Those who favour Scottish independence associate “Britain with empire and empire with evil”, with independence part of “the progressive arc of history”, think tank Council on Geostrategy said.

“In short, if the disintegration of the UK is to be prevented, faith in Britain needs to be revived,” authors professor Nigel Biggar and professor Doug Stokes wrote.  

“We need to remember what the UK is good for and that whereas German taxpayers are adamantly opposed to fiscal transfers to the Greeks, Londoners hardly bat an eyelid at the redistribution of ‘their’ taxes to Scotland.”

The think tank warned that independence negotiations may stoke resentment between the English and the Scottish, to “levels not seen since the 18th century”.

For younger Scots, who the think tank deemed more idealistic, the UK needs to revamp its image and ‘moral story’.

“The nationalist stereotype of post-Brexit, Tory Britain as worn-out, xenophobic, and devoted to impoverishing the poor needs to be confounded.”

The report suggested using a “sophisticated social media strategy” that breaks down Britain’s history in “accessible and entertaining social media content such as short videos and memes”.