Members of the jury. Never in the course of your lives will you have faced a more important choice. Nothing less than the future of a nation as an independent state. As you know, I represent the status quo. Or if you like, leaving things as they are. Or improving the prospects of your fellow citizens very significantly, but not throwing out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.
Now my learned friend has urged you, with all the fervour and intoxication that Nationalism can bring to the table, not to be intimidated or scared or browbeaten by the old enemy. You should be an independent people, ready to take your rightful place on the world stage, galvanised by the challenge, invigourated by the prospect. In short, a heady mixture of hope and anticipation. Let the economics look after themselves.
The stuff of dreams.
The picture which I seek to paint sadly lacks such primary colours. My instructions have not allowed me to advocate with anything like the same degree of enthusiasm the case for the old union to stand firm. It is almost as if those who instruct me have put a break on rhetoric, leaving only sober arithmetic to seek to carry the day. Sadly, we are a buttoned up people.
I suppose I should be faithful to my masters, but just for once I will risk another way.
My old friends, take heed. It is a bleak future for a small country building a future on little more than hope. As the North Sea revenues decline, as surely they must, where is the real prospect north of the border of dynamic industrial change? You have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the gravest of conflicts. Your statemen, judges and your surgeons have brought us incomparable benefits. Your people are our people. Our Sovereign is yours. Stay with us and we can build together. Leave us and we shall be diminished.
So should auld acquaintance really be forgot? In my respectful submission,the price is far too high. Let head and heart decide as one.
May I thank you for hearing me.
Nigel Pascoe QC