11 - 11 - 2022 / Update


Professor Matt Qvortrup is a world expert on how countries achieve independence. He says Scotland would easily become a successful independent nation. He says international law would permit a post-independence Scotland to avoid all legacy responsibilities for UK debt – though the trade-off for that could be the loss of pensions.

Matt Qvortrup is Professor of Applied Political Science and International Relations at Coventry University. An expert on comparative referendums, Professor served as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In Prof Qvortrup's new book "I Want to Break Free: A Practical Guide to Making a New Country" he says Scotland would be welcomed back into the European Union but converse to pro Unionist claims, Scotland would not have to adopt the euro.

The book delves into the legal, economic, and political problems of creating new states, and uses historical examples and anecdotes from all over the world to illustrate the obstacles to these campaigns.

Qvortrup makes clear he is not a populist – he is an academic – and does not like populist tactics. However, countries which achieve independence do so by appealing to passions, not reason and logic.

“Independence is an emotional thing.” It requires both heroes and villains. In his book, Prof Qvortrup cites Scottish philosopher David Hume that “reason is the slave of passion” – in other words, emotion always beats logic.

Qvortrup cites the country of Norway which “went all out” on the appeal to patriotism during the campaign for independence from Sweden. It was not about facts and figures but “pure passion.” Norway’s independence movement focused on culture, not economics. “It was all Peer Gynt and those types of things,” Qvortrup adds. “Shameless patriotism, but not negatively – it was about unashamed national pride. The Scottish campaign needs that.”

“Storytelling is what it’s all about,” he adds. “It is what captures you. To win you need a story.” Qvortrup scoffs at the idea of Scotland’s constitutional debate already being “too passionate.” Quite the reverse. “Ramp it up, if you want to win.” He believes unionists complain about the debate being too “passionate” as they fear losing. “They know in their hearts that passion will win.”

In terms of having the capabilities to become a functioning state post-independence, “Scotland is ready to go"

Qvortrup says recent claims about Scotland being forced to join the euro are nonsense. “Europe will not make joining the euro a red line, and Scotland would undoubtedly be allowed to join without having to adopt the single currency. Spain might drag their feet, but they will be happy joining other EU members in making life difficult for London.” He points out that EU nations like Sweden, Croatia and Poland do not use the euro.