Scottish independence: The arguments from celtic cousins

Scottish voters will go to the polls on 18 September on the issue of independence Scottish voters will go to the polls on 18 September on the issue of independence

Only people living in Scotland are allowed to vote in next month's referendum on independence, but people from both sides of the Irish border are trying to influence the outcome.

Among the Scottish National Party's campaigners on the streets of Glasgow is Irish-born Feargal Dalton, who grew up in north Dublin.

The city councillor is promoting a "yes" vote for independence.

In the "no" camp are the Scottish Orange Order and they have invited Orangemen from Northern Ireland, including Grand Master Edward Stevenson, to a mass rally and parade in Edinburgh next month.

If Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom, some unionists fear it could re-invigorate Irish nationalists campaigning for Northern Ireland to leave the UK.

BBC Newsline's Mark Simpson asked those travelling to Scotland what they thought of independence

Opinion polls suggest the Scottish people will decide against independence, but "yes" vote campaigners are working hard, including Mr Dalton.

He says: "Back home in Ireland, people are aware of how referendums are hard to call right up until the last minute. It's all to play for."

Mr Dalton settled in Glasgow after serving in the Royal Navy.

He said: "I came up to Scotland for the first time in June 1994 on a training exercise in the Scottish Highlands and it was only when I saw the place-names on the maps and how close the gaelic language was to the Irish language that I realised how strong the cultural links were between Scotland and Ireland.

"I put in for a transfer and I got sent up to Faslane.

"In the meantime I'd experienced life in Glasgow and, being from the north side of Dublin, it reminded me of home.

"I want my children to have what I had growing up in Dublin - and that's to grow up in a country that's got the confidence to govern itself."

The referendum takes place on Thursday 18 September.

Leading the charge against independence is the Better Together campaign, which includes Labour, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats.

The Orange Order in Scotland will stage a a pro-union rally and parade, five days before the referendum

The Orange Order in Scotland, although on the same side of the argument, has a separate campaign entitled British Together.

There are about 600 Orange lodges in Scotland.

Ian Wilson, a past grand master, said: "We would expect all of our members to take the view that independence is a bad deal for Scotland.

"Scotland was struggling 300 years ago, and the union allowed Scotland to flourish. We're better together than apart."

The Orange Order, by its own admission, is on the fringes of the referendum debate. Instead, it sees its role as galvanising its own members and their families to vote "no".

Mr Wilson is happy to predict the outcome of the referendum.

He said: "It will be solidly 'no'. I'm absolutely certain of that.

"The nationalists' propaganda is very interesting. They're predicting that they're getting closer and closer, I would be surprised if the nationalists get more than 40% of the vote."

There are still three weeks of campaigning to go. The result will be watched closely on both sides of the Irish Sea.

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