British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell discusses the coming referendum on Scottish independence. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Losing direct access to extensive British embassy facilities
throughout the world would be ''a huge shame and a huge
loss'' for many Scottish people, if Scotland opted for
British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell made that comment
during a public lecture and a question-and-answer session at
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin yesterday.
Outlining the British Government view on Scottish
independence, she acknowledged a planned September 18
referendum on Scotland's links with the UK was drawing
Scottish people then faced a ''fundamental choice'' of
pursuing independence or remaining part of a union with
England and other parts of the UK which had endured more than
She believed Scotland's future was ''safer, more prosperous
and more secure'' within the UK.
Michael Russell, the Secretary for Education in the Scottish
Government, also discussed Scottish independence when he
visited Dunedin on March 25, accompanied by Ms Treadell.
Mr Russell, who is a senior Scottish National Party
politician, said at that stage, in an ODT interview,
he was ''very optimistic'' Scottish people would vote for
Ms Treadell yesterday said she was offering a factual picture
of the potentially adverse implications of Scottish
independence, and there was ''no threat'' in the British
Opinion poll margins in Scotland had tightened, but combining
all poll results suggested a 57% to 43% margin for a ''no''
vote on independence.
The United Kingdom was like a family, and Scotland had long
benefited financially from support by taxpayers elsewhere in
Opting for independence would mean less diplomatic support
for Scottish citizens abroad, and Scotland would also have to
wait for later admission to international bodies such as the
European Union, she said.