I do not think the issue of Scottish independence should be determined by whether in the next few years Scotland might be marginally better off or worse off financially. It should certainly not be determined on the say so of a few large companies, either telling the Scottish people they will cut jobs if Scotland votes Yes, or telling them that an independent Scotland could make a few tax concessions to companies which would make things better for those companies.
The vote should be about whether most Scottish people want to remain British, or whether they feel they can only express their sense of identity by backing an independent nation. As a Unionist myself the last thing I want is to keep Scotland in the Union against the hearts and feelings of a majority of the Scottish people. We need willing and loyal supporters of our union if it is to thrive. Nor do I want to see a highly marginal vote, with maybe just 52% in favour of the Union, with demands in a few years time to do it all over again. The Union needs stability and support from all parts. This referendum somehow has to be used to secure that support from most Scots, or has to provide them the moment to leave.
I hope we hear more emotional appeals for both an independent Scotland and for the Union. I hope one of those appeals reaches out to enough people to give us a clear answer. It is no good pretending this fundamental question of identity is not emotional. It is not a matter of fine accounting calculation. You do not enter a successful marriage by working out how you might get the better of the merger of your working lives and bank accounts. A successful partnership does not come from thinking how you can live off the other parties, but comes from energy, effort and thinking of others as well as yourself.
A union of two countries is not just for a few years. You should not unpick it when you think you might have a few more years of higher tax revenue, or seek to put it together if you are down on your luck. It is about how you feel, how you define who you are, and what you think of the neighbours. A union of countries means sticking together during good times and bad. It means going to the aid of each other in war or financial disaster. Becoming independent means wanting to do for yourself what before the Union did for you. That is the fundamental question.