Silver Lining

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Scots warn UK of spying on independence referendum

Press TV

A senior member of the Scottish nationalists has written to the head of Britain’s spy agency MI5, seeking assurance that the intelligence service does not meddle in the Scottish independence referendum.

Margo MacDonald, who is the former Scottish National Party deputy leader, said she believes MI5 has planted undercover agents in the party and asked the spy agency’s chief Andrew Parker to avoid engagement in plots to undermine SNP.

The source of MacDonald’s concern is apparently MI5’s defined objective that is acting “against threats to national security”.

The SNP politician is worried that the definition can lead the spy agency into interpreting its mission as preventing the break-up of Britain, be it in the form of thwarting the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.

“I will be obliged if you can give me an assurance that UK Security Services will not be used in any respect in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum on sovereignty,” MacDonald wrote in the letter.

She further stressed that “of course the security services have people in the SNP” saying the spy agencies have an “insidious” influence and will take up any potential opportunity to “depress the self-confidence of Scots”.

This comes as the British government has been putting up various obstacles to Scottish independence using different excuses to dishearten Scots over the past year.

London said back in February that Scots have to renegotiate some 14,000 international treaties, including their EU and UN memberships, if they vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.

Also in February, British PM David Cameron has urged Scots to renounce the referendum saying they currently enjoy “the best of both worlds”.

Later in March, British Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander claimed that an independent Scotland will face a £4 billion black hole in its budget from the very beginning.

The excuses have also been directed at matters ranging from national defense concerns for an independent Scotland to depriving it of oil reserves in the North Sea, which could be a key source of income for the potential independent state.

This comes as the British government revealed fears of Scottish independence in October admitting it could seriously undermine London’s international image and its position in the eyes of its allies.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) admitted in a report to the Commons foreign affairs select committee in mid October that the referendum will create enough “uncertainty and distraction” for traditional London allies to seek reassurances that Britain would retain it position as a European power.


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