Dear Mrs Miller
I see from the press that your campaign group Best for Britain has not only raised over £340,000 in less than two weeks but is thinking of supporting the general election funds of at least some SNP candidates. I congratulate you and your colleagues on your achievement but urge you not to support the SNP in any guise. There are three reasons for this.
The first lies in your organisation’s very title ‘Best for Britain.’ No group that wants the best for Britain should seriously consider supporting a political party whose over-riding aim is the break-up of the country. It’s there in their constitution – ‘The aims of the party shall be (a) Independence for Scotland …’ They will talk about their desire to be EU members, their will to form a progressive alliance in British politics, their social democrat roots. The truth is that for the SNP independence, I prefer to call it separation, trumps everything else. Indeed, polling suggests a substantial part of their membership, about 36%, voted to leave the EU and there are said to be considerable tensions within the party on the subject. If push came to shove they would choose independence over EU membership and have recently been talking in ambiguous terms about alternative relationships for a separate Scotland (EEA or EFTA membership for example). The supreme irony of any Better for Britain support for them might mean, if they are successful, that there will be no Britain left to support.
Second, any support Best for Britain offers the SNP is likely to make little difference to the overall balance of power in the Commons. They will probably lose a few seats in the election anyhow and what happens to the Britain-wide parties is more likely to impact on whether parliament rejects any deal that does not measure up as best for Britain. If Best for Britain wants to support candidates in Scotland it could no better than look at suitable Liberal Democrat candidates (and no, I’m not a member). They already have one MP, for Orkney and Shetland, and have good prospects in Gordon, Caithness Sutherland & Easter Ross, Ross Skye & Lochaber, Fife North East, Edinburgh West, Perth & Perthshire North, and Dunbartonshire East. That’s quite a list and you know that Lib Dem MPs will not only be arguing for the same aims you have, they are also pro-British.
Third, should you choose to support SNP candidates know that you will get little or nothing in return. They are already well-funded by a large membership, any additional funding will be marginal, and hardly noticed by them. They will always put their own interest above that of Britain’s and will vote (or abstain) in the Commons accordingly. To use your own words, they will not be ‘committed to keeping all options open’ because only one option interests them – the break-up of Britain.
If you do read this letter, I thank you for considering its contents and hope you feel able to share it with your Best for Britain colleagues. Unlike some who will see this letter on my blog, I do feel sympathetic to your aims. But regardless of their views, the majority of voters in Scotland want to remain in Britain and would prefer, I am sure like you, to argue our differences out together, not, as the SNP wishes, to break up our country.
SNP MPs get boost from Gina Miller fund to stop hard Brexit – Scotsman article
Best for Britain – web site
SNP seats vulnerable to the Liberal Democrats – my own guess