A senior Orangeman has called on the SNP to allow Ulster Scots people to vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.
Grand Orange Lodge’s Dr David Hume said the Ulster Scots were “stakeholders” in the future of Scotland and deserved to have their say.
But in a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, the Scottish National Party rejected his plea.
Speaking at an Ulster Covenant commemoration event in Glasgow last night, Dr Hume, the Order’s director of services, said unionists would neither forsake nor forget Scotland.
“When the referendum comes in 2014, the SNP want to extend the vote to those who are 16 years of age and, presumably, more likely to vote as directed by the SNP,” he said.
“I would call on them to extend the referendum to the Ulster Scots. After all, we provided the first unifying force in Scotland in the 6th century AD and we later extended Scottish influence to Ireland in the 17th century.
“We are stakeholders as well. Surely a decision such as this should not ignore our input?”
The academic and historian recalled the strong support for Ulster Unionism a century ago in Scotland.
“It would be our hope that the Scottish people remain with us and remain within the Union.”
But an SNP spokesman poured cold water on the Orange call.
“The future of Scotland is a matter for the people of Scotland, and the future of Northern Ireland is a matter for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.
“The electorate for the independence referendum in autumn 2014 will be the same as for the devolution referendum in 1997, except that the SNP Government wants to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds.”