‘I am genuinely still undecided’

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As Scotland prepares for one of the biggest days in its history with the independence referendum vote on September 18, we are speaking to local people to get their views.

This week we hear from Reverend Martin Fair, of St Andrew’s Church in Arbroath, to find out what he thinks ... Should Scotland be an independent country?

“I am genuinely one of these people who are waiting to be convinced by either the Yes or the No campaigns.

“Neither camp has convinced me I should vote for them and with approximately 90 days to go I don’t know which way I will vote.

“There has been a lot of negativity recently from both campaigns and principally I believe it leaves us looking bad in the eyes of the world.

He continued: “As part of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly we had an independence debate, where the Moderator called for ‘Respectful Dialogue’. There were passions on both sides but the key thing was there was respect for others’ opinions and I believe it should be the same with the official Yes and No campaigns.”

On the subject of 16-year-olds voting for the first time in the referendum, Mr Fair said: “I am chaplain at Arbroath Academy and a year ago we held a debate and poll, where the no vote was 75 per cent.

“I think for the Scottish Government, if their tactic was to gain more votes by lowering the voting age then it could have possibly backfired.

“Even though I remain to be persuaded by either side, and there are many like me, I feel that when it comes to the crunch there are many conservative with small c voters who will stick with the status quo for fear of the unknown.

“Although I don’t think this is a particularly good reason, I think this is what will probably happen come September 18.”