Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Andy Murray - the argument against Scottish independence

Last weekend Andy Murray became World Number 1. He's won the Wimbledon title and Olympic gold, taking his list of accolades to 3 Grand Slams, 2 Olympic golds, a Davies Cup and 43 career titles overall. He's one of the greatest tennis players Britain has ever produced, and possibly the greatest British sportsperson right now.

However. What if Scotland was no longer part of the UK? If they'd left before 2012 - we'd still be waiting for the first British Men's Grand Slam winner and Wimbledon Mens's Singles champion since 1936, we wouldn't have celebrated a Davies Cup win or enjoyed 2 Olympic gold medals, and we wouldn't be able to boast the World Number 1 player.

Think about Jamie Murray's success as well. Not only was he a key part of that Davies Cup win, he also has 3 doubles Grand Slams under his belt and is also ranked number 1 in the world.

Outside of the Murray family the impact would be felt too. Scots contributed 3 other gold medals as well as Andy Murray's in Rio 2016, plus 12 silver and 2 bronze (although interestingly only 2 of these were in individual events). If you deduct these from the Team GB tally we would drop below China into third on the medals table.

Scots also won 5 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze Paralympic medals in 2016. GB would still have been second in the medals table without them, but that's 17 medals we wouldn't have been able to celebrate.

We would kiss goodbye to any hope of winning any medals in the Winter Olympic curling as well!

We could of course continue to support Scottish competitors, a bit like many of us support Republic of Ireland competitors and teams, but they wouldn't be "ours", and it wouldn't be the same.

I'm sure there are many other economic, cultural and political arguments for and against Scottish independence leaving the UK, but for me the trump card has to be the sporting detriment Scotland leaving would have.