"Held over a barrel when it came to signing it"

What about Scotland in the Brexit debate? David Andrew McIlroy, a native Scotsman who is now living in Belgium, was keen to share us his views, and also highlights the Scottish-English relation. Are there any similarities between the previous Scottish referendum and the upcoming Brexit vote? "The Scots felt (and many still feel) that that we entered the union with England on less than equal terms, and were effectively "held over a barrel" when it came to signing it. (...) So the difference between the two was always a matter of equality."

David hails from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland's ancient capital. After finishing up his Higher National Diploma in Social Sciences, he left his hometown to marry his Belgian girlfriend. When not busy being baffled by Belgian rural life, he is looking for new career opportunities.

A lot more paperwork?

David first focuses on the Brexit issue: " I do believe that the UK is best served by remaining in the European Union. I am of course biased due to me currently living within a EU country, and my being here is made considerably easier due to the benefits provided to all EU residents."

"As a result, if the UK was to vote to leave, I (along with the many other hundreds of thousands) could potentially face either deportation in the long run or at least a lot more paperwork and bother being required in order to prove our eligibility and value to our host nation."

"This is not the only reason that I believe the UK should remain within the EU however as, despite what some sources may claim, we do benefit a great deal from being a member of the EU."

Scare tactics or pull factors?

David laments the (mostly) negative campaign and wants more "push factors": "Things like "if you vote to leave, we will lose money..." and "there will be severe consequences if we vote to leave...": while these have some merit to them, it's no way to convince everyone by using scare tactics.

“"Pull" factors in my opinion are even more important when any choice must be made. For example, the EU allows us to travel around countries so much easier due to the lack of restrictions on movement. So from a holiday-makers point of view, that's less paperwork needed, and more fun and variety to be had."

"Following on from this point, it allows us (as I and many others have done) to work and live within other EU countries as easily as any native of these countries can."

Scotland and the British union: same or different?

The British referendum on EU membership does in fact show similarities to the Scottish referendum to leave the British union. Or not?

"It could be argued that I should take a more anti-EU stance owing to the fact that the Scottish had their own referendum not so long ago relating to a very similar issue."

"Some might say (and perhaps rightly so) that we cannot claim as a nation to be so pro-EU as we come across, after having tried to break away from one union, only to apparently want to remain in another one, which is even further away from our nation and perhaps less in touch with our needs. If it were the case that someone might make this point (and I could understand why) I would say that the difference between the two, was always a matter of equality."

"The Scots felt (and many still feel) that we entered into the union with England on less than equal terms, and were effectively "held over a barrel" as the expression goes in that we had no choice when it came to signing it."

A union of promise

"On the other hand, the UK decided as a whole to seek membership in the EU as many felt that was where the future of the continent was going, and it was important to be a part of it as it grew and developed. Meaning that the latter union was one of promise, in which we were an equal member (some might argue more equal than others) with the rest of the EU member states. While the former Union, was holding us back and keeping us shackled in a relationship with a historical foe."

"This could embolden other nations"

"The last thing I will say about the referendum is that it will have profound repercussions across the continent, and even the world. Nobody has previously attempted in this manner to leave a union like the EU. Even if we end up staying, it could potentially embolden other nations across the EU to seek to sever ties, or attempt to wrest "control” from Brussels."

"This has been one lone Scot's opinion on the EU membership referendum. I hope you've found it to be somewhat interesting and thank you Belgium for having me!"