MP to set off on referendum "battle bus" to persuade Scottish Border towns to stay in the Union

North MP Guy Opperman will set off on his referendum battle bus to persuade voters in the Scottish Borders to stay in the Union.

Conservative MP Guy Opperman
Conservative MP Guy Opperman

A North MP has launched a referendum battle bus to persuade voters in the Scottish Borders that “we are better together.”

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, in Northumberland, will set off on his campaign to save the Union on Saturday August 30, when the postal vote forms will be landing on the doorsteps of all Scots.

He intends to be in the Borders leading a team as they try to persuade the people of Border towns Jedburgh and Hawick to stay before September’s referendum.

Mr Opperman is calling on members of every political party to join him on his journey up the A68 trunk road in a bid to keep the two neighbouring countries together.

“Every two or three weeks I have been going to Scotland to campaign for Better Together for the last six months,” he told The Journal. “I’ve gone from Aberdeen to Fife to the Borders to Dumfries and up to Argyle and Bute either speaking or debating, rallying or simply knocking on doors with the Better Together campaign.

“I’ve campaigned with Labour MPs, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives all of whom have come together and put party politics aside to ensure that we keep the Union. It is important that people living in the Scottish Borders know that we do not want then to go. Saturday August 30 is an important date because it’s approximately 18 days before the referendum when postal votes will be landing on Scottish voters’ doorsteps.

“A huge proportion of the votes in the referendum will be done by post and we need to make this date a significant one.

“My proposal is to get as many people as possible who wish to come and campaign with the team from Better Together to travel with us from Newcastle, Hexham and wider Northumberland on August 30.

“This is cross party because the Better Together campaign does not take into account an individual’s political view, provided he or she is in favour of the Union.”

The Tory MP has long called for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.

He said: “Scottish independence is not what I want. I am a passionate supporter of the Union, as are the vast majority of our constituents.

“The impact of Scottish independence would be a significant effect on cross-border trade, and there are real concerns amongst my businesses that independence will affect the financial state of the North East.”

Mr Opperman proposes to leave from Wentworth car park, in Hexham at around 9.30am on August 30. Those interested in being on board the referendum bus later this month should email the MP direct at guy.opperman.mp@parliament.uk

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