Dear Mads Anneberg and Tine Toft,

On Valentine’s Day, you declared “vi elsker dig” from Denmark to Scotland.

You held out the hand of friendship and invited Scotland to jump on board the good ship Scandinavia to navigate our way out of the treacherous and choppy Brexit waters. With so much in common and so many historical and cultural links, this new union of Northern nations could do wonderful things together, you argued, if Scotland could only become footloose and fancy free from our out-dated and careless partner at Westminster.

It’s no secret that as a SNP MP, I’m a firm believer in independence for Scotland and freedom from our unequal union with the rest of the UK. So, when you invited me on your radio show to discuss your proposal, my answer was an emphatic, “yes, it’s a date!”.

To know that the Danish identity with our struggle for sovereignty, that you are keen to deepen ties and reaffirm our rich historical and cultural bonds is welcome news indeed.

Because Scotland is a nation looking North for future partnerships and collaborations and we’re keen to build bridges and share expertise. While Westminster has chosen isolation from Europe, Scotland is very much open for business. Despite being wrenched from the EU against our will, our gaze is shifting from southern sublimation to a far more equal and inclusive horizon where new relationships rooted in heritage and a mutual belief in social justice beckon us into their warm ‘hygge’ embrace.

READ MORE: Fed up with Brexit Britain? Come and be part of Scandinavia!

Back in 2017, I argued for the appointment of an Arctic Ambassador to highlight the importance of our relationship with the High North and to explore future trade links and collaborations. The Tory government at the time of course rejected this proposal, as they have done on just about every positive and progressive proposition that has come from north of the border. Undeterred, last Autumn the Scottish Government went on to produce their own distinct prospectus, ‘Arctic Connections: Scotland’s Arctic Policy Framework’ promoting Scotland as the European Gateway to the Arctic, and seeking to build on cooperation, knowledge-exchange and policy partnerships as well as establishing new links.

We’ve also adopted Scandinavian models in our domestic policy such as the Finnish baby box and are examining current practise in Denmark on disability benefit delivery. As far as Scotland is concerned, there is much to admire about the Northern European arc of prosperity. We respect independent countries like your own who have forged a progressive national identity alongside and in partnership with neighbouring nations, with high salaries and a good standard of living as the norm for all. A synergy exists between Scotland and this world view, through shared humanitarian values and a deeply held belief in fairness and equality.

Geography is important too, both in terms of our proximity to our Nordic friends and the similar challenges we face due to climate change and the many important opportunities for the development of renewable energy. Last year, Denmark sourced nearly half of its power from wind energy; in the first half of 2019, Scotland generated enough energy from wind power to supply its homes twice over. The Danes are world leaders in the fight against climate change, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, with Scotland endeavouring to cut emissions to net zero by 2045. Both our nations are on target to further harness our rich natural energy sources in our transition from fossil fuels.

So far, so much in common. Us Scots will happily trade our whisky and haggis for your Lego and Lurpak, thanks for the offer Mads and Tine! And over a wee dram or two, we’ll readily shake hands and move on from the Viking era, because, hey, what’s a bit of pillaging between friends?  Let’s take our shared history and transform it into a positive and progressive shared future.  It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Yours aye,

Douglas Chapman

SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, Scotland