The National:

IN a media landscape dominated by pro-Union titles, it often takes an outsider to see things more clearly.

The Irish Times has given its views on Scottish independence in a new editorial, showing a greater understanding of the constitutional argument than many media outlets closer to home.

It recognises that the sentiment behind the Yes movement cannot be written off as “narrow bigotry”, as many Unionists would have you believe.

The editorial also points out a flaw or two in Boris Johnson’s plan to stop Scottish independence.

Explaining a surge in support for a Yes vote, it reads: “The prospect of a hard Brexit and resentment over London’s centralisation of decisions on it, and over its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, are the principal factors driving the momentum. They build on longer term shifts of conviction among a growing number of Scots that the nation’s wellbeing and prosperity are best assured by an independent state within the EU.

“This is a political and civic change of view which bolsters feelings of cultural and national identity that have also been growing. Scottish and UK unionists have difficulty understanding such a broad-based nationalism. It cannot be dismissed as a narrow bigotry but requires that a much more reasoned case be made for Scotland to remain in the Union.”

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The editorial continues: “That case is now being argued by a highly centralised Conservative government with an English majority led by Boris Johnson and determined to assert its own independence from the EU. All these elements rub up against Scottish preferences to stay in or close to the EU and to have sovereignty over such decisions.

“These issues are entangled with the Covid-19 ones, as Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic is seen by Scots to be more effective than Johnson’s. The more assertive unionism he articulates about UK funding for Scottish infrastructure and welfare is similarly abrasive for Scots who say independence is affordable and more sustainable.”

We couldn't agree more.

All of this is evident to outside observers, and recent polls show an ever-growing number of Scots are waking up to the facts too.