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ref date:21 Sep 1999 (SI)
SNP clarify Scottish versus British in run up to election

John Swinney (SNP spokesman)said: "I certainly feel myself to be a Scot and I feel myself to be very much within the European family of nations of which we are a part. I canít say that Iíve felt terribly British over my existence on earth so far."

The SNP candidate in the byelection, Annabelle Ewing also said this when asked if she felt British. "I am a Scot and a European, but I understand very well that for many people a sense of identity is multifaceted. My best friend is English and lives in London. I donít know if that helps to take this intellectual debate forward."

Mr Swinney went on to say that said the SNPís "tolerance of Britishness" did not diminish its desire to break Scotlandís political union with the United Kingdom.

He said: "What is important for our campaign is that the political union of which Scotland is a part should be brought to an end and that we should have an independent Scotland. We want to have a Scotland that controls all aspects of policy which that government and that country wishes to control. Obviously there are continuing ties that would go on after independence, but what is important is to get political structures right."