While I understand the importance of Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU, I am wary of referendum questions which conflate quite separate issues. My support for independence is in no sense or measure dependent on that implying membership of the EU. I seek the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. Stop! All else follows from this and is subsidiary to it. And that includes membership of the EU.
Let’s try an analogy. Suppose you were being asked if you wanted to go on an all-expenses-paid vacation to some luxurious resort. There are various options available. You can go at any time of your choosing; by boat or by air; alone or as part of a group etc. How much sense does it make to append to the question of whether you want to go on this holiday only one of the sub-options? Presumably, you do want to go. But forcing you to select one of the additional options effectively precludes the others.
Referendums are awkward enough. Ideally, they should offer a clear binary choice between to absolutely defined options. It is seldom possible to achieve this. And there is always the likelihood that some part of the electorate is going to vote on a question other than the one actually being asked. Like using their EU referendum vote as if they were being asked to endorse David Cameron.
The fundamental and crucial constitutional issue is not whether Scotland is in the EU or not, but whether Scotland has the full capacity, as an independent sovereign nation, to freely negotiate the terms of its association with the EU – and the rest of the world. Any specific mention of EU membership – as with asking about the monarchy – simply muddies the constitutional waters.