We're coming home
By Fiona MacGregor
Expats from across the globe have contacted the Yes Scotland campaign saying they will be moving home before the referendum in 2014 so they can vote Yes and start a new life in an Independent Scotland.
Since the launch of Yes Scotland three weeks ago, supporters of an Independent Scotland who have pledged to return include business entrepreneurs, health care workers, engineers, sports professionals, and parents of young children.
Scots living in Australia, elsewhere in Europe and North America are among those who say they feel so positive about the prospect of life in an Independent Scotland they plan to bring their families and career skills home before 2014 to start a new life in their home country.
Mark Sorsa-Leslie, 40, IT entrepreneur, from Aberdeen, currently living in Finland is planning to return with his Finnish wife and young son
"I am moving back to vote because living in Finland has given me an insight into just what Scotland could be as an independent nation," he said.
In an Independent Scotland it is the the people who live in Scotland who will determine whether we will be successful. Scotland has to exercise its collective capabilities to boost the economy, drive innovation, create jobs and deliver a world class environment in which to live, learn and work. Finland achieves this and so could Scotland."
Mr Sorsa-Leslie is calling on other expat Scots to return to the country before the referendum.
"I am bringing my family, my capital and by expertise to help make a Scotland successful as an independent nation and I want to encourage all our talent abroad to consider doing the same. There's a wealth of Scottish expertise around the world and people coming back will bring expertise and capital to assure the future of an Independent Scotland."
His views are echoed by Paul McNeela a 47-year-old mental health nurse, originally from Perth, Scotland, who now lives in Perth Western Australia.
"I have always believed that Scotland would be better off independent as the Scottish people and their parliamentary representatives must be better placed to make sound decisions for Scotland rather than a Westminster government more interested in appealing to the South East of England.
"As a health professional I have seen that general health and mental health are adversely affected by poor opportunities. If only the Scottish parliament could have the full range of powers of a normal independent country we could get on with the job of really caring for the health and well being of our people. "
Phil Bremner, 52, a subsea engineering consultant, and his wife Joyce, an events manager, moved from Whitehouse near Alford, in Aberdeenshire to Perth, Western Australia eight years ago. They are also planning a return to Scotland before 2014.
"With the right management and a set of policies that are agreed by the people of Scotland then I think it will attract huge amounts of inward investment from sources that have always considered Scotland as different and having unique qualities to offer the modern world," said Mr Bremner.
"I'm involved in subsea engineering and this is a great example of how Scotland has had a significant influence on major oil and gas developments around the world, and it continues to do so due to the people, particularly from the North East of Scotland, who are employed in the sector.
"My hope is that my single vote in some small way will assist Scotland in gaining what has been a long overdue independence from Westminster."
Experts on the Scottish diaspora say they expect the next two years will see the return of younger, more recent emigrants from Scotland, drawn to the prospects of better opportunities in an Independent Scotland.
The fact that skilled and talented Scots who left Scotland under Westminster rule now want to come back to support, live and work in an Independent Scotland, run by the people who care about it most, the people of Scotland, shows just how much our country will gain from voting Yes in 2014.
Diaspora expert Harry McGrath, of the Scots Canadian Agency said, "many of the newer emigrants are social media savvy and in close touch with developments back here in Scotland. It is this category of first generation emigrant that is likely to return to Scotland if they are convinced that what they do in Canada can be replicated here. Until now, many of them have felt that that's not the case but the prospect of an independent Scotland could change that perception.
The Yes Scotland campaign is aimed at further increasing support from those currently resident in Scotland for a Yes vote in the 2014 referendum for an Independent Scotland, but the return of just a tiny section of the Scottish diaspora in time to register to vote Yes would also boost the campaign's success.
Scots living abroad clearly believe that life will be better in an Independent Scotland which is why they are looking at moving their families and businesses home in time to vote Yes in the 2014 referendum. This is an inspiring example of the ways in which the opportunities offered by life in an Independent Scotland will actively boost the quality of our workforce and our economy.
There is widespread confusion among some politicians and media pundits regarding the independence referendum planned for Autumn 2014 and the Scottish general election scheduled for May 2016. Many pundits are treating the two events as if they are the same thing. They are not.
Personal accounts, sent in by Yes Scotland supporters, telling us in 100 words or less, why they are saying yes to an independent Scotland.
In these early days of Yes Scotland, we are giving top priority to two things: engaging with the many thousands of people who have contacted us to get involved and offer support, and putting in place the structure and the resources the campaign will need to deliver the right result for Scotland.
Today we are delighted to introduce the members of the Yes Scotland advisory board who will help drive the campaign towards referendum success in autumn 2014.