EUROPEAN, British, Scottish, in no particular order –wherever I went in the world, I was proud to be all three. So when it came to the 2014 referendum, it seemed like I was being asked to give up the first two.

For what? The economy? One side would pull out a bunch of numbers, and the other side would pull out another bunch of numbers, neither argument was very convincing.

It seemed to come down to just how you felt about things, then you’d find some facts to support your opinion.

I felt fairly suspicious about independence without a clear outline of what was going to happen and I didn’t feel inclined to leave Europe or Britain, so I voted No.

I’ve always felt pretty strongly about the EU as a force for good, for peace. There has been no major war in Europe since 1945 – heck, the EU even got the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.

Everywhere I go in Scotland, I see the European flag attached to major projects – roads, bridges, hospitals, infrastructure and so on.

EU workers keep our whole country afloat. Mostly, EU rules seem designed to protect us and the environment.

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Then along came Brexit.

Suddenly all the Project Fear arguments against independence werechucked out of the window in favour of some mad reckless dash for anti-immigrant, flag-waving freedom. And blue passports.

Along with most of Scotland, I voted an emphatic No to that as well. And what happened? Our voices were totally drowned out in a meaningless chorus of “Will Of The People” and “Brexit Means Brexit”.

That’s the moment I changed my mind to Yes.

If the Eurosceptics wanted to take an insane leap into the unknown, maybe Scotland could make a sane leap out of the UK, then rejoin Europe.

My attitude has only hardened since. In the intervening – what is it, four years? – of “negotiations”, none of which we’ve been invited to participate in, our elected politicians have been sidelined, ignored, slapped down and insulted.

I don’t believe anyone south of the Border ever really cared about losing Scotland. The Queen, maybe, but certainly not Westminster.

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I have no problem with the south. My wife and my children are English. I spent most of my working life in England. I have many good friends and relatives there, and most of them said pretty much the same thing: “Oh well, we’ll be sorry to see you leave, but there you go.”

And now I’ve actually joined the SNP, something I thought I would never do. When I was young, they were always regarded as a bit of a lunatic fringe.

A party of tartan and flags and slogans, nationalism and historical grievances, anti-English sentiment. But over the years their message has evolved into something much more nuanced and persuasive – don’t you think it’s time Scotland should have control over its own affairs?

For me, the answer is a resounding Yes.

Erik Beaton, 64, illustrator, Glasgow West End