Last week, Alex Salmond announced the date for the referendum in Scotland, 18 September 2014. The question is phrased to his advantage. ‘Should Scotland become an independent country?’ it asks. This invites a romantic Yes. In sober, practical terms, the question really is ‘Should Scotland leave the United Kingdom?’ But perhaps we should welcome the wording for other reasons. If we ever get our promised referendum on the EU, the question should be ‘Should the United Kingdom become an independent country?’

This is extracted from Charles Moore’s ‘Notes’, in the forthcoming Spectator. The rest will be published tomorrow here, with the rest of his columns.

Tags: Alex Salmond, Charles moore, EU referendum, Europe, scottish referendum, UKIP