Change question in next year’s referendum

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I AM not sure how it can be “Time to debate Devo Plus” (Leader, 11 August) when the proposition being put before us is that we should be independent. The priority has to be to analyse that proposal, and to form a view on the merits or otherwise of it.

All parties seem to have come to a realisation that independence is probably not going to happen, which is why we see efforts being made to try to persuade us that independence is actually something else, and the deception being attempted is to persuade us that it will look pretty much like Devo Plus/Devo Max/ Devo More/Home Rule/some federal arrangement/some confederal arrangement. Therefore, to open up the Devo Plus debate now will simply add to this confusion, with the risk being that we vote for independence in the belief that it is something else, and then be angry or disappointed afterwards.

Many people in Scotland are perfectly open to discussing the principle of Devo Plus, or something that looks a bit like that, subject to knowing more about the details and how it might work in practice. But we cannot have that debate with so much noise going on in the background.

It is still not too late to pull the plug on the independence vote, and instead have a vote on the principle of greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, based around the broad principle of Devo Plus within a federal/confederal structure. Almost certainly that would secure an overwhelming mandate, it would give clear direction to all parties going forwards, and it would allow us to short-circuit this current process that is clearly heading nowhere. The coming year is one we will never get back again. I would rather not waste it.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy

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