Govan has no bearing on referendum

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I was disappointed but not surprised to find some of your anti-independence correspondents (Letters, 8 November) claiming that events in Govan demonstrate why we should vote No next year. Not for the first time, I don’t follow their logic.

If it was a political decision to spare the Glasgow yards then any reasonable person would accept that these jobs were protected, for now at least, due to the leverage ­exerted by calls for ­independence.

If Scotland votes No next year, that leverage will evaporate overnight.

Alternatively, if it was a purely commercial decision, then why would a hard-nosed company choose to concentrate all of its shipbuilding capacity in Glasgow rather than Portsmouth if there was any genuine prospect of that decision having to be reversed in the event of a Yes vote?

Either way, the push for ­independence does no harm at all to those working in the Govan yards.

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick

The recent furore over loss of jobs and shipyard closures in the UK has caused a very regrettable, but understandable, anger in Portsmouth, much of it directed towards Scotland and the forthcoming referendum.

We have been repeatedly reassured by the SNP that, following a Yes vote, negotiations over the terms of separation from the UK would be sweetness and light, with the Westminster government falling over backwards to ­accede to the demands of the SNP regardless of the interests of the remaining UK.

Anyone who has listened to the anti-Scottish sentiment of shipyard workers in Portsmouth and politicians south of the Border, and who still believes this, is sadly ­deluded.

(Dr) David R Love

Peebles

All the talk of the UK defending the Scottish shipbuilding industry is nonsense. At its height, the Scottish shipbuilding industry produced a third of the world’s shipping.

If anybody wants to know what has happened since, one has to look no further than our Nordic neighbours around the Baltic.

The world’s biggest and best cruise liners – huge ships most of them – are built in little Finland.

Norway, which has built all the ships in its own navy of around 70 vessels, has 75 shipbuilding yards employing about 25,000 men.

Meanwhile, the relentless de-industrialisation of Scotland inside the UK over the past 40 years has left us with a handful of yards largely ­dependent for survival on ­defence contracts.

The danger to what is left of Scotland’s future industry, including shipbuilding, is not independence.

It is remaining in the dysfunctional UK economy in which the money men who control it make their money out of industry everywhere else in the world but the UK.

David McEwan Hill

Sandbank

Argyll

In 1707, the English government bribed Scottish aristocrats to vote for the Act of Union which resulted in Scotland losing its independence.

It now appears that Westminster is inducing the shipyard workers of Clydeside to vote against Scotland becoming independent once again.

Donald J MacLeod

Woodcroft Avenue

Aberdeen

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