History lesson

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According to Jean Asselborn, foreign minister of Luxembourg: “This is a time for solidarity 
between member states of the EU and within member states, rather than for going separate ways” (your report, 6 March).

Luxembourg is a small country. It has an area half that of the Scottish Borders Council, and a population of around half a million – roughly that of Edinburgh.

It has one of the highest standards of living in Europe, and has become very prosperous as part of the European Union.

They prosper despite struggling to achieve, and maintain, its independence throughout the 19th century. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 
1815, Luxembourg managed to rebuff claims on its sovereignty by Prussia and the Netherlands.

This position was strengthened in 1839, when full ­independence was obtained, and reaffirmed in 1867. Finally, in 1890 the union of crowns between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was ­dissolved.

The EU has proved to have been advantageous to smaller countries. But by remaining within the UK, and the likelihood of an In-Out referendum, Scotland runs the risk of ­separation from ­Europe, whatever its people think. Mr Asselborn would not be in a position to make these comments if his country was a province of 
Germany or the Netherlands. Independent Luxembourg has prospered. Before advising 
others about their future, Mr 
Asselborn should think again.

Alison Halley

Newbattle Abbey Crescent

Dalkeith, Midlothian

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