I’m afraid Steuart Campbell (Letters, 19 July) is mistaken: Scotland and England did not become one country in 1603.
The king of one of the two countries became also king of the other, but the parliaments remained separate and mutually independent. Full governmental union was a project dear to James’s heart, but when faced with the implacable opposition of the English (note) parliament, he had the sense to drop the idea, and content himself with the purely nominal adoption of the title “King of Great Britain”.
We may see this as a matter for regret, since the union that James envisaged would probably have brought better terms for Scotland than were obtained in 1707 and resulted in the subsequent history of Anglo-Scottish relations being less fraught; but that is only speculation. In any event, the case for the recovery of Scottish independence is not affected by academic discussions of real or might-have-been history.