Continental rift

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IT WAS intriguing to read the comments by Professor Richard Whitman that the United Kingdom’s weight and influence in the world could decline if ­Scotland leaves the UK (your report, 29 November).

Prof Whitman comments that Scottish independence could have a “profound impact” on the remainder of the UK’s (rUK) political standing in the European Union and, thereby, its influence with America and the rest of the world. What he curiously omits to mention is the strong likelihood that rUK will no longer be in the EU and thereby have little influence any­way, with or without Scotland.

Prime Minister David Cameron is under tremendous pressure from his Eurosceptic back-benchers and Ukip to call a referendum on continued UK membership of the EU and the UK government’s growing Euro­scepticism has most recently been demonstrated by its decision to opt out of certain aspects of European Arrest Warrant ­legislation.

This position, supported by the Labour party, is likely to lead to a referendum on EU membership whoever wins the 2015 general election.

Given consistent UK opposition to continued EU membership according to polling (not the case in Scotland), this will lead to UK withdrawal.

For those wanting to retain some power and influence within Europe, and thereby globally, the only way this can conclusively be achieved is through Scottish independence and continued membership of the EU. It cannot be achieved by adhering to the current UK government’s “separatist” agenda.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace