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Peter Laidlaw (Letter, 26 September) claims naval benefits to Scotland from the Union. If the British Navy did buy Scottish beef on the scale he suggests I am sure there were other possible markets. We might even have eaten more of it ourselves.

Before the Union, Scotland had a strong maritime and naval tradition and it seems likely that without the Union this would have continued. An interesting parallel is that during Norway’s union with Sweden, Norwegian merchant shipping did much to keep Norwegian identity alive until that union ended, which improved relationships between the peoples of the two countries – which today co-operate closely, along with other neighbours, through the Nordic Council.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place

Edinburgh