What are the criteria for second indyref

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Has former first minister Alex Salmond got the criteria on which a second independence referendum might be prompted right (your report, 27 July)?

Perhaps in the Westminster “bubble” the details of the so-called “Vow”, Scotland in the European Union and the details of what is and is not austerity may seem of crucial importance.

Indeed, they all have the potential to impact on the everyday lives of most people in Scotland.

The real question is not just whether these matters concern voters enough to call for another plebiscite. It is whether independence is the solution to any of them and whether a whole range of other matters are just as important.

Indeed, when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her 
advisers get round to considering it she needs to look at a number of things.

They are the things that scuppered the independence case in the run-up to last September’s poll.

They include citizenship, the currency, border controls, oil price volatility, fiscal autonomy (will it make us better or worse off in public expenditure terms?), pensions, and the general argument that the pooling of resources within the United Kingdom is preferable to the uncertainties independence might bring.

Then there is the question of whether the Conservative government can credibly agree to another referendum so soon after the last one.

The constitution remains reserved to Westminster. Even if it was to agree to a referendum there still remains the vexed question of what might come out of the negotiations that would follow a Yes vote.

At her party’s autumn conference Ms Sturgeon will no doubt come up with a suitable form of words.

But they should be ones that say there is no case for another poll until well into the next decade.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court


On reading the letter, by William Loneskie (27 July), regarding all the parameters he wishes to see when we have the next independence referendum, I had to check it had not been submitted by former Labour MP, George Cunningham!

John V Lloyd

Keith Place


If for nothing else, former first minister Alex Salmond will be best remembered for redefining the word “lifetime’’.

In the New Salmond 
Dictionary, a lifetime is an undetermined length of time, it would seem, entirely dependent on what is best for the chances of the SNP trying again to break-up the UK.

Perhaps Alex Salmond meant the lifetime of a fruit fly.

Who could possibly believe a word he says?

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg


Alex Salmond, in effect, is calling for another independence referendum (less than a year after the last one). This in itself is fair enough (although I doubt there is the public appetite for another one). A problem he has is that we recall seeing him on TV less than a year ago, saying the referendum was a once-in-a-generation event.

You begin to doubt what he and his party says; they just seem to say what suits them at the time, as if 
they make it up as they go along, as if there were no principles.

Brian Monteith (Perspective, 27 July) touches on the same theme.

They seem to want to take us down the Canadian road of “neverendums”, ie keep pushing for one until the “right” result comes up.

Incidentally, just who is calling the shots in the SNP just now? I thought Nicola Sturgeon was the leader.

William Ballantine

Dean Road

Bo’ness, West Lothian