Sovereign cruelty

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I CANNOT make up my mind if Ian Johnstone (Letters, 6 September) understood what I wrote in my letter (5 September). What does he actually mean when he writes: “His concern fails to disguise a presumption that Scotland is relatively more sovereign at present than is the case”?

Is he suggesting that I believe Scotland has more sovereignty than it has?

If so, he could not be more wrong as I have spent more than 50 years fighting to have it restored and to end the union of 1707, the signing of which effectively removed sovereignty from the Scottish people, although we are supposed to be equal partners with our English neighbours.

I am also at a total loss to understand some of the points he makes. He seems to suggest that since there are more applications for membership than there are to leave the EU, there must be no loss of sovereignty for members.

Stan Fisher (Letters, 6 September) provides an explanation for at least part of that and, since the financial crisis and the debacle in the eurozone, the governments of the EU member states are not rushing to find out how their populations feel.

Stan Fisher mentions the fishing industry in Scotland, which lost more than 100,000 jobs but has survived, as an example of the price of EU membership, but he might also have included the Scottish steel industry, which was wiped out.

Both fishing and agriculture, through the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy, are perfect examples of how sovereignty works in the EU and highlight how Scotland would be in exactly the same position as an “independent” member of the EU, as it is as an “equal” partner in the UK.

Anyone who argues that membership of the EU entails no loss of sovereignty is either setting out to deliberately mislead Scots or has elevated self-delusion to an art form.

Rather than asking France, Germany, the Netherlands (Mr Johnstone’s examples) or the more powerful member states, let them speak to the Greeks, the Irish, Cypriots or Portuguese for a more realistic picture of what it means to lose sovereignty.

Jim Fairlie

Crieff

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