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May I respond to Alex Orr and Dave McEwan Hill (Letters, 29 July) regarding the possible exodus of Scots in the unlikely event of a Yes vote for independence.

Firstly to Alex Orr, who claims the warnings of the same thing happening in the pre-devolution debate have not happened.

He claims that “curiously they are still here”.

Wrong, Mr Orr. The SNP itself claims, in another section of this week’s press, that 700,000 Scots have left in the past ten years and is challenging Westminster to explain how it proposes to reverse the exodus.

To Mr McEwan Hill, who claims good riddance and that he “would rather these dead weights did not hold us back”, I would point out that the people who are leaving are those professionals such as doctors, nurses, accountants and others with professional and technical skills that countries all over the world are crying out for.

Why does Mr McEwan Hill think Scotland has such skill shortages? Why does he think the health service in Scotland is in crisis?

These people we are losing are also net tax contributors. Who is going to pay the taxes to fund the SNP’s fantasy land of milk and honey benefits system?

In addition, Standard Life is reportedly in talks to buy a large office development in the City of London that could serve as its headquarters if Scotland votes for independence.

Donald Lewis

East Lothian

I am a little worried that 
neither media nor published private observers seem to 
be able to differentiate between respondents to a survey who claim to be considering emigrating after the referendum – 200,000 to 700,000 apparently – and those who will actually emigrate.

Anyway, in the event of even a fraction of that number of premises coming unexpectedly to the market, rents and house prices will crash. At least first-time buyers will have a chance to get in there, with plenty left over for our homeless.

And those of the “if that’s how they feel, let them go” persuasion, banking on an exodus of “unScots” leaving a land that has been ethnically cleansed of foreigners, may be quite wrong.

The lesson of the mass movement of folk across the EU in pursuit of work and a better life teaches us that it is often the youngest and the most able who leave first; do they really want Scotland to become a country of kilted old men?

David Fiddimore

Calton Road

Edinburgh

Dave McEwan Hill’s letter on some Scots considering leaving Scotland in the event of a Yes vote demonstrates the sheer nastiness and divisiveness of much of the Yes campaign.

To describe those Scots who disagree with his views as “dead weights” is offensive in the extreme, and makes me ashamed that so many of my fellow Scots are so offensively dismissive of anyone who disagrees with their views.

His keenness to lose fellow Scots, and businesses, also strikes me as a very short-sighted view, as both jobs and tax revenues will go with them. But why let hard economic outcomes get in the way of the mythical nirvana that will be the new Scotland?

Douglas Hamilton

Isle of Arran

I’m glad you published Dave Hill’s letter (in which he says: “So some people say they will leave Scotland when we vote for independence? Good.”) as it serves to highlight the attitude of the extreme Nationalists that we are in danger of having to live with in the event of an accidental Yes vote. This whole independence issue has done little for Scotland, but it has certainly served to cause yet more unwanted divisions within our society.

Presumably Mr Hill – a model of pride and imagination (his words) – has just painted a vision of the fairer society that we are promised would exist within an independent Scotland.

If this is how he feels about his fellow Scots, how will “proud and imaginative” Nationalists feel about others?

My hope is that he is not a mouthpiece for Nationalism, but simply a mouth.

Ken Currie

Liberton Drive

Edinburgh

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