Core reasons to keep the Union

IN HER her touching account of her battle against life threatening illness (Letters, 3 March), Sally Russell makes a persuasive case in support of the Union.

Meanwhile, Better Together present their case for the Union largely in contemporary economic terms.

However, I feel that there are much stronger and more fundamental reasons for supporting the Union, viz:

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•  Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 was closely paralleled by the Claim of Right enacted by the Scottish Parliament the same year. Both placed restrictions on the power of King William II and III.

•  Freedom of speech. Thomas Aikenhead was hanged for heresy in 1696, the last person in the UK to suffer this fate. However, by the late 18th century Scotland was described as “a country of toleration and liberty”.

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•  The welfare state. In both countries friendly societies developed during the 19th century until they were superseded by the UK wide introduction of Old Age Pensions in 1908, the National Insurance Act of 1911 and the provisions of the post-war Welfare State.

•  The English language. The Union was a major step in establishing English in its present position as an international language, although Scots survived in informal colloquial usage and to some extent continues in use today.

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All these characteristics can be broadly summed up as British values, and they all have identifiable roots in pre-Union Scotland.

That, to my mind, is the value of the Union. It is why I am quite comfortable as part of the United Kingdom, and why I will be voting No in the referendum.

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Richard A A Deveria, Aberfeldy