Believe it if you like, but he knows that that is a total falsehood. Indeed, prominent Scottish businessmen are threatening to take the SNP to court if they attempt a “wildcat” referendum.Nonetheless, the SNP plan to waste £20 million on their doomed effort to destroy our nation. This is on top of over £2,500,000,000 of Covid funds given to them by the Government which they have still not spent!When one million Scots (19 per cent of the population) is below the poverty line, £20m could make a great difference. For example, it could cover the whole £20 Universal Credit cut described by Nicola Sturgeon as “morally indefensible” in October 2021. Is she spending the £20 million on the poorest in Scotland, as she could, with the Government money she has been given? No. Because the poor don't count.That money could also fund around 625 new doctors; 714 new teachers; 645 new nurses; or 666 new policemen.Instead, the money will be wasted. Other money will be wasted on a court case, which the SNP will lose, in which they will argue that they can hold a second referendum legally, when it is clear as day that they may not.
This is our money. It is money entrusted by Westminster to a morally bankrupt party who do not deserve to be in power.
Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh
It is unclear whether Scottish Government Constitution secretary Angus Robertson simply “let slip” that it intends to hold an independence referendum in October of next year or whether it is all part of a planned scheme for a vote to be held (your report, 16 June). If it is the latter then I think we can take it that the government has detailed plans to test its proposals in the courts, as it seems unlikely that Westminster will grant the Section 30 order Holyrood craves. The arguments in court will need to be a stronger than Mr Robertson's claim that “when people vote for something to happen in this country, it's what should happen”. There is a counter argument that democracy only works if people can stop campaigning and talking and get down to the even more serious business of making decisions that will improve people's lives.
A proposal to grant Scotland independence has implications for the rest of the United Kingdom. As the constitution is reserved to Westminster, it is right to consider why the votes of, say, two million people should set in motion a scheme to change markedly a Union that has prevailed for more than 300 years. That aside, the question of the portion of the national debt taken on by Scotland and the rest of the UK will have implications for everyone in these islands. Defence and the status of the armed forces has cross-border implications. Citizenship is a matter that needs to be considered very closely by both sides – it may even have consequences for the hundreds of thousands of Scottish descent who have settled south of the Border. A court can take the view legitimately that these are serious matters on which central government should have the last say and which have been tested already in a so-called gold standard poll.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Mr Robertson can be sure that Westminster's lawyers will have their arguments finely honed. They will need to have a much-improved case if they are to overcome them.
Bob Taylor, Glenrothes, Fife
Bring it on
If the First Minister wants to restart the process of independence, then everyone in the UK should be given a vote.
As an Englishman I would support independence but with the proviso that all defence spending is moved to the remaining UK nations.
That a full border be established between England and Scotland.
That all future pension and benefits liabilities fall on Scotland, not the UK.
Bring it on!
Ken Heslop, Swinton, Greater Manchester
Clearly Kenny MacAskill (Perspective, 16 June) doesn’t realise that the Scottish people have already exercised their democratic right when we voted to stay in the UK. The only problem is that the party, of which he was a leading light before he decided to jump ship, has paid no attention.
Perhaps his constituents in East Lothian who thought they were electing a Scottish National Party MP are wondering about their democratic rights?
Ian Lewis, Edinburgh
Nicola Sturgeon tells the nation once again that she has a mandate to seek another independence referendum. She says that we will be better off as a small independent country, but does not give any evidence to support her claims, and certainly does not provide any financial or economic reasons. All the evidence that is available suggests that financially we will be much worse off – VAT and income tax will rise, we are already 21p in the £ standard rate, and we should not mention Health, Education, ferries or airports – and don't even talk about potholes.
The best solution to the independence question is for Boris Johnson to tell Nicola Sturgeon: “You can have another independence referendum, and by the way you can have another one after that if you want.”
James Macintyre, Linlithgow, West Lothian
Let’s all vote
I read with interest Scotsman Letters as posted online. As with all matters concerning the entire (for now) UK, should Nicola Sturgeon wish to achieve a landslide victory in any forthcoming referendum, she need only extend the franchise to the remaining inhabitants of our sceptred isle. With support undoubtedly welling from a populace utterly desperate to see the back of her and the rest of the SNP, success would be assured.
Phil Brown, Whitchurch, Hants
I wonder what prompted Nicola Sturgeon to suggest the possibility of an informal non-binding independence referendum as early as October 2023? My guess is there is no deeper thought behind it than the feeling that Boris Johnson is a weakened PM, possibly on his way out in a matter of months. Why not inject another irritation?
A go-it-alone vote is wildly impractical, even in time-scale. In fairness to the opposition, which is large, you have to allow time for campaigning on all the issues. It might involve an expensive legal battle with the Supreme Court – more public expense on top of the £20 million war-chest, to add to that for a failed census.
It is also not far-fetched to say it might lead to police preventing the vote, the suspension of the Holyrood parliament and charges of sedition for the ringleaders in the vote – namely Nicola Sturgeon and Angus Robertson. That is exactly what happened in the 2017 Catalan independence wildcat vote. And if any actual vote got off the ground in Scotland, only independence enthusiasts would be likely to vote, rendering the whole thing meaningless.
Erstwhile St Andrews Economics Professor Clara Ponsati may now sit in the European Parliament, but as a Catalan independence activist in the aftermath of the Catalan vote she faced arrest warrants while she took refuge in Scotland, and the Spanish government faced down rebellion in one of its wealthiest regions. The EU regarded it as a domestic matter for Spain – they would have the same attitude to Scotland today, not least because it would mean directly encouraging a UK break-up.
Crawford Mackie, Edinburgh
In her latest letter, Leah Gunn Barrett implies a difference between English nationalism and Scottish nationalism (Letters, June 16). According to her, Scottish nationalism is about deciding our current arrangement is not the best for Scotland and looking for something better elsewhere while English nationalism is about finding someone else to blame (in this case the EU) for all problems.
This is an almighty case of hypocrisy from Ms Barrett given most of her letters seem to be about blaming all of Scotland’s ills on Westminster governments past and present. Nor is she alone in this. From repeated comments by SNP supporters and politicians alike about being ruled and mismanaged by Westminster governments Scotland never voted for, right up the Nicola Sturgeon’s “scene setter” paper, Scottish nationalism has always had trying to blame someone else for Scotland’s problems as a major element. Maybe even the sole focus. The sooner it realises this and stops, the better.
John Shanks, Glasgow
EV does it
At last some good news. The present grant for electric cars of £1,500 has been terminated. More than 11 years ago it was £5,000 for a car with CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. The grant has been steadily reduced from £5,000 to £3,500, to £3,000, to £2,500, to £1,500 and now thankfully zero. Since 2020 £2.5 billion of taxpayers' money has been paid. Why have taxpayers been forced to fund those rich enough to buy an electric car?
Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian
Earlier this week the Royal Bank of Scotland sent me a new debit card. On the front is a colourful picture of a beach hut. Nothing about the photo brings Scotland immediately to mind. Why not scenic mountains or lochs? Or one of our famous landmarks? Or, to bring things closer to the RBS home, could they not have used a photo of one of the many local branches they have closed over recent years?
Richard Gordon, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
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