The risks in independence are worth taking

THE purpose of gaining independence for Scotland is so that Scotland’s future is directed by those who live in Scotland in order that Scotland can choose its own course, within the nation and within the wider European and global community.

Of course, in the world we live in today a degree of interdependence is a fundamental component of independence for nearly all states.

I have no doubt that a modern democratic independent Scotland will take most if not all of the right choices to be a successful and respected small member of the international community. I have no doubt that Scotland will be accepted as a member of organisations such as the UN, the EU and Nato. I have no doubt that Scotland can and will do better with independence than if it remains part of the UK with its flawed democracy, unequal society and apparent uncertainty of its place in the European and global community.

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Without question, in transitioning to independence there will be a process of change that will entail risk, but it is simply incredible to make the claim as your headline “Risking our security is too high a price to pay” for independence does above General Mackay’s article (Insight, 23 June).

I make the comparison with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. They sought independence in difficult economic conditions and in very difficult security circumstances. They took on a high level of risk but without doubt they have benefited from the independence they have achieved, the interdependence they have sought and the economies they continue to develop.

The reasons for Scotland seeking independence are perhaps less fundamental than the reasons the Baltic states had, but then the economic and security circumstances are nothing like as difficult either.

If General Mackay subscribes to your headline to his article it can surely only be because he believes that a small degree of transitional risk in security terms outweighs no or only minimal advantage for an independent Scotland in other areas. There is a low level of risk for Scotland in transitioning to independence and some of it is in the area of security but, like many, I believe these risks are worth taking because of the benefits that independence can give to Scotland.

Andrew Parrott, Perth

I READ with interest the ­article titled “Risking our ­security is too high a price to pay”.

I moved my family from England to Scotland precisely because an independent Scotland will be safer for my two teenage daughters.

The first main threat to physical security is invasion, which the author rightly ­dismisses.

The second main threat is terrorist attack. He explains that Scotland would not be able to afford to meddle as much in foreign countries. He does not seem to understand that the Scots would prefer to spend our resources looking after the poor and disadvantaged here rather than on killing people in other countries, for example Iraq. The threat of terrorist attack will be much lower in an independent Scotland because we will not ­meddle in other countries.

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The third main threat is civil unrest. The more unequal a society becomes, the more likely it is that civil unrest will occur. An independent Scotland will reverse the UK trend of an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, making civil unrest much less likely.

As far as security goes, it is much riskier to remain part of the UK.

Andrew Collins, Cupar