Scotland can't be independent and negotiate a preferential trade deal with rUK

The First Minister and her colleagues have been at pains to point out how Scotland will be better off as an independent country within the EU.

Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK dwarfs trade with the EU. It would clearly be in an independent Scotland’s interest to have a preferential trade deal with the rest of the UK but that is one thing that Scotland will not be allowed to negotiate. This is not scare mongering – all EU trade deals are negotiated by Brussels on a pan-EU level.

The losses to Scotland and its economy of being refused permission to negotiate its own deal with its major trading partner can surely not be in our interests. The SNP should really be honest and state that Scotland would be better off outside the EU where we could negotiate in our own right.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Dr Roger I Cartwright

Turretbank Place, Crieff, Perthshire

The SNP’s George Kerevan, an economist and MP for East Lothian, has let the cat out of the bag by being honest enough to state that a newly independent Scotland would face five years of austerity.

Would this mean true independence from both the UK and the EU or would it mean so-called independence within the EU, if such could ever be negotiated?

Until Brexit negotiations are completed the Scottish people are not going to want another independence referendum in case the Brexit terms are better than for Scotland going it alone or being swallowed up as a minnow within a United States of Europe.

Surely Scotland, with its newly devolved powers, will have more real independence as part of the UK, with which it does most of its trade, than it ever could as part of the EU.

It is, therefore, good news that the latest YouGov poll shows that a majority of Scots want to remain in the UK.

Stephen Edwards

Inveresk Village, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Alyn Smith, SNP MEP, has said that his party should consider including European Union membership in any referendum question on independence and that “all options” on the wording of any future ballot proposition should be discussed. Clearly, Mr Smith regards the arrangements as an internal party matter.

It is not up to one side of the argument to choose the question for any future referendum. The Electoral Commission is the competent body.

The SNP leadership needs to be reminded that Britain is a democracy and its elections/referendums are not and should not be subject to partisan gerrymandering.

Jill Stephenson

Address supplied