UK family ties

Colin Hamilton (Letters, 3 November) writes a reasonable response to letters from me and Mike Underwood criticising his original letter.

He did lose me at one point when he asked whether I and Nicola Sturgeon would have been happy to take Scotland out of the European Union to gain independence for Scotland.

I was not aware of any intention on the part of the Yes campaign to take Scotland out of the EU. The issue, as Mr Hamilton is well aware, was which accession route could best be used to make sure Scotland became a full member.

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Mr Hamilton also makes a suggestion that a points-based system could be considered to control the quota of migrants from the EU. However, recent remarks in Der Spiegel apparently emanating from Angela Merkel appear to indicate that Germany would prefer to see the back of the UK rather than agree to that suggestion.

In any case, Mr Hamilton’s reply has drifted off course. I believe Mr Underwood raised the issue of David Cameron’s much- repeated admiration for the family of UK nations.

This was the core of this discussion and whether a family can peacefully co-exist in a 
hierarchical culture where three branches of it are dominated by and subservient to the pater
familias, England.

And whether in that situation a referendum without numerical qualifications or veto can truly reflect the democratic wishes of all the family.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street


Nicola Sturgeon says each part of the UK should vote separately on whether to leave the EU. If Scots are withdrawn from it against their will, they might want another referendum on 

As a Nationalist, she may wish to find sparks of difference between Scotland and England, and huff on them till they burst into flame.

But as First Minister-in-waiting she has a duty to all Scots, not just her supporters. And their stated will on independence is a clear: “Thanks all the same, but no.”

To go against this would be, to borrow her words from another context, “democratically indefensible”.

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The recent debate has riven Scotland. Now we have our answer, our leaders must heal wounds, not pick them open.

The duty of the leader of the nation is to show herself worthy of that post, to remind us of what we have in common, not what divides us.

George Byron

Comely Bank Avenue