Union in Europe

It would appear Peter Jones has been in hibernation throughout our recent cold winter. That, at least, would explain the imbalance in his article (Perspective, 18 June) about the risks to Scotland’s ongoing membership of the European Union.

He says voters for whom EU membership is the critical issue in deciding whether to vote Yes or No for independence will have to make a judgment about the EU’s appetite to include Scotland in its gang.

There is some uncertainty about the exact terms and time scale for Scotland’s continued membership in the event of 

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But no serious commentators predict insurmountable difficulties in an independent Scotland’s ongoing EU membership in the long term.

Yet, remarkably, Mr Jones makes no mention of the one factor that is a real and credible threat to Scotland’s long-term participation in the EU: the UK’s looming in-out EU referendum, planned by Prime Minister David Cameron for 2017.

The latest polls suggest that – should Scotland choose to remain part of the UK next year – we will be removed from the EU against our wishes three years later, by virtue of being part of an increasingly insular UK.

In other words, it seems ­obvious the only genuine risk to Scotland’s European future would come from voting No to independence next year, not from a Yes vote that would leave our future in our own hands.

C Hegarty 

Glenorchy Road 

North Berwick

I am astonished to read that the nonsense about Scotland being expelled from the EU is still being peddled in some quarters (“France and Spain would veto Scotland”, your report, 17 June).

In 2011, the Republic of Ireland imported €16.6 billion (£14.2bn) in goods and €10.1bn in services from the UK. This was more than the UK exported to the rest of the EU combined.

Ireland is around the UK’s fourth largest global trading partner, accounting for some €50bn in bilateral trade.

Scotland has a larger population than Ireland. There is £45bn in bilateral trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

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England’s total exports to the EU are divided into one third to mainland Europe, one third to Ireland and one third to Scotland. Why on earth would businessmen in cash-strapped England wish to cut off 33 per cent of their entire EU ­market?

Tom Johnston

Burn View