Sir, – Independence for Scotland might well bring benefits, but not in defence or foreign affairs. The argument that no country would be foolish enough to use nuclear weapons because of the danger to itself is unconvincing. A belligerent Russia, an authoritarian China, an unpredictable North Korea, and an Iran run by religious zealots are reasons enough for Scotland remaining within the UK’s nuclear umbrella. Besides, the nuclear deterrent is a tool of diplomacy, and, shorn of it, an independent country would be a minnow on the world stage. Additional powers for Holyrood are, however, badly needed and the Unionist party leaders there could be working together to press Westminster to reconstitute the commission on Scottish devolution with the remit of granting it powers as close to devo-max as is practicable. This seems the only strategy likely to restore the balance of the floating vote decisively in favour of No to independence and would give PM Johnson a valid pretext for rejecting indyref2. Enhanced powers over social security would not just allow Scots to deal better with poverty, deprivation, and drug misuse but have knock-on benefits for the attainment gap and for social mobility, of which education is the main driver. Dr. Walter J MacCulloch, Aberdeenshire.