IT is clear from Alex Salmond’s pronouncement that his new party does not have a prospectus. All It has is an objective: breaking up the UK. We know from 2014 that Mr Salmond regards 50 per cent plus one vote (of those who turn out ) as sufficient to win a referendum to leave the UK. This would be a recipe for disaster. Leaving a country to go it alone requires national solidarity of a kind that is not evident in Scotland. The SNP likes to compare Scotland with Norway. It is therefore worth noting that, in 1905. when Norway voted to leave its union with Sweden. only 184 out of 371.000 Norwegians voted to remain in the union. There was. then. a sense of Norwegian national purpose based on an overwhelming, near-unanimous result. In Singapore in 1962. more than 70 per cent of voters chose to leave British rule. In Scotland. polls have shown a pretty much 50:50 split. In Quebec, a second independence referendum was held in 1995. the first having been in 1980. In 1995, on a massive turnout of 93.5 per cent, the vote to separate was 49.42 per cent against a vote to remain of 50.58 per cent. Thereafter the Canadian government put in place a Clarity Act in 2000 placing clear conditions on attempts at secession. It retained the right for the Canadian parliament to decide on the wording of any separatist question. The Canadian parliament also has both the right to decide after a vote whether a clear majority had expressed a desire for separation and the right to override the result of a referendum. Separatism is scarcely an issue in Canada now. It is high time that we did the same. JILL STEPHENSON. Edinburgh.