Sir, – Recently I wrote to Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, about the consequences following a 51% Yes vote in an independence referendum to a 49% No vote, and Scotland became independent. This looks likely, with a pending Scottish election victory for the Yes camp, followed by a referendum in a couple of years, which points to an ultimate Yes vote victory. My concern was what would the Yes camp do to accommodate the No vote. I pointed out that due to SNP pressure and the 2014 referendum, a lot of policies have been made in a devolved Scotland and I believe we will soon be in position to become a federal state, which is the option I support. The Yes camp have, to their credit, extracted a lot of concessions on policies. However, when asking Mr Russell what concessions or policies reflect the No position the reply I received was of a somewhat complex constitutional policy which did not address my issue. My point, and what I feared, is the SNP and Yes movement have no interest in the views of the No camp, and they will literary toss them aside and, even if they win by 1 or 2%, it’s just a case of too bad. This will lead to a bitterly divisive and dangerous Scotland. Steve Kerr, Ardler.

For a component region of a modern nation-state, Scottish cultural identity is securely established and, arguably, disproportionately on display around the world. The tartans, the kilts, the bagpipes, the whiskies, and Mac as part of a family name, all travel well, and there is an acknowledged distinctively Scottish contribution to many disciplines. Scottish national identity is magnified by an accident of history. With Britain having been prominent in setting up a variety of international organisations, Scotland, along with Wales, Northern Ireland and England, has “international” status in, for example, FIFA, UEFA, World Rugby and the Commonwealth Games. There is some justification for objections to sporting over-representation from the British Isles. All this is much more recognition than for comparable component regions- Bavaria, Tuscany, Andalusia, Brittany, for example-which shared their sovereignty with their geographical neighbours. Mature politicians marry cultural diversity with the hard realities of geography and economics in healthy, creative ways. Then we have the SNP and Alba. Tim Bell, Madeira Place, Edinburgh.

Sir, – Survation conducted a poll for Scotland in Union between March 9-12, with 1,011 respondents aged 16+ living in Scotland. The poll found: If there was a referendum tomorrow with the question `Should Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?, 57% of people would vote ‘remain’ and 43% would vote ‘leave’ (excluding don’t knows). And, among all respondents, 49% said they would vote remain (+2 percentage points since September 2020) 37°% would vote leave, 10% were undecided, 4% would not vote, and 1% refused to answer. Scotland in Union has consistently used a question with a remain/leave option in polling, reflecting the Electoral Commission’s conclusion ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum that yes/ no questions should not be considered neutral as only one outcome is reflected in the question., This shows that the separatists do not speak for the people of Scotland. Will Podmore. 44 Clavering Road, Wanstead, London.


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