IN common with many others, I have waited many years for Scotland and the Scottish people to grasp their future in their own hands and become a free, independent nation once more.

No-one in their right mind would consider for one moment allowing their next-door neighbour to tell them what furnishings to buy, how to decorate their house, and, even worse, have to ask their permission to do so, therefore why is it considered acceptable to allow a neighbouring state to do exactly that?

Many years ago, in the time of the Youth Trainee Scheme, we set a problem to our YTS trainees and asked them to find a solution. They could ask any person in the company for advice if they wished. When I asked them what they had decided, they said: “We thought of asking for advice, but that would just be asking the same people who were currently making the same mistakes, so we decided just to think of the problem afresh and come up with our own solution. We may not get it right the first time, we may not get it right at all, but at least it will be our own mistakes and not someone else’s!” A brilliant concept and believe it or not they did solve a corporate problem of longstanding because they ignored the current “experts” and decided to trust their own judgement!

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This is a lesson I think we should all learn and Scotland, as an independent nation, can think anew and come up with our own solutions to our own problems! Best wishes to our First Minister and our own Scottish Government!
Robert R Snedden

I WATCHED the First Minister’s speech on Twitter. It brought a lump to my throat and a feeling of delight: “ya dancer” were the first words I said.

I was also impressed with her speech and how it was delivered, it was excellent, very calm and deliberate. After watching Trump speeches where hatred and vile division is spoken, this speech was the total opposite – he should use it as homework on how it should be done.

I feel part of something good.

On we go!
Marnie Anderson

I’M so glad to be given a chance to vote in a new referendum on Scotland’s future. All I’ve ever wanted was to live in a free independent Scotland, free from Westminster interference, living under governments that we never voted for. It would be great knowing that when I go to vote in an election, I actually have a chance of getting the government I want.
Charles Wightman

I WAS delighted to hear the news that indyref 2 is going to happen. Nicola has tried all other avenues to protect Scotland’s place within the UK, but has been treated with contempt by the UK government. This is our last chance to get off the sinking ship that is Brexit Britain. The sooner it happens, the better.
Natasha York

THERE will be no gloating or cheering that we are going for a second referendum, but there will be a steely resolve that this time we will make it happen ... or should I say “I” will make it happen as we all individually must do a better job this time. The last time the No campaign got to the vulnerable and scared them in to voting No. This time we will protect the vulnerable and educate them as to the facts. We all individually have to ensure that no stone is left unturned this time. We have evidence of all the lies, of all the broken promises from the Unionists who broke all the rules of Purdah with the empty Vow. Of the dishonesty of Alastair Carmichael. We know that they will do anything to protect their cosy lifestyles and we must counteract this with strength and resolve to gain our independence.
Jim Oliver

WHEN I suggested a couple of years ago that the UK should be pluralised to stand for “United Kingdoms” including “s” for Scotland as a truly equal partner, another reader pointed out – only too correctly – that a weakness of that suggestion was the need for Westminster agreement ... unlikely to be forthcoming and so it has proved.

So now we need Scottish Independence – not “break up Britain” but “wake up Britain” because autonomy provides the key to truly better togetherness of our nations – fully responsible Scotland and less distracted independent England.
Ted Strachan

THERE is far more at stake in this referendum, not least the thousands of foreign-born residents of Scotland whose right of domicile has already come under threat by the Westminster Home Office. This time, let’s remember that independence is something which is either “lost” or “won”. With that in mind, can we please start using the word “WIN” in reference to Scottish independence? That important word is ours to take as everyone knows that no country ever “wins” dependence.
James MacDonald Reid

THE news that a second referendum will be sought unless May takes Scotland seriously is a gamble.

Although the polls are neck and neck we will feel the full weight of the British heel coming down on us.

Already the spineless branch managers Ruthie and Kez have started crying down their own country and people with whines and moans, they seem incapable of standing up for Scotland and are happy being slaves.

The choice is simple it always has been: are you Scottish or British? Being British means get back in your box and do what you’re told, being Scottish means solving our own problems and being part of something bigger.
Bryan Auchterlonie

ISN’T it amazing how even the more “honest” TV media manage to immediately produce two prominent Tories to pronounce on Nicola’s very welcome statement on a further referendum?

They introduce one critic as leader of the Scottish Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament, but introduce David Mundell MP as the Secretary of State for Scotland. However, they never mention that David Mundell is also the solo Tory MP in a Scotland with 56 Nationalist MPs. A single man is brought on to parrot Ruth Davidson’s pronouncement and it is really simply an echo and his political identity is not shown!

A man with extremely limited credibility (and hardly known), in his native land, who simply acts as Scotland’s Viceroy, is wheeled out to reinforce the Tory untruths.

Then we have the obligatory solo Labour MP and the other solo, well known and self-confessed liar from the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Effectively: four voices who are avowedly against Scottish independence, are given voice to their views, while the democratically elected majority party (56 MPs) are only allowed one voice and that is of Nicola Sturgeon!

Personally, I could listen to Nicola all day, but where is the objectivity of the press? Where is the fairness in the reporting?

Why is independence portrayed as a one-woman band?

Of course, there is a reason. Everything has to be seen through a British lens, or it can’t possibly be fairly represented. (That was sarcasm, in case some need it explained!) If ever there was a time for us to make sure The National is available to as many of the people of Scotland, as possible, it is now. It is our only daily newspaper source of fair journalism, in respect of Scotland, available to us.

Let’s try harder to get the circulation up, even if it means buying two copies and leaving one on every bus or train we use!
Harry Bickerstaff

The National: THE Scottish Government dutifully produced a sensible proposal that might have satisfied the expressed view of the Scottish people without the need to resort to a referendum. The UK Tory Government fully understands this but, buoyed by arrogance, they chose to ignore Scottish wishes yet again. And so again the Scottish population will be subjected to another long period of relentless propaganda from the Tory and Labour establishment media.

Murdoch will almost certainly be allowed to take over Sky; all he has to do is to say that he will help to brainwash the Scots! It’s a David versus Goliath propaganda battle but there is hope. Last time we almost made it despite “The Vow” and without The National.

We also know about the spyware developed by MI5 and the CIA that was probably used against Scotland last time around; there seems to be no level below which the UK Government might stoop to manipulate truth and ensure that it rules.

Once again honesty and democracy are likely to be the biggest losers, if not people in Scotland will choose the only sensible way forward for their children’s future: independence.
Ally Gowans

PLEASE, please, please let’s get it right this time and don’t let the No side get away with the lies and distortions we got last time.

Go for it.
Michael Mcdermott

NICOLA is doing exactly the right thing. If she waits till after the Brexit thing and the UK officially leaves the EU then Scotland will be out as well and would have to apply to re-join the EU after we get independence, and there could well be obstacles to overcome.

If Theresa May refuses to allow a second referendum on Scottish independence until after Brexit then Nicola should go ahead and hold one anyway, and assuming we won the case for independence she could declare it unilaterally and get rid of a Westminster Tory government that Scotland did not vote for and has done us no favours.
Ian Delissen

FACED with the very real economic nightmare that is a hard Brexit, choosing a different path for Scotland is the only sensible way forward. The Prime Minister is willing to make concessions to every Tom, Dick and Harry apparently... but not for us here in Scotland. I want us to keep free education, I don’t want Trident. I want to live in a socially inclusive country, I don’t want the bedroom tax. I want Scotland to manage its own affairs, I don’t want my EU friends to be worried about their future in our country. The UK is changing into something I don’t want to be part of. It’s time to try something new.
Alison Barclay

AFTER the huge contribution that Scotland has made to Europe, in economics, science, engineering, literature and political thought, we cannot allow ourselves to be dragged out of Europe on some harebrained mid-Atlantic adventure by the Brexit separatists.

The choice is quite clear, between (a) Scotland as an independent member of the European Union with France, Spain, Germany etc as its peers, or (b) oblivion, as a forgotten appendage of a client state of the USA.
Murray Gibbs

WE will now have an opportunity to right the grievous wrong of Scotland being carried out of the EU against the wishes of a significant majority of its voters. Perhaps the rest of the UK will follow Scotland’s lead and pull back from the brink when the appalling consequences of Brexit become apparent.
Jeremy Mitchell

I AM 24 and moved to Edinburgh with my fiancee and her seven-year-old girl this Christmas. My mum is from Glasgow, but I’ve spent my entire life living in England.

I have wanted to move up north for many years, but after seeing the results of the EU referendum, I knew it was time.

It is clear that the people of Scotland follow a far more progressive political line than a Conservative Westminster government would ever allow them to take. While there are many cases for and against Scottish independence, it is time for Scotland to forge its own path.

The Westminster government do not care about the Scottish people, and this is clearer now than it has ever been in my entire life.

I have already signed up to volunteer and firmly believe Scotland will be better off as a free and independent nation.
Rory Gascoigne

PLEASE receive my heartfelt congratulation for Scotland’s brave effort towards independence.

It is now late night in China, but I feel so lifted that I find myself doing air-punching all night, upon hearing such an encouraging message from wee Nicola, our party leader.

Yes, Nicola is my party leader as well. I joined SNP at 2015 as a Chinese student in University of Glasgow. Since arriving at 2013, I intensively followed the debate around first indy referendum, and decided that my heart and mind stands firmly with Scottish people.

My decision to join SNP came as a surprise to my friends (both Chinese and Scots), but it was just natural conclusion for me: I want to support and see through this fight for a great cause!

Since back home at 2016, I’ve been a fervent advocate for Scottish independence in China. If and when the second referendum comes, my heart will choose the same side again.

Have a good fight this time, Scotland! And hopefully we will make it right eventually!
Zhi Zheng

FINALLY! Or por fin, as they say here in Spain – a light at the end of a very dark Brexit tunnel. Scotland’s people will be given the chance to vote in an independence referendum, and might vote for independence and to stay in the EU. That would mean that my family and I will be able to retain EU citizenship with all the wonderful rights that entails.

Of course, Scotland would also then be in a position to take control of its own future direction and prosper once again as an independent nation. There’s no reason why it can’t. Much smaller nations than Scotland are doing just fine, all over the world, and Scotland has much more to offer than most.

However, for me and my family, it’s Europe that is the important consideration here. Brexit has left all British people living in another EU country in limbo, not to mention all the EU people currently living in the UK. Since June 23rd 2016 we have been left wondering what will become of us.

The rumours have been spreading – causing alarm, as usual – but no firm statement has come from the UK Government to let us know what we can expect, post-Brexit. That is a national disgrace, and something the Conservative party should forever be ashamed of.

This is no way to treat UK nationals, wherever they may live. We are not bargaining chips; we are people with normal lives who live, work, study or have retired in another country.

I fully understand that the Scottish people might vote again to remain in the United Kingdom, as they did in 2014, but that is by no means a certainty. This time things are very different.

Scotland stands poised to be dragged out of the EU, the single market and the customs union. That can only be disastrous for Scotland’s economy, forcing many more years of cruel austerity on everyone.

The alternative to voting to remain in the United Kingdom and suffer the effects of Brexit is to vote for Scottish independence. Yes, that is a bit of a leap into the dark, but it surely cannot be considered worse that a cliff-edge Brexit.

For that reason, I believe that Scotland will this time vote to free the country from the Westminster yoke.
John Coutts
Extremadura, Spain

YEA! Supporter of Scottish Independence in Virginia USA! (Although I think re-joining the EU is a huge mistake!) Sandy Sanders Virginia, US JUST received a begging email from the “truth”, Ruth. She appears to be desperately short of funds.

Informed her that, fortunately, I had no coppers left in my change, my having given same to a more deserving charity.
Sandy Henderson