SO in the last few days we’ve had Holyrood voting for ScotRef, May triggering Article 50 and refusing ScotRef until after Brexit plus the announcement of a massive oil field in Scottish waters.

This adds up to one thing, Westminster will fight tooth and nail to stop Scottish independence. There are no depths which they will not plumb to get the result they want because if they fail the whole hierarchical structure of English society will be dealt a blow from which it will not recover. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

The English ruling class have been living the life of Riley for hundreds of years by exploiting others. First it was the colonies, then as they gained their independence the only people left were the Scots. Scottish independence would deprive them of their last plunderable resources in the form of oil, fishing and agriculture.

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Without Scottish fishing rights they will have no bargaining chips with which to negotiate passporting rights for London financial traders, now mostly owned by foreign companies who would move to Europe on losing those rights in order to continue trading in euros. So they would not only lose the tax revenues from the London financial markets but they would lose the revenues from Scottish oil.

London would lose its status as a global financial hub and property prices in the capital would crash, having a knock-on effect throughout the country. Let’s not underestimate the impact of this, rising house prices have been the holy grail of UK economic policy for decades. So long as house prices continued rising the property-owning classes could overlook all kinds of economic stupidity on the part of the Government and keep voting them in. Once that stops or goes into reverse the whole game changes, and Westminster knows this.

Make no mistake this is the political struggle of our generation, and when in a few years’ time in a prosperous independent Scotland our children and grandchildren ask us what we did in the Great Independence Campaign we will be able to answer with pride that we got off our backsides and went out and fought for it.
Hendrik Miller
via email

I’VE just finished reading Cat Boyd’s article in The National (Yes campaign can’t rely on Brexit to win Indyref 2, March 28). I agree with her completely. A fair percentage of former Yes voters are known to have voted to leave the EU. The question therefore arises: “Will they back an independent Scotland that is intent on regaining full membership of the EU?” The answer is uncertain. In order to gain an independent Scotland every single vote counts. Could we perhaps compromise and gain access to the European market through becoming a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area along with Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein? Will they accept us? I believe Alex Salmond has already put forward proposals along these lines but there seems to be no definite official strategy to deal with this situation.

We really need to have some definite strategy pointers from the leaders of the next Yes campaign, coupled with reassuring answers to matters that haven’t been resolved and linger over from the last campaign.

Things like the currency issue have to be clarified. Are we setting up a national bank or not? What about tax revenues? What about defence?

What about jobs? How will we attract businesses to come here? If Theresa May continues with her refusal to accept the Four Principles of the EU Rules, I can’t see her getting any form of tariff-free access to Europe. Could we perhaps persuade firms that might wish to relocate from England to Europe to come instead to an independent Scotland?

As things stand, agriculture and fisheries policies may well be coming back from Brussels but they will probably stay with Westminster and then our fisheries could be used as a bargaining tool. Would the repatriation of these into an independent Scottish Government’s hands mean that we could keep foreign fleets out of our waters as Iceland has done?
Charlie Kerr
Glenrothes

THE Tories have behaved towards the devolved governments with utter disdain as if we are merely second rate colonies.

Theresa May and her henchmen continue to tell us that everything will be wonderful and even better than before. They pretend that they have everything mapped out when in reality they have not the foggiest idea of what the future holds in store.

We have heard several top EU politicians stating that trade negotiations cannot and will not proceed until the divorce settlement has been addressed including the massive bill thought to be somewhere in the region of £50 billion.

David Davis wants us to believe that he is the master of negotiation when we know he is out of his depth and will be made to look a fool in the coming weeks and months.

Theresa May cannot be permitted to behave towards Scotland like some dictator. We have been formally told that Scotland is an equal partner in the Union along with Wales, Northern Ireland and England. If that is true then the Tories must not get away with blocking the SNP time-line for our indyref2.

People throughout Britain have to wake up to the fact that England is and has always been independent in all practical terms and has always treated us lesser partners as colonies.

I am astonished that so many of my fellow countrymen accept being ruled by the most right-wing Tory Government that I have known in my 68 years.

The decision to vote for independence should be an easy decision to make. The only other choice is to choose the Westminster Tories because there is no other alternative in Westminster, with the least effective opposition imaginable.
Harry Key
via email

I FIRMLY believe ScotGov can get round the blocking of our indy referendum by all SNP MPs resigning causing 56 by-elections and we campaign on the grounds of independence if we get a simple majority... We just need to win 30 of them and then we claim our independence – SNP are currently at 53/54 per cent in the polls on Westminster elections or the other option is just straight Unilateral Declaration of Independence ....
Brad
via email

I AM not Scottish by birth or parentage and, with the passage of time, the overwhelming London-centric nature of the UK Government led me to reject a British identity. Fortunately, I was very proud to join the EU in 1973 and have felt European ever since. I feel outraged by the imminent theft of my identity.

Looking forward both to regaining my European status and acquiring Scottish nationality with independence.
Wendy Graham
Aberfeldy

BOTH Ruth Davidson and Kez Dugdale made a big mistake of voting against Patrick Harvey’s motion to allow EU citizens and 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in indyref2.

Both have been on stay in the EU but now Ruth has completely turned 180 degrees probably due to email from Tory HQ. Poor Kez going absolutely nowhere.
David Thornton
via email

SADLY, we in Scotland have been ignored yet again. Theresa May announced on her first visit to Scotland that she would not trigger an exit from the EU without the agreement of the “Nations”. She has broken that promise without explanation. She claims to have democratic support for Brexit, but ignores the representatives of Scotland. It seems that democracy only applies in England. We should not be surprised.
Alex M
via email

THE triggering of Article 50 is outrageous, a real UK mistake and also an arrogant gesture on the part of the existing government in power at Westminster; which defies common sense, offends so many of us, and disregards Scotland and Northern Ireland’s democratic right.

I am ashamed to be British, and am proud to be European. If I was a young worker, I would emigrate.

But being over 60, I will speak out and work towards Scottish Independence.

I am hopeful our fairer, sagacious Scottish Government will get us through this so that we remain in the European Union.
Bridie Pursey
via email

WHERE is Theresa’s mandate to leave the EU? Less than 40 per cent (17,410,742 voters out of a UK electorate of 46,500,001) voted to leave the EU. Those who didn’t vote were assumed to be in favour of leave, not the status quo. Why so?

In the 1979 Scottish Devolution Referendum, despite 51 per cent voting in favour of Devolution, the 60 per cent minimum requirement was not met and the assumption was in favour of the status quo, ie, devolution not gained. Perhaps there is an argument for making voting compulsory to avoid manipulative assumptions in future.
Helen Robertson
Moray

I WAS in London today at a pensions conference in County Hall across the river from Westminster.

I was half-expecting to see an EU flag lowered and a Union flag raised over there. I am pleased to say that I didn’t.
Derek Scott
via email

AS Article 50 was triggered and Theresa May was at pains to emphasise that she would seek the best deal for the whole of the UK she also indicated that there would not be a differentiated approach to reflect the particular interests of the devolved nations and regions.

The evidence of 300 years of Westminster rule over Scotland is that of a total failure to understand and act on the differing needs across these islands. In order to attempt to reconcile the vastly differing needs across the country compromise would be needed; the sort of compromise proposed by the Scottish Government and only finally rejected by the UK Government after Article 50 had been triggered.

Given that background of chronic failure to listen to Scotland and invest appropriately in Scotland, and the UK Government’s refusal to engage with any of the devolved administrations far less achieve an agreed position before Article 50 was triggered, I hope I might be forgiven for dismissing Theresa May’s rhetoric as “spin”.

Theresa May’s Statement to the House was designed to be warm and fuzzy. It included references to a better, fairer UK as if that had not been possible before. Indeed, much of what is wrong with the UK’s economy and society has been created through idealogical adherence to austerity without regard to the poorest in society who, lets face it, don’t vote Tory (if they vote at all).

For nine months Scotland has tried to negotiate a better future for itself than the cliff-edge Brexit that seems to be the fate of England. The UK Government was warned of and acknowledged the risk to the Union if it chose to ignore the people of Scotland. It can surely not now be surprised and indignant!

We have instead been reprimanded for being inconsiderate and chided for being unfair to the electorate in asking them to make a choice without the necessary information, a strategy that was perfectly OK for the Brexit referendum. The fact is that at the time people were asked to make a choice the details would be known – according to Theresa May. No, this is about Theresa’s difficulty in mustering the full might of the British Establishment to campaign against Scottish independence at the same time as she is wriggling on a hook over in Brussels.

The solution is really quite simple. Adhere to the UN charter on self-determination and butt out of Scotland’s decision!
Stuart Clarke
via email

I FELT a deep sadness as I saw Theresa May signing the letter that will begin the EU withdrawal process – behind her, a solitary flag. No longer the dual EU and British, and I pondered what flag would replace it. Where would the new loyalty be placed? In my heart and I think in other Scots’ minds, we all know the invisible yet indivisible flag behind the Prime Minister was that of England.

Brexit is a depressing day for me as a Scot living in the EU. People are talking of borders, checks, and worry of increased crime. I’m unashamed to say I am a lifelong Europhile and voted Remain. So this decision of the UK to Leave goes against the vein of who I am. I was proud Scotland voted Remain overall. But now I see how little it mattered. It didn’t stop the rest of the UK steering the opposite path.

I’m dumbfounded by the lack of detailed journalism on people and their stories. Instead I see pie charts or poll results. The opportunity to write to The National and share part of my story comes naturally, and I hope others will talk to their friends and find out what’s happening. What matters now is solidarity with Leavers and Remainers alike but also making our voice heard. If we are passionate, we can find a way forward for Scotland.

Just as after the independence referendum I brought all my friends together to celebrate and commiserate, now I hope for dialogue on the future. In our great schools, universities, among our people, the European nation of Scotland survives. It is in this community with our European neighbours that England’s dominance is balanced and influence checked. We can champion this.

As I close my thoughts, I return to the words of Scotland’s most tragic leader, Mary Stuart: “Look to your consciences and remember that the theatre of the world is wider than the realm of England”.
Steven Skeldon
Cork