I HAVE two points regarding Jim Sillars’s comments (SNP love affair with EU ‘may end as leaders back Spain’, The National, October 3). Firstly, one of historical context, to be considered.

Catalonia has had a turbulent last few days, with both legal/constitutional, and thuggish constraints being applied by the Spanish government. We should bear in mind that Spain was, under Franco, a dictatorship, and that it transitioned much better than, for example, Yugoslavia. Closer to home in the UK, we have had the police cavalry charges at miners at Orgreave and the “UK police attitude” to the public at Hillsborough.

The EU Council of national ministers, and the EU Commission have reacted predictably, as their out-of-date, strong and stable views, perversely rely on the permanence of national borders. The EU Parliament seems to be more focused on not having borders between nations within the EU, borders being considered little more than lines on maps, in this digital and supply chain, multinational world.

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The second point is one of moving on. The Catalans have clearly indicated they don’t want a “pure” independence that splits them from Spain and the EU. Most of the calls from the EU supporting Spain also support dialogue. It’s a “We support you Spain, but come on!” style of support. The First Minister’s call for dialogue and condemnation of the tactics used by the Spanish government appears the most appropriate from across the EU.

The UK lags behind because it would presumably seriously consider using Orgreave cavalry charge-style tactics as appropriate in certain cases. It would be appropriate for Scotland’s flags to be at half-mast for a half day to express our support for the people of Catalonia, and also a sadness at Spanish thuggery, together with a call for the EU Parliament to clearly state that it did not wish to see new national borders within the all the current EU nations, including Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

We need to wish all the population of Spain well, as we are friends with all the people of Spain, but express our belief in the people’s right to determine the level and nature of interdependence, between nations/countries/peoples.

This is not an issue Jim Sillars should be exploiting to further his out of date “pure” independence viewpoint.

Stephen Tingle, Address supplied

I WATCHED in horror as the peaceful referendum in Catalonia turned into a bloodbath at the hands of baton-wielding thugs from the Spanish National Guard.

Yes, under the constitution of Spain it may have been illegal to hold a referendum but was this justification for what we saw, old and young beaten with heavy truncheons to the detriment of their lives?

Sadly we saw much the same action being taken against the striking miners of North Yorkshire when Thatcher’s bully boys broke up a rally and nearly brought the country to civil war. Imposing your will on a country’s people is a dictatorship, even if you are a duly elected, and mealy- mouthed words from the Scottish Secretary to what we have just witnessed in Catalonia have only served to strengthen the Spanish government’s hand to further oppress and bully.

Within living memory in the US, it was illegal for black people to gather in protest, yet they gathered and marched in their thousands, behind their leader Martin Luther King, and changed the law.

f you want advanced citizenship, it is not only right but our duty to question our leaders. Who would today dispute that black Americans then had that right? And that is why I support Scottish independence; when an elected body denies people’s right to a change, those people should have the opportunity of kicking them out of office that is not (yet) the case in Scotland. We must always keep the derrieres of your representatives in government as close to the toe of your boot as possible. I can only hope that the European leaders can knock heads together and a peaceful outcome can be found in Catalonia and Spain. As for Scotland, if the entrenched position of the Unionist parties continues to deny Scotland a voice in Europe, there can be only one outcome another Scottish referendum.

Walter Hamilton, St Andrews

THROUGHOUT the Brexit process, I have been an arch-advocate of the EU, citing to all who would listen its pedigree in defending the rights of its citizens and in helping keep peace in Europe throughout the post-war decades.

I am therefore utterly aghast and deeply saddened by the EU’s belated official statement following events in Catalonia. There is clear tension between a Spanish constitution that declares Spain to be indivisible and an EU constitution which, through Article 2, protects the freedom, democracy and human rights of all, including self-determination.

That the EU has chosen, quite explicitly, to endorse the leadership of Mariano Rajoy and to uphold the Spanish Constitution while totally ignoring its own is deeply troubling.

Today is the day I started to fundamentally reassess my previous unequivocal support for the EU.

Raymond Hunter, East Kilbride

DID anyone truly believe that the UK Government would be in any way critical of the Spanish government’s brutal oppression of the Catalonian people? A case of you scratch our back, we’ll return the favour, springs to mind.

Stuart Manson, Address supplied