WELL, we got our chance for a nice peaceful move to independence in 2014. We won’t get another. I have three reasons for saying this. First, we have seen what happened in Catalonia over the weekend, and Cat Boyd (The National, October 4) rightly implies that the same could happen here.

Secondly, there were David Mundell’s remarks about the Tories having wiped the possibility of another Scottish referendum off the agenda for good. This will undoubtedly be backed up by the Unionist press. Mundell, echoing the sentiments of Ruth Davidson and Theresa May, made it abundantly clear that we will not be “allowed” another vote.

The third reason is contained in the very illuminating long letter from Ernie Hasler (The National, September 30). There are several aspects in that letter to which we should pay close attention. First there is the UK national debt of almost £2 trillion. Interest presently is paid at £43 billion per year. Scotland’s share will be approximately £4bn per year but continually increasing.

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Next there’s the nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. Many might say: “That’s got nothing to do with Scotland.” But actually it has. It will be connected to the National Grid and we contribute to that so our share will be an initial outlay of approximately £3bn, followed by another £2.5bn if top-ups mentioned come to fruition.

Considering that Scotland is already producing virtually all of its own electricity, and mostly from renewables, why should we have to pay anything towards the cost of Hinkley Point? Well, because we are part of the UK and it is a UK expense. Based on Scotland’s population of around 5.5 million, that’s £1000 for every man woman and child!

Next there are the rather disastrous figures concerning the UK’s credit rating. Not long ago the UK had an AAA rating from Moody’s. It has since slipped about four levels to Aa2. What makes it even worse is that Moody’s has stated that the economy is a shambles and the debt reduction plans are off course. An independent Scotland would undoubtedly revert to an AAA rating. Moody’s has already stated that is the rating it would give us. We would be better off on our own.

All of these are reasons why we will not be allowed another referendum vote. All of these are reasons why we will be told once again that we are too wee, too daft, and too poor to be able to manage on our own. Whereas the truth is that Westminster has made such a mess of the economy that it can no longer afford to let the much richer country of Scotland leave its Union. Westminster has destroyed its own economy and needs Scotland’s new oil to get it out of the mess it is in. That’s why I maintain we will pay more than the figures above. Our oil will be used to bail out Westminster.

Recent figures estimate that the Claire Ridge and the Lancaster Field have more oil in them than the whole of the North Sea. They now reckon that in Scottish waters on the UK Continental Shelf there is oil equivalent to the total deposits Saudi Arabia has. It is one of the richest oil-producing countries in the entire world. That is how rich Scotland actually is, but it will all be squandered by Westminster just as North Sea oil was – unless we get out from under them.

Our problem now is how we get this sort of information to those who voted No last time in order to convince them to change to Yes. I believe we have to start now with phone canvassing and a leaflet programme. We also need to get back in touch with all the former Yes voters and re-enthuse them. If we had the same momentum now as we had in 2014, then another referendum would be more than mandated – it would be demanded. We must move before it’s too late.
Charlie Kerr