LETTERS and articles imply that people think we live in a union, but this is incorrect. The people of Scotland live in an “elective dictatorship”, with Scotland as a completely subject province.

Westminster is the parliament of the English state and crown, governed by English law. Under this English law system, sovereignty rests with “the Crown in Parliament” (Elizabeth II is Queen of England), and “the English Parliament continuing” from 1707 incorporated, or absorbed, the forcibly dissolved Scottish Parliament into a body with a permanent and huge majority of English MPs.

This has meant that Westminster has absolute powers to change what it chooses: for example removing all the Treaty of Union clauses protecting Scotland, Scottish identity, the people of Scotland as a nation.

It can violate with impunity the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, despite the Declaration of Arbroath: it can subordinate Scots law with the Supreme Court, and also impose English law in Scotland in mortgages, community hydro etc.

Over the years it has removed the Scots Mint; abolished the burghs; interfered with Scottish education at all levels; enforced English rules on immigration, taxation, going to war – and many other things which breach a very unequal Treaty imposed on Scotland.

The removal of 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters with five oil wells and all the fishing to English jurisdiction by means of an Order in Council (not even a parliamentary debate), with the purpose of reducing further Scotland’s share of oil found mainly in Scottish waters, shows that Westminster considers Scotland a subject people without rights. (And this does not even consider the other legislative chamber, with more than 800 unelected members, many voted out by Scottish electors, and almost all with Westminster/London as their priority.)

The Scottish Parliament itself is a cheat, without the financial tax-RAISING powers we voted for, and hamstrung at every turn. For every £1 we send to Westminster we get back 58p, and a big part of that is to pay the entire costs of Trident, which is “accounted” to Scotland. Holyrood is devolved, power retained, so can be suppressed at any time.

One of the worst effects of the “Union” we are trapped in is the lack of population growth. In 1707 Scotland was 25 per cent of the population of England, and despite Clearances, ethnic cleansing, destruction by being cannon-fodder (twice as many relatively died in World War One), 100 years ago Scotland had a population of five million.

Today, with half a million retired from England, the population is the same – the only developed country in the world that has not doubled, trebled or quadrupled its people. Today Scotland’s population is 8.4 per cent of England’s, and dropping.

Under a government of good faith there could have been a productive union, or a proper federation. But Westminster not only never ever does the people of Scotland any favours, but works actively to disadvantage and suppress Scotland, using accounting systems which disadvantage Scotland, keeping EU monies meant for Scottish hill farmers, working at all times to extract as much, and retain as much, as possible for the Westminster Treasury, in order to benefit Westminster/London.

This is why the people of Scotland, like every other people, require to restore control of their own affairs, self-determination, and the chance to live in democracy.

Susan FG Forde