I READ Pete Wishart’s article (We need a new case for indy and a gradual plan for full membership of the EU, The National, February 9) with interest. I think he’s right to recommend a re-think of the way the next indy referendum should be planned and I was glad to see that he believes “on the EU there is no point chastising SNP Leave voters by simply extolling the virtues of an EU they feel alienated from”.

Setting aside, for the moment, why I feel alienated from the EU, I’d like Mr Wishart to consider the following: even if a Westminster government allowed us to hold a second indy referendum and we won it, judging by the situation in Catalonia, and our attempts to seek their support during the first indy referendum, the EU wouldn’t support our application to join.

If we held an “illegal” referendum and won it, not only would any application we made to join the EU be rejected but a Westminster government could jail Nicola Sturgeon and Mr Wishart and other elected politicians with full support from the EU. How would Mr Wishart deal with this in his first step “to construct a way forward that can enlist them and which they can feel comfortable with”?

He might read Andrew Tickell’s article (Blue-collar Tories? Davidson’s party are still serving the same old interests, The National, February 9), which analyses the Tory Party’s recent party political broadcast. What I think Mr Tickell overlooked was Ruth Davidson’s input at the end of it, that the government should stop talking about another referendum and concentrate on the day job. It was wildly successful the last time she used it and she will use it again and again until she is stopped in her tracks by a powerful reply. In Prime Minister’s Questions, when SNP MPs make pertinent criticisms of a government policy Mrs May taunts them that they want to swap government by Westminster for government by Brussels.

The 2014 referendum was so nearly successful because so many people rejected politicians who ignored their views. I do not believe that, even if by some miracle the EU accepted an independent Scotland as a member, that our spokesmen and women – “with a seat at the top table”, as is so often claimed by EU supporters – would be listened to any more often than they are at Westminster. One reason some voters changed to the Tories might just be that they are the only party, apart from Ukip, which supports Brexit. The SNP and other independence parties should acknowledge this.

Lovina Roe

AT a time when the UK Government clearly holds its Scottish counterpart in such evident contempt and is arguably seeking to undermine the very foundations of the devolution settlement, it was sad beyond belief to read that Pete Wishart, despite being a contender for the deputy leadership, seems to have totally thrown in the towel on Brexit.

I was astonished and dismayed to learn that, contrary to implementing the firm mandate for a second independence referendum currently held by the First Minister, he appears to meekly accept that we will be “hurtling disastrously” out of the EU on March 29 2019, and advocates that we need apply to rejoin the EU, over an indeterminate time period thereafter, and in a series of graduated steps, with no guarantees of success along the line. Is this what the majority of SNP members want? Surely not!

Wishart is correct in one respect only – when he states “the most obvious issue that requires our attention is the question of a second independence referendum”. Quite so. And given the disastrous situation that presently confronts us, with the appalling consequences for Scotland of a hard Brexit, the time for that is most assuredly this autumn, on a date of the First Minister’s choosing – before we are forced out the EU against our will.

Alan Johnson