I AM irritated by the mass of fake outrage at Boris’s absolutely predictable response. We all knew what he would say – so nothing whatever has changed (except perhaps support for independence has increased again).

The Scottish Government was obliged to ask for agreement on a constitutionally binding referendum. I have no idea what anybody thought what else they would do. And it has responded correctly to the refusal. Let’s see what happens over the next couple of weeks. But the door is now wide open for democrats from across the political spectrum to come and join us. This is very important.

READ MORE: 'Indyref2 still on' for 2020 despite Boris Johnson's Section 30 refusal

What I find puzzling is the idea being put forward that we’ll get a compelling mandate at next year’s Scottish election. Which mandate is that? The same as one we have already, perhaps? In a parliament in which we already have a majority for independence and which had voted for our right to vote for it three times?

So we go for the same mandate next year? And Westminster turns it down it again. So we go for another mandate at the next election – ad infinitum. Can anybody explain this to me?

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

NICOLA Sturgeon must be bold. After 10 years of Tory austerity, the maelstrom of Brexit and Boris Johnson in Downing Street, conditions could hardly be better to aggressively pursue independence. By immediately calling a Scottish election and campaigning solely on a platform of independence, it can be demonstrated beyond all doubt that a mandate exists provided >50% of the vote is secured by pro-indy parties. There must be concern if this option is not chosen, and hard questions asked about the commitment of the SNP to delivering independence.

The Brexit clock is ticking and the likelihood of independence diminishes once the UK leaves the EU. Be bold and let’s go.

G James Burns

READ MORE: SNP's Ian Blackford calls Boris Johnson a 'democracy denier'​

A STRANGE letter to No voters appeared on the front page of The National yesterday. Why would people who have already chosen to stay in the United Kingdom want another opportunity to choose the status quo?

It seems “Westminster Bad” is not enough to tip the balance towards independence for Scotland. The SNP must make a convincing argument about the future economy of an independent Scotland to woo No voters. “We’ll do it better when we get all the levers” is not enough.

A second No vote would be a disaster for independence supporters and may lead to the winding up of the Scottish Parliament. “The right to choose” is a good soundbite but without back-up it is unlikely to achieve a majority.

Mike Underwood

FORMAL “rejection” – the response from the Prime Minister regarding indyref2. Some questions arise from this judgement. First, should anyone in Scotland be surprised by this judgement? Is the Prime Minister demonstrating any form of democracy in his attempt to keep his precious Union together? Will Scotland accept this judgement and crawl back into our wee box? All those questions get the same answer – no. Scotland must be patient, public opinion has been with us over the last three elections and is certainly going nowhere regarding any reputable opposition in Scotland. The time will come when independence will be inevitable despite any efforts by Westminster.

Catriona C Clark

The UK media (The National honourably excluded) seem to be of one voice. If Boris says no we simply have to lump it. Why? Because apparently we have no “leverage”. At the same time, the same media is predicting a torrid time for UK negotiators in the upcoming talks with the EU about our future relationship. The reason for this – apparently – is that the EU is huge and the UK is tiny (once we take off those Union-Jack glasses). The EU, we are told, will be able to demand significant concessions if the UK is to get a deal – because the UK has no leverage.

Am I alone in seeing the possibility of bringing these two leverage questions together? Could the EU not demand that part of the price be a confirmatory ballot for Scots in light of their clear desire (expressed more than once) to Remain? I understand that Monsieur Barnier and his team had to be circumspect during the withdrawal talks, but surely the gloves are off now?

If the EU were to publicly include Scotland as one of its “red lines” it would do a huge amount for its reputation as a benign democratic partnership in other European states, and would massively boost the chances of the Yes movement both to secure a second referendum and win it. Perhaps our new MP for Stirling could see fit to use his undoubted influence?

Rowdy Yates

NEVER thought I’d say this, but I’m grateful to Michael Gove! Being interviewed in response to Nicola’s tweets about BJ’s predictable refusal to grant a Section 30 order, his only response, in his perpetual manic rabbit look, was “it’s once in a generation” and thus should not happen again. And I thought “is that the best you can come up with? Repeating the same worn record? You’ve got nothing more? And so was grateful for showing me that the Unionists are an empty vessel with no more to give. Let’s make sure we do not give them more!

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais
Dùn Èideann

ENOUGH is enough. Enough of “back in the box” statements from London. Enough of petty excuses. Enough of the lies. Enough of being treated like second-class citizens. Enough of the marches. We need to act differently and act fast. The ball is now in your court, Nicola.

Iain McEwan