I AGREE with Kirsty Hughes (‘Serious’ questions for independence as EU ‘ready to expand by 2030’, Aug 29) that the prospect of further EU expansion will raise serious for Scottish independence, a salient point not lost on George Kerevan in Wednesday’s edition (Discussions about relationship with Europe can’t wait until indy is won).

To his credit Mr Kerevan has consistently, and rightly in my view, warned of the challenges for an independent Scotland in an unreformed and centralised EU, and has further called for immediate and drastic democratisation of the EU, over many decades, with which I wholeheartedly agree. But how is this to be achieved, and why are the Liberal Democrats, Greens, or the SNP not leading the way with an EU reform agenda? To be fair, the SNP government did produce minimalist demands for EU reform over the last decade. What has become of them and did the EU Commission listen?

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All the evidence is that the EU Commission does not want to listen, and a salient lesson was the reaction from Brussels after the 2016 EU referendum. There was no element of collective soul-searching with an imperative to reform, indeed quite the opposite, as leaders like Macron are very open that they want ever closer political union. After the 2014 independence referendum even the regressive and semi-feudal UK dimly realised, out of the urge to survive, that reform, however inadequate in the form of the Smith Commission, had to be offered.

Many EU apparatchiks will still harbour hesitation about Scottish independence. Well I have hesitation about a supra-national centralised monolith which would prevent an independent Scottish Government offering state aid, or nationalising key utilities, and which seeks to become a quasi-military bloc with a unified defence policy. Perhaps this is what prominent SNP EU apologists like Alyn Smith MP and Angus Robertson MSP are happy to settle for, but it is not what I have been campaigning for over the last 44 years as I feel Scotland deserves better.

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It is for the people of Scotland to regain full national sovereignty and then, in any post-independence referenda on the big geopolitical issues of the day, to decide how much sovereignty they might want to secede furth of Scotland for strategic defence or foreign affairs objectives in the future. It is certainly not for the SNP leadership to seek to unilaterally decide on behalf of Scotland prior to independence what our relationship with the EU will be.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

JIM Taylor (Letters, Sep 5) says that we in the indy movement should provoke a constitutional crisis in our route to independence. I agree with Jim that a UK constitutional crisis is inevitable as we move towards independence in Scotland and I believe the early stage of that crisis is now taking shape.

Believe in Scotland’s proposed route to independence, particularly the recall of the Scottish constitutional convention, will open up this UK constitutional crisis for the world to view.

Scotland does not need to take any step to provoke the UK establishment, all we need to do is to pursue diligently our own Scottish constitution, based on the sovereign rights of the Scottish people as expressed through the Scottish constitutional convention. If the convention, for example, were to declare the Scottish Government to be the product of the convention and not of the Scotland Act, we can at a stroke give the Scottish Government full sovereign power, and make any reserved powers obsolete. I imagine if we did that the UK constitutional crisis would get into difficulty.

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We must concentrate on uniting the independence movement in Scotland and sticking to a workable plan such as the one being put forward by Believe in Scotland. If we stick to our own inherited constitution in which the Scottish people are sovereign, and we exercise that sovereignty though the constitutional convention, then we become an independent nation again, with or without Westminster’s approval.

We do not need Westminster’s approval to exercise our sovereignty; all we need is to understand our own constitutional history and to apply it ourselves independently. Is that not what independence is?

So let us get behind the Believe in Scotland plan, let us all work for and support the strongest independence-supporting candidate at the General Election (which in most cases, if not all, will be the SNP one) and let us work towards the double mandate, get a majority of seats and a majority of votes if we can. Once we have done this we should recall the Scottish constitutional convention, which will then be a body with sovereign power in Scotland.

Andy Anderson

THE latest opinion poll published in The National shows the SNP has now sunk to a ten-year low in voting intentions and is now level with Labour, with obvious dire consequences for our hopes for independence. It is totally depressing.

This is the result of nine years of SNP drift and dither since the 2014 referendum, during which the party’s core policy of independence has been shelved in favour of pushing through policies which are unpopular with the great majority of the public but which satisfy a small, noisy clique within the party’s inner sanctum. Not to mention the huge sums wasted on the failed appeal to the Supreme Court when every lawyer in the land said it was doomed from the start.

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In recent years there seems to have been no attempt to spread the word to the wider public of the benefits of independence. Not even billboards to explain pensions or other aspects of our future.

It appears that the policy of failure is to be continued with more appeals to Westminster, who treat such appeals with laughing contempt.

The SNP will continue to drift into irrelevance unless it returns to the core values which came so close to succeeding in 2014.

James Duncan