AS a reader of The National, I find it enjoyable reading the comments from people on all topics but particularly those related to getting our independence – whether I agree with them or not.

It seems that many people have not taken the time to research facts, and depend on intuition or loyalty to one view or another. So here is a fact.

The articles of the Treaty of Union (1706) and the Treaty itself (1707) explain the rules at that time. Those rules – in an international treaty between two sovereign states (Scotland and England) – are still live today. Without these, the political Union of Great Britain cannot legally exist.

Sixty-two per cent of Scotland’s MPs took Scotland into this Union at that time. The treaty allows for a majority of our MPs to withdraw from the Union.

READ MORE: Very few Scots are aware of this major turning point on the road to the Union

Margaret Thatcher and later John Major confirmed such a fact. If you use the internet, you will find many politicians and learned legal people have said the same over the past century.

We have had a majority of Scottish independence-supporting MPs since the 2015 General Election.

Simply by following the letter of the treaty today, our MPs could inform Westminster that as the majority of Scotland’s MPs want independence, then we – Scotland’s representatives – will withdraw Scotland from the Union. Our MPs can do this legally today. Do they have the knowledge of the law or even the will to do so?

A universal declaration of independence is non-democratic, you may say. Not true, if you believe that we elect democratically our representatives who act on our behalf.

However, I agree that such an action would not get the backing of the people although it would be legal. So how do we use the law democratically?

Organisationally, we do not have time to do this before the 2024 election. So we must prepare for the next. By we, I mean our independence MPs, the party that supports them and all Yessers. We will have a maximum of five years to get ready. Remember, we know that we can get a majority of independence MPs if we choose. So this is what we do.

First, our independence representative needs to agree to use the Treaty to exit the Union. We must tell them to do so.

READ MORE: Scotland has only a few weeks to seize this independence opportunity

Second, we need to fund and prepare short, concise information with sound bites to convince all of our people that independence can be economically and socially beneficial to us all. Not the unread white papers created by the SNP.

Third, we must tell the UK media we will be leaving the Union if we get a majority at the next election. Imagine the reaction. There’s nothing like a good constitutional crisis to help a just cause.

These actions will boost the Yes movement to initiate a campaign as all would know the target.

Fourth, a letter will be posted about the upcoming ballot, making it clear that if you vote for an independence-supporting candidate and there is a majority of the said MPs, then Scotland will leave the Union. We must ensure that no-one can say “I did not know”.

I believe this will get us a huge majority as in 2015.

Then finally, after the vote, our MPs withdraw Scotland from the Union.

Two other actions must be undertaken.

First, a detailed plan for negotiations with England will need to be created with red lines where appropriate. A skilled team of negotiators should be employed, with no politicians or civil servants.

Second, a very detailed plan should also be created to set up the institutions required for an independent country. On the financial side, much of this work is done by the banking and currency group.

Will our current politicians have the spine and determination to get us back our freedom or will they stay on the colonial gravy train? We must push them.

Yes we can and yes we must.
Robert Anderson

A CLEAR sign that a state is failing is when it raises the pension age, especially when life expectancy is falling. It means the state is not meeting its primary responsibility to protect its people and ensure their health and wellbeing. By this measure alone, the UK is failing.

From May 2026, the UK retirement age will increase from 66 to 67, and then to 68 from 2044. There’s talk it may need to rise to 71. Just half of adults in England and Wales are healthy and able to work by the age of 70. Most suffer from preventable illnesses because they are not receiving the health care they need in order to lead productive lives. Per capita health spending has fallen in real terms and over the past decade, the UK spent a fifth less than its European neighbours.

A decade of Tory austerity stalled life expectancy and then in 2020/21, it fell due to Covid.

In addition, there’s an unexplained increase in excess deaths among working-aged people. In Scotland in 2021, excess deaths were 12% above average. UK-wide in 2023, they were 13% higher among the 50-64 age group. Worryingly, the UK actuarial body reported that 2022 excess deaths were three times higher for those aged 20-44 than those aged 75-84. As more people die early, life expectancy will fall further.

The UK Government should urgently investigate the reasons for these excess deaths. It should also dramatically increase health spending to compensate for years of underfunding if the UK workforce is to be fit and productive. Health spending is a good investment. Each pound spent on healthcare generates £4 of economic activity.

Unfortunately, Starmer’s English Labour are hellbent on following their fictional “fiscal rules”, so no more spending. As a result, the UK’s health and economy will continue to decline. That’s a pretty good reason for Scotland to end the Union.
Leah Gunn Barrett

ALISTER Jack thinks (if that’s the word) that the SNP only exist “to destroy the United Kingdom”. That’s the only polity he sees. He sees the Scotland we see – a continuing nation with attendant rights – as an enemy. That makes his “United Kingdom” an enemy of Scotland.

The National: Scottish Secretary Alister Jack arriving at the UK Covid Inquiry hearing at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on February 1

Or it would if the United Kingdom was a legitimate polity. After Richard III’s body was rediscovered, there was research into the genealogy of the English monarchy which showed that the line of now king Charles is not the legitimate one. The real English monarch, it was discovered, was an Australian called Andrew something who died a few years ago, without issue.

So there is no legitimate kingdom to unite, and therefore no legitimate “Union”. This is on top of the “Stone of Destiny” used to legitimise English crownings since Edward I’s day being nothing but part of the top of a mediaeval privy. It bears no resemblance to the real Stone, a description of which exists. Some people might think it’s appropriate that kings and queens of This England have been getting crowned on top of part of a privy for the past 700 years.

We should use this to demand the faux “Union” be abolished. Naturally, the British will just move the goalposts, but such a move must still weaken the “Union’s” right to exist, hopefully fatally. And the England – for which it’s a synonym – will still exist.
Ian McQueen

IT has been interesting to see the publicity that Alister Jack has generated in the media during the Covid Inquiry. For many of his constituents in Dumfries and Galloway, this is the first sighting they have had of him in recent times. The rarity of his presence in his constituency has led many of the residents to speculate on his existence. So much so that at a recent rally held by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Group in Dumfries, a cardboard cutout of Mr Jack was used to represent his presence.

Dumfries & Galloway Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been holding rallies on a weekly basis since mid-October 2023. Attendance has been good and consistent with between 50 to 150 members of the public attending. Due to the overwhelming generosity of the people of Dumfries and Galloway, more than £1100 has been raised for the Oxfam Gaza Appeal. The main message of the rallies has been to urge the Westminster government to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

In addition to calling for a ceasefire, there are many questions that the group want to ask the Secretary for Scotland. Constituents are tired of receiving from Mr Jack – if, indeed, they are lucky enough to obtain a response from him – the standard letter which does not cover specific questions and gives only the Government’s bland and basic response to a genocide that is happening in Gaza. A catastrophe that is happening with the full approval and backing of the Westminster government. We call upon Mr Jack to listen to the concerns of his constituents and to give us honest answers to our questions.

We are in an election year. Mr Jack has been offered a peerage which – in order to avoid a by-election – he did not accept. However, the door is still open for him to accept the title. STV News reported that Mr Jack is “absolutely committed to [his] constituents”. It would be good if he could show that by actually talking to them. However, whatever the outcome – if Alister Jack continues as an MP or whether he goes to the House of Lords – he will still be involved in the legislation of this country. Isn’t it time he showed himself to his constituents so that those constituents, to whom he is committed, can actually see him and speak to him? Although it’s doubtful that the real Alister Jack would give us any more information than his cardboard cutout.
Jan Smith

I APPLAUD the threat of legal action by Nicaragua against the Westminster government for complicity in Israeli aggression in Gaza resulting in what the International Court of Justice recently found to be a plausible violation of the Genocide Convention. Responding to this, the Foreign Office once again trotted out the line that “Israel has the right to defend itself”.

Has the Foreign Office not looked at what is happening in Gaza? How does razing countless Palestinian homes, hospitals and other infrastructure defend Israel? How does cutting off power and water supplies or blockading food and medical aid from civilians constitute self-defence rather than collective punishment? Why does the Foreign Office think Israel needs to kill, maim and traumatise children and babies to defend itself?

Surely this crass response from the government in England amounts to an admission of guilt. It demonstrates that Nicaragua is right to pursue this action before even considering the British supply of arms and ammunition to Israel and the cancellation of funding to the UN relief agency UNRWA at the behest of Israel.

The words “not in my name” are hollow rhetoric as it is in the way of democracy as it stands. Unfortunately, the duly elected government does act in the name of all the electorate – not just those in the South East of England that decide the outcome of an election. Recognising that their MPs can always outvote Scottish MPs in the House of Commons, Scotland must get free of the toxic Union so that we can properly stand apart from Westminster and its plausible criminality.
Ni Holmes
St Andrews