Readers' letters: Wildcat independence referendum is not without risks

I wonder what prompted Nicola Sturgeon to suggest the possibility of an informal non-binding independence referendum as early as October 2023?

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 18th June 2022, 7:00 am

My guess is there is no deeper thought behind it than the feeling that Boris Johnson is a weakened PM, possibly on his way out in a matter of months. Why not inject another irritation?

A go-it-alone vote is wildly impractical, even in time-scaleIt might involve an expensive legal battle with the Supreme Court – more public expense. It is also not far-fetched to say it might lead to police preventing the vote, the suspension of the Holyrood parliament, and charges of sedition for the ringleaders in the vote – namely Nicola Sturgeon and Angus Robertson. That is exactly what happened in the 2017 Catalan independence wildcat vote. And if any actual vote got off the ground in Scotland, only independence enthusiasts would be likely to vote, rendering the whole thing meaningless.

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Erstwhile St Andrews Economics Professor Clara Ponsati may now sit in the European Parliament, but as a Catalan independence activist in the aftermath of the Catalan vote she faced arrest warrants while she took refuge in Scotland, and the Spanish government faced down rebellion in one of its wealthiest regions. The EU regarded it as a domestic matter for Spain – they would have the same attitude to Scotland today.

Crawford Mackie, Edinburgh

No positive case for staying in Union

Ian Murray states there’s no positive case for independence that can be backed up in fact (News, 16 June). Wrong again. Scotland has more than it needs to be a successful European nation. What he ignores is the negative case for how the UK has governed Scotland, which by itself makes the positive case for Scottish independence, even discounting our enormous natural wealth, advanced economy and educated population.

The UK has squandered our oil and gas resources on tax cuts and privatising public services. And now that energy prices are soaring, it’s using our oil wealth to again fund the Treasury while telling us we are too poor to go it alone.

In the 80s, it decimated the Scottish manufacturing base and is refusing to invest in our huge renewables potential, deliberately side-lining Scotland in favour of northern England. Perversely, Scots pay the highest energy charges in the UK despite being self-sufficient in fossil fuels and renewables.

Its austerity policies have significantly worsened poverty and inequality.

It yanked us, with Labour’s support, from the world’s largest free trade bloc against our will, which is decimating our exports and reducing living standards.

It is dismantling devolution and recentralising power in London. Labour remains silent.

It has sited its nuclear weapons minutes from our largest city while Labour supports Trident renewal.

And it has the gall to deny our right to self-determination, aided and abetted by a supine English Labour Party. There’s no positive case for the UK.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

Not on the cards

Earlier this week the Royal Bank of Scotland sent me a new debit card.

On the front is a colourful picture of a beach hut. Nothing about the photo brings Scotland immediately to mind. Why not scenic mountains or lochs? Or one of the country's famous landmarks?

Or, to bring things closer to the RBS home, could they not have used a photo of one of the many local branches they have closed over recent years?

Richard Gordon, Jedburgh

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