I’VE just read your article, “Judge rules Ineos can sue ministers over recent fracking ban” (The National, February 24). Again I am worried about the treacherous and very tenuous situation into which Westminster has allowed the Scottish oil industry to be placed.

This case by Ineos is only a forerunner of what we would be likely to experience after Brexit if Theresa May forms a trade alliance with America, and she almost certainly will. We will then have international industries telling our government at Holyrood what they can and can’t do. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be run by an international commercial concern. I want to be governed by an elected democratic government.

In the case of Ineos they have already started. If they sue the Scottish Government for not allowing them to do as they wish viz start fracking for oil in Scotland, and succeed, they will almost certainly demand that the government decision be overturned.

However, as I have already stated in a previous letter, Westminster have given Ineos a much bigger stick through having handed them complete control over both the import and the refining of all Scottish oil.

They now own the Forties Pipeline and they own Scotland’s oil refinery at Grangemouth. So, if they don’t get their way through the courts, then they can just close the doors at Grangemouth and shut off the flow of oil through the pipeline.

British Petroleum used to be the “British” state oil company. Then the Tories sold it off to private enterprise, although they did keep a share in it. Slowly, however, that share has diminished and BP is now owned by France and America. There is no longer any “British” company to extract Scotland’s oil for Scotland’s – or even Britain’s – benefit. What we really need is to re-nationalise Scotland’s oil industry, and set up our own state oil company to run it. But, of course, we can’t because oil is a reserved issue.

If we were an independent country we could do it. And there is so much more that we could do if we were independent. What is needed as far as I can see is for the government at Holyrood to form a cross-party committee of all independence-supporting MSPs and draw up an agreed plan of what could be done in an independent Scotland – like the state oil company and the re-nationalisation of the railways and the postal service etc – and how those changes could benefit Scotland.

People need to know what improvements an independent Scotland would bring with it and what the cost or financial benefit would be. Maybe if it could be shown that an independent Scotland would financially benefit everyone, with the possible exception of the top 15 per cent of earners, then surely the other 85 per cent would be inclined to at least consider it.

I know there are many who will never change. They, like Theresa May and her Tory henchmen and women, seem to think that Britain is still “Great” and will once more rule the world. Unfortunately, they are wrong.

We turned our back on the Commonwealth countries when we signed up for the EU. Going back to them cap in hand and begging for a trade deal won’t make us anything other than a poor third-world country holding out a begging bowl for scraps.

As for America, they are only likely to want us as their next vassal state so that they can get our oil. Just as they have tried to do on so many occasions with other countries around the world. They have, after all, withdrawn from the global warming treaties, so can and will use as much oil as they please.

To avoid this, Scotland really must make the break from England and must make it soon. We do have the riches – not so much in the North Sea, although there is still plenty there, but more so on the continental shelf to the west of the Hebrides.

Regardless of what plans the Scottish Government, egged on by the Greens, may make about being carbon emission-free by 2050, it is very probable that, at least for the foreseeable future, boats and planes will be powered by fuel oil of some sort. Therefore, our oil will be needed to supply them with the fuel they need.

That’s why we must take control of it as soon as possible within an independent Scotland and use it to build up the sort of financial reserve that Norway has built up. Anything less would be downright stupid. Since we can only ever achieve this through being an independent country, logically, therefore, anything less than independence would also be downright stupid.

Charlie Kerr