I’M not sure what Robert J Sutherland means by “alt-truth” (Letters, August 8), but I reject his claim that my views promulgate nonsense and insult the intelligence of National readers.

I have previously referred to the FCO document 30/1048 which sets out the implications of joining the common market. Perhaps Mr Sutherland should read it. In par 8, the writer notes, “If Britain can, in practise, renounce the Treaty then the Community laws which are applied automatically within the member states are seen to depend on the continuing (and pre-eminent) acquiescence of Parliament which may, in the last resort, be withdrawn. Even with the most dramatic development of the Community the major member states can hardly lose the ‘last resort’ ability to withdraw in less than three decades. The Community’s development could produce before then a period in which the political practicability of withdrawal was doubtful.”

It is not insulting, I believe, to draw the attention of the readership to the ideas implicit in this extract. The terms “in practise”, “last resort” and the concept that once embedded in the European Community “the political practicability of withdrawal was doubtful” seem clear.

Another interesting document pertains to the results of referenda which have resulted in a “no” vote – in Denmark on the Maastricht Treaty, in Ireland on the Nice Treaty and on the Lisbon Treaty – and how second referenda overturned the previous vote.

It was written by Ece Ozlem Atikcan, assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, Universite Laval in Quebec, and her conclusion is that: “If Denmark wants to leave the EU, nobody is going to stop them, it is not a big deal. If Ireland wants to leave the EU nobody is going to stop them, it is not a big deal. But if France votes ‘no’ that is that. There is no EU without France.” This implies that direct democracy does not function uniformly across the Union. I suggest that the UK can be substituted for France and that the EU will and is applying as much pressure as it can to engineer a second referendum on withdrawal so that it can put into action the steps it took, successfully, to overturn previous “no” votes.

But Mr Sutherland is correct that I draw parallels between the EU membership and that of the UK Union: both act in the interests of preserving their Unions rather than those “individual states”. Jean-Claude Juncker, referring to The European Court of Human Rights, which considers that it is legitimate for a region or member state to secede, responded: “Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.” Theresa May summarily rejected the idea of a second indyref thus, “Not at the moment”. I think the parallels are obvious.
Lovina Roe

WHILST I totally respect the anti-EU views of Lovina Roe (Letters, August 8), I am disappointed that she, and others, continuously promote this stance as the ‘be all and end all’ issue, whereas the real and only target of the independence movement at this time should be Westminster.

We should all face the fact that 62% of the Scottish people voted to remain, which is the platform on which the Scottish Government stands. My own view, as is that of the Scottish Government, is that we need the EU for reasons of the “four freedoms”, but, until we achieve our own freedom, our energies should be rigorously applied to promoting independence first and foremost.

Lovina Roe says, “If we applied to join the EU as an independent country and were accepted, we would, in my opinion, have surrendered our democracy to bureaucrats”. This view tends to obscure the fact that our democracy has already been surrendered, imprisoned and executed by Westminster, and that is surely where the energy of such able and eloquent writers such as Lovina Roe should be currently directed.

The question of EU membership is having the negative effect of detracting attention away from the objective of encouraging support for, and winning, independence. The EU surely has to be an argument for another day – after independence.

Let’s all remember that, as pro EU farmers would surely say, the cart always comes before the horse.
Dennis White