THANK you for publishing my letter in The National on Thursday.

I note from your correspondence pages that not every contributor to the Scottish independence debate seems to be fully aware of the consequences of The Treaty of Union of 1707 nor the implications of Scotland’s “Claim of Right” of April 11, 1689. May I be allowed space in your newspaper to explain, please?

In 1689, The Scottish Parliament passed into Scots constitutional law the “Claim of Right” giving the people of Scotland the sole right to decide upon the form and format of self government they want.

That is the legally binding Scots constitutional law today in 2016.

The Treaty of Union placed the then Scottish Parliament and the then English Parliament into “abeyance ad interim” where the English Parliament still resides, while the Scots Parliament was recalled in May 1999 bringing back with it Scotland’s written constitution including our “Claim of Right” to be reserved to and by Scotland’s recalled Parliament alone. Westminster has no input to this situation for the aforesaid reasons.

When the Treaty of Union was signed there was no union of parliaments because the said parliaments no longer existed because they were abeyance ad interim.

What happened then was that a totally new parliament was set up in what came to be known as The Westminster Parliament. Despite what Patrick Grady SNP MP said in his contribution to the Claim of Right debate, Westminster does not have nor ever has had reserved rights to Scotland’s constitution, not in the past, not today, not ever.

Westminster exists without a written constitution and even today has no influence over the Scots Constitution nor over England’s Bill of Rights. These issues are reserved to the national parliaments of Scotland and England. For English votes for English Laws, the English Parliament requires to be recalled.

For and on behalf of the Scotland UN Committee.

John McGill FSA (Scot), Kilmarnock

L MCGREGOR of Falkirk writes in Saturday’s edition: “The

United Kingdom, therefore, was created 104 years earlier [before 1707], when England was desperate for a monarch, which we were able to provide.” (Letters, September 10).

The event he alludes to is the so-called Union of the Crown in 1603. The term Union of the Crowns is a misnomer – “... on 25 March 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I of England. It was a purely personal union. There were still two kingdoms, each with its own parliament, administration, church and legal system.” (Source: Scotland: The Shaping of a Nation by Gordon Donaldson).

James VI of Scotland became James I of England because he was the only living relative of Queen Elizabeth of England, following her death, by virtue of the marriage of James IV of Scotland to Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, in 1503.

The Claim of Right in 1689 contains this: “The said Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland, Do resolve that WILLIAM and MARY, King and Queen of England, France and Ireland, Be, and Be Declared King and Queen of Scotland ...”

If the United Kingdom was created in 1603, how is it that this document contains no reference to it?

Articles II, III, IV and XXIV of the Treaty of Union of 1707 clearly specify “the United Kingdom of Great Britain” and most of the other Articles state “the United Kingdom”.

The United Kingdom, therefore, was created and came into effect on 1 May 1707.

Michael Follon, Glenrothes

POLITICIANS are masters at talking endlessly about subjects they have little practical knowledge of.

Ruth Davidson is one such politician, who can not only express her strident views with the confidence of the accomplished huckster, but can count on much of the media to print her views without scrutiny.

Her latest criticism is of the plan to merge the British Transport Police with Police Scotland. My 20-years-plus service in the rail industry gives me no doubt that this is long overdue. While the major stations are well catered for, with BTP present and visible, the further you go from the cities the less coverage there is.

In my experience the “local” police are often in a far better position to respond to rail crime than the BTP. Try getting BTP to respond to trespassers at Oban when the nearest BTP office is at Dalmuir, or to vandals placing objects on the track in Falkirk when the nearest officers are already engaged with an incident miles away in Fife! I would ask anyone to look at the map of BTP station coverage in Scotland to see how sparse it is. Ruth Davidson will no doubt continue to cry out against this, but her complaints make no sense and are based on opposition for the sake of opposition.

In fact the howls from certain quarters of social media and the comments pages of certain right-wing newspapers would suggest that many of a Unionist bent oppose this for two reasons; they either say it indicates the SNP’s one-party-state mindset or that it is being done to remove the word “British”. Reasoned, measured debate seems to be off the table, and Ruth Davidson should for once consider how to make a contribution to the debate and help deliver the best service available, rather than simply opposing for the sake of opposition.

Joan McNiven, Cumbernauld

LAST week I wrote about the embarrassment of riches we have in the quality of candidates putting themselves forward for SNP depute leader and how difficult it was to favour one over the other.

To help me come to a decision I went to another hustings, this time in Perth, where candidates after making their personal statements sat down with party members for an allotted time and in turns, at tables, answered. This approach also allowed party members to discuss the candidates’ responses and any other associated issues. For other hustings I would recommend this strategy. For those experienced in speed dating it would not be something new! Did it help me to make up my mind? Yes. I came to the conclusion that although each candidate holds keys to open political doors for changes that will benefit the party machinery, government and consequently Scotland’s future, only one candidate, Alyn Smith, in my opinion holds the key that will open the door to the most burning issue of our time – independence.

Brexit and Scotland’s place in Europe is uppermost in our minds and will touch upon all of our lives even if many have not felt its presence as yet.

With this in mind we need a depute who has a track record of experience and contacts in Europe to embed our place there and argue our case to the Scottish people and our European friends as to why an independent Scotland will prosper more fully within Europe than partly outwith it. Alyn Smith is the only candidate with that experience.

Dave Whitton, Dunblane

SADLY Scotland is littered with monuments lauding the disgusting achievements of disgusting people like Henry Dundas (In honour of a man who helped keep slave trade going, The National, September 10). Britnats in Scotland love these stony testaments to treachery and tyranny. We should spit on these statues.

Arron Blue, via

WHAT amazed me when I came to Scotland was that the statue commemorating one of the most outstanding Scots wasn’t erected at the end of George St until 2008! A disgrace. James Clerk Maxwell is probably the most important Scot ever. I see people wandering around with their mobile phones walking past his statue without a clue that if not for him, there would be no mobiles, no TV, no colour photography, no satellites.

Veronique Denyer, via