BY supporting EU membership because she favours the free movement of people, Carolyn Leckie thus supports unregulated population growth in Scotland, which is against the interests of working- and lower-middle-class Scots (We should hold indyref2 once we know details of Brexit deal, The National, January 15).

Due to unmanaged movement of people, Scotland’s population has surged to the highest level ever at 5.4 million but this record population has not solved any of our problems. Patients continue to lie untreated on hospital trolleys, class sizes are amongst the highest in the developed world, food bank use is soaring and homelessness is at record levels. Population growth is also trashing our environment as roads, bridges and housing developments eat up valuable agricultural land and wildlife is dramatically reduced.

Ms Leckie implies that free movement or unregulated population growth in Scotland is dependent on EU membership. I am astonished she does not know that an independent Scotland, outside the EU, can if it wishes continue to guarantee free movement into Scotland not only to everyone within the EU, but also to the whole of Europe including Russia and Ukraine. An independent Scotland would have the power to allow free movement into Scotland from Africa, South America and Asia if we so wish.

Ms Leckie can continue to support an EU which opposed Scottish independence in 2014, supports the Spanish state against Catalonia and reduced the Greek people to poverty, but I can assure her that the 38 per cent of Scots who voted to leave will not allow Scotland to be dragged back into the EU.

Jim Stewart

I FIND letters from readers like the one in yesterday’s National from J Maclennan, stating that Scotland will still not be a “truly independent nation as long as we are also tied to Brussels”, somewhat puzzling. We have been members of the EEC. since 1973 and in 1993 the European Union was formed.

Since the 1970s till now I cannot think that I have been negatively affected in any way by being part of this Union. I am able to travel freely with my burgundy passport. I have my European health card allowing for any medical emergency and I was of course getting a better exchange rate for my pound until Brexit. Whereas this other so-called Union as an “equal partner” I find totally reprehensible.

We have 35 SNP Members of Parliament who to my mind are at best tolerated at Westminster, and although we have six MEPs in Brussels the only voice I hear is that of Alyn Smith from the SNP. I would urge J Maclennan and those with similar views: please do not risk the loss of independence from our “benevolent” neighbour because of your views on the European Union. Regardless of your opinions of the EU, surely yesterday’s front page of The National should be enough to convince you to Remain ... at least for the forseeable.

Hector Maclean

I AM not “tied” to the SNP – it is an entirely voluntary membership I have and I can leave at any point I want. Just like the membership of the EU, which is an entirely voluntary collection of sovereign states which arrives at important decision by consensus. Neither the SNP nor the EU are perfect organisations but as soon as I read somebody suggesting some sort of spurious equivalence between Scotland – which is certainly tied to UK – and the UK – which is a voluntary member of the EU – I stop reading.

The time of course to talk about Scotland’s membership of the EU is when Scotland is independent and can actually make a decision on it.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

IN an ideal world I’d agree with Jim Taylor (Letters, January 15) that it is our elected MPs who should have decided about our position with regard to the EU. But this never has been an ideal world, at least not since Adam and Eve were turfed out of Eden.

The antics of our elected government have demonstrated that the Westminster Cabinet is not fit for purpose. Yes, they ought to have carried out a comprehensive evaluation of what the effects of leaving the EU would be. Not only didn’t they do this, they tried to mislead us by saying that they had and then eventually had to admit they hadn’t. They then had the gall to decry the EU for doing their homework on the effects of the UK leaving.

Enough is enough. The only escape we have is by dissolving the Act of Union, which would never have been passed if we’d enjoyed democracy in 1707.

Since the SNP is the only party whose goal is independence, we’ve got to unite behind it to bring this sorry state of affairs to an end. The sooner the better!

Catriona Grigg

“AN Honest Man’s the Noblest Work of God” (Burns). The inscription on John Smith’s beautiful gravestone on Iona could hardly fail to bring a tear to the eye.

On Tuesday’s Six o’ Clock News, the BBC’s Sarah Smith announced that more than 100,000 patients in Scotland spent more than four hours in A&E departments in the previous week. That figure was, in fact, for the whole year. She apologised on Twitter, but omitted to correct the misinformation on the Six o’Clock News where it was first aired.

The BBC was once a byword, internationally, for impartial reporting. Evidently not where Scotland is concerned.

James Stevenson