PETE Wishart MP says that we need a new vision (The National, February 9). No, what we need is a backbone to stand up to Westminster and Whitehall; we have the vision and the mandate already. I would urge both the SNP leadership and members, and the Yes movement, to stop and think about what we are up against and how we might overcome the odds. The words of the First Marquis of Montrose, James Graham, sums up our situation very succinctly:

“…He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
That puts it not unto the touch
To win or lose it all…”

This, Mr Wishart, is what we should do about a second indyref and about our inexorable march to Brexit on England’s say-so: a) seize the day and hold another independence referendum before March, 2019 with or without the Westminster government’s consent; and b) hold a new Scottish EU referendum after independence, with all the options on offer – full membership, EEA, EFTA, no membership at all – after consultation with the EU. We have nothing to lose but our self-respect if we do not seize the day. We neither asked for Brexit nor voted for it; we were told that if we voted No, it was a guarantee we would remain in the EU, and it was the incentive to our EU residents to vote No in order to remain here, so we have a direct link between that No vote and Brexit, both used as a cosh to beat us into submission, and we have every right under international law and natural justice to seek our independence in these circumstances.

If Mrs May refuses consent to indyref2, then there is nowhere to go but out of the UK at that point. My only caveat would be to put it to Westminster and Whitehall that, if wholesale root-and-branch reform of the UK is undertaken – in which all four parts have full fiscal autonomy, have an equal voice in all decisions made, both domestic and foreign, in defence and in the oil and gas, etc – and a compromise reached with the EU on Brexit, or some form of mitigation, then we might be able to rethink our leaving.

If the reaction is negative (with one week given to answer yes or no) as I would expect it to be – but you never know – then we inform Westminster and Whitehall that we will be taking steps to hold another indyref and, if successful, to move immediately to removing our MPs from Westminster and starting the dissolution process of the Treaty of Union, 1707. To that end, we should inform the UN and the EU of our intentions and invite impartial overseers to ensure the process is carried out properly, with the Scottish Electoral Commission’s rules as the guide.

If we do not move on a second indyref before the UK leaves the EU and we are dragged out and into a dystopian, Tory-led/Labour-led/coalition government at Westminster, post-Brexit the SNP will lose support entirely – not because either it or supporters no longer want independence, at least as a last resort, but because all hope will be gone. The General Election should have been a wake-up call: we allowed the British/English nationalist alliance – with a mantra, “stopindyref2/noindyref2”, as the only policy on offer – to call the tune. Yes, it is a frightening prospect that those in Scotland who regard our country as a colony and/or as part of a Greater England may vote No in huge numbers again, but it is a risk we must take. If we do not do so, Mr Wishart, we are finished anyway. The leadership, including the new depute leader, must take the initiative now and lead us out of the UK, if that is what it takes, or go down fighting if we lose again, because the SNP cannot hold Scotland indefinitely – no party could – and that might well prove true in 2021.

Lorna Campbell
Address supplied