AS a Welsh person, I am glad that Alan Magnus-Bennett replied to Solomon Steinbett before I had a chance to (Letters, January 15). Technically it is true that Wales was incorporated into England, rather than a so-called voluntary union, hence no element of the Welsh flag being on the Union flag. But to use this as an assertion that Wales or anywhere else has no right to nationhood is absurd.

What is it that makes a nation? Surely it is culture, language, history, common experiences, common enemies, and – crucially – different priorities going forward.

It is not to Scotland’s credit that its independence was bought by England and sold by a section of Scottish society (as highlighted in Hamish MacPherson’s “Bought and sold for English gold” series in 2017). To Wales’s credit, we did not sell our independence. And to talk about any country needing permission for anything proves that that country needs independence. Perhaps that is an argument we could use against our fellow-citizens who say we need the permission of a Section 30 order to hold another referendum. Did the United States worry about permissions from the British Empire before it went its own way? Did any other country who became independent?

One of the good things to come out of indyref1 was that it seems to have woken up Wales to following Scotland’s lead. Let us hope that both nations can celebrate independence sooner rather than later, permission or no.

Julia Pannell
Friockheim, Tayside

PLEASE may I respond to Alan Magnus-Bennett’s reply to my letter regarding what constitutes the United Kingdom? I concur entirely with Alan’s knowledge of the history and culture(s) of these isles. However, the point I was making

is that Wales and Ireland were defeated militarily by England and if they would like to become independent then they would need to gain the permission of Westminster first. William Wallace and all the great men and women who fought for our independence ensured that we have a legal claim to nationhood without needing Westminster’s permission and without needing, in this day and age, to resort to the sword.

Of course, Northern Ireland can fulfil her national aspirations by uniting with Eire, and if England were ever to be magnanimous then she would grant Wales at least autonomy if not outright independence, but sadly magnanimous and England are two words which don’t often go together.

Solomon Steinbett

I HAVE read with some interest the letters from Lovina Roe as to why Scotland should not be an EU member (Letters, January 10 & 12).

She quoted a northern alliance with Iceland or Norway for example. These are all good concepts and working with these countries would be beneficial and I fully expect an independent Scotland to continue and improve economic relations with them.

One of the issues of concern to me is that these countries do not have a very aggressive neighbour on their doorstep that I am aware of.

I think on independence Westminster would attempt to make life very difficult for the new independent Scotland, at least for the immediate future.

If you take Ireland as an example as to how the EU helped protect Ireland’s position from Westminster, I would feel a lot more secure with 27 other countries supporting our new state. It would be extremely naive to think Westminster would not attempt to disrupt Scottish economic interests, as they have a long history of meddling in other countries’ affairs.

When independence is achieved we will need the help of as many countries as we can get for our economy to be secure, at least until Westminster gets over a very large part of its economy no longer available to fill their coffers.

I just don’t trust Westminster to say “OK, let’s be pals”, at least not in the short term.

The EU has many faults and is not perfect but then nothing within the EU will ever please everyone. It is a massive trading block and for me personally I feel more European than British and have become accustomed to the four freedoms.

Please don’t forget that 62% of Scots voted to remain and due to events at Westminster I think that number may have grown.

But at the moment Scotland is hamstrung and airbrushed out of the debate, as what we want or think is of no consequence to Westminster and that will not change until independence. So in many ways a debate about EU membership is a little premature.

Bryan Auchterlonie

AS I said, Mr Mitchell (Letters, January 15), many people still believe Scotland lacks the ability to run itself but I don’t. And, to be equally blunt, Mr Turner (Letters, January 15), I think you should remove the scales from your eyes.

Lovina Roe