LIKE many National readers I would welcome a second referendum on Scottish independence. Some feel that our First Minister is maybe a little too cautious in naming the date and kicking off the campaign for this.

The Brexit referendum has been very catastrophic. The way the Westminster Government has behaved towards those who wanted a soft Brexit or no Brexit has deepened divisions; there has been no attempt to address those divisions other than by meaningless rhetoric.

Those who voted Leave could never have foreseen all the consequences of what leaving the EU would entail. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, the wounds inflicted by this badly managed process are deep and will not heal quickly. My worry is that many Scottish voters would vote No in indyref2 simply because they wouldn’t want to go through such a destructive process again.

I would like to think that we, in Scotland, would do it differently. We should sit down with groups of No voters and “on the fence” voters and listen, really listen to their concerns, without any preconceptions. Only then would we be in a position to address those worries. There will always be those who will vote against an independent Scotland, but at all times we must try and avoid the deeply divided society that now results from the Brexit referendum.

I would hope that Scotland could start life as an independent country – and we will be independent – without leaving anyone behind.

Trudy Duffy
Crook of Devon

WE all know that the result of indyref1 was based on lies (including “vote No and and stay in the EU”), so for Theresa May to assert that it was “fair” is just another lie to add to the long list.

Mary Clark

REGARDING letters on the conflation of England and Britain etc and Fred Gibbons’s response (Letters, January 22) on Roman names for parts of the British Isles.

When the Romans came to “Britannia” (and “Caledonia” or even “Scotia”) the people living there were Britons, speaking Brythonic (which remains as Welsh today). They lived across southern Britain, Cornwall (once known as West Wales), Wales, Strathclyde and probably much of the Lothians as well.

After the Romans left the various Brythonic tribes had to fight off the invading Saxons who attacked along the southern shores. Their greatest war-leader was Arthur, King of the Britons (not of England). Many think that Arthur may have been based in Strathclyde or further east.

READ MORE: Letters, January 22

The Saxons he fought settled in what became Sussex, Essex etc and their dialects became the English language – whereas Scots developed from Anglian settlers between the Forth and the Humber. The Saxons forced the native British tribes further west, and called their Brythonic tongue “Waelish”, ie “foreign”, and they continued in what is now Wales, Cumbria and into Strathclyde. The Saxons who started to put together the Kingdom of England, from Wessex, were defeated by the Normans who extended their rule to the north where the Danish kingdom had been. Throughout the 300 years of Norman and French language rule, the distinction was between Norman and Saxon.

Since Westminster is the Parliament of the English state/English Crown/under English Law (in which “Parliament is sovereign” – whereas under Scots Law the people are sovereign, as in a democracy) “English” is more correct. Pace David Cameron, all laws passed are “English” laws. Note the Bank remains “of England”, like the others now converted to English banks.

Using “Britain/British/UK etc” instead of the accurate “English” is a clever and deceitful way of indicating the illegal dominion over Scotland – thereby breaching almost all of the clauses of the Treaty of Union, rendering it null and void.

Amidst all this furore I would like to know to whom I should apply to retain my EU citizenship (dual with Scots citizenship, of course).

Susan FG Forde

MANY readers will not remember the event of 35 years ago, when Margaret Thatcher banned the trade unions, on Burns Day no less, at GCHQ and offered the staff an “inducement” of £1,000 to sign the document. Failure to comply meant staff would be sacked or moved to other UK civil service departments. As GCHQ was a sensitive, intelligence-gathering outfit she thought this would be a fine group of people to target with no resistance anticipated.

As it transpired many staff were reluctant to sign, and although a number took the bribe (which was later taxed!) and gave up trade union membership along with those who were not members gladly accepting the money, there were many who decided to join a trade union in protest. Some of these were sacked for their troubles later.

She then began closing all the facilities in Scotland at a pace, with little resistance from a weak trade union, staff posted to England or retired early.

So began her asset-stripping of other areas of the country such as military bases, shipbuilding yards, coal mines ... and the rest is history, as we all know.

35 years later and we are seeing an escalation of the contempt Thatcher showed for Scotland, with the latest bunch of Tories braying like mules in Westminster every time an SNP member rises to their feet.

The promises made by Cameron, Brown, and the other Unionist parties in 2014 have all been forgotten, almost as soon as they were uttered.

I became a Scottish nationalist on Burns Day, 1984, and hope that Burns Day 2019 is a day we should tolerate these “parcel of rogues” no longer.

J Barrie