WITH the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looming, we should look objectively at the current situation and consider what would be the best solution for everyone living on these isles, regardless of political affiliation.

The result of the independence referendum of 2014 indicated that Scotland chose to remain in the Union, but on the understanding that only by doing so could Scotland’s membership of the EU be guaranteed. Following the EU referendum of 2016, England and Wales voted to withdraw from the EU, with Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to remain.

How then are we to interpret these results? One thing that is clear is that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. As one of the two sovereign nations under the Treaty of Union, England is duty-bound by both democracy and the Treaty of Union to respect Scotland’s decision. The democratic solution remaining for England, therefore, is to withdraw from both the EU and the Treaty of Union simultaneously.

What, however, of the people of Northern Ireland who also voted by a majority to remain in the EU? Our main concern in regard to Ireland is to prevent a return to the Troubles. Since there is no practical way for England to withdraw from the EU without either necessitating a hard border in Ireland or creating a democratic deficit within the UK, then the solution is for Northern Ireland to be allowed to unite with Eire, removing the need for a border at all. Of course there will be some die-hard Unionists who refuse to live peacefully under a national government of Ireland, and it will be England’s responsibility to resettle these people.

Unfortunately, Westminster seems unable to engage in national politics from a mature, democratic and objective perspective and will forever default to the British imperial mindset of white Anglo-Saxon protestant supremacy, with its tactics of divide-and-rule, which has brought so much lasting harm to so many nations around the world, not least to our own.

Solomon Steinbett

I AM very pleased that Sir David Edward now says he could be persuaded to vote in favour of independence (Sturgeon applauds Robertson-backed drive to swell Yes vote, February 4).

I am disappointed that he even doubts that “Scotland and its institutions are capable of bearing the intellectual, financial and administrative burdens that independence would involve”. I ask doubters to compare Scotland with similar-sized nations such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Austria and Ireland and explain how we are worse off as a country.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon hails major step forward on independence with Progress Scotland launch

Major industries in Scotland include banking and financial services, construction, education, entertainment, biotechnology, transport equipment, oil and gas (it seems we are not allowed to talk about our oil and gas though Norway depends on it), whisky and tourism. Scotland has natural energy resources that are the envy of Europe, with 25% of the EU’s offshore wind and tidal power potential and 10% of its wave power potential, and some 90% of the UK’s hydro capacity. According to data from HMRC, Scotland’s exports in 2017 totalled £28.8 billion vs imports £24.2bn. Scotland was the only one of the four home nations to show a surplus.

Scotland has five of the 200 top-ranked universities in the world, which surely must be a driver of intellectual capacity All the above attributes are as good as, and in many cases better, than those in the above mentioned countries and no-one doubts these countries’ ability to deal with the burden–- I prefer the word challenge – of being an independent country.

Anent administration, Scotland has had proven effective government for the last decade, well received by the majority of the population in spite of Westminster restrictions. Scotland’s burden is to be a despised region of Westminster governance.

What more must it take to show that an independent Scotland can thrive? I am convinced that being independent will be the proof of it.

Tom Crozier

A TORY Minister has criticised Nicola Sturgeon for attending a meeting in the United States, using the neglect of the day job” script. He should be told by his boss how illustrative this is of his fatuous and uninformed opinions.

The meeting was part of Women World Leaders Week. Nicola has long established her status in that group and her principal objective is working for the improvement of her country’s condition, which she intended to convey to her distinguished audience.

READ MORE: First Minister puts forward independence case in Georgetown University speech

Her critic has, not unexpectedly, overlooked that part of the First Minister’s day job is to advance the interests of Scotland per se ,which includes a daily succession of tasks designed to mitigate the damage done to Scotland by the many and growing number of policies perpetrated by his party.

The job she does today will determine the success which Scotland will enjoy “tomorrow” – which will, if left to his party, continue to be undermined as it has already been.

It is no accident that Nicola Sturgeon enjoys a level of admiration worldwide which contrasts spectacularly with the absence of anything similar experienced by any member of his party.

J Hamilton

MEASURED, intellectually rigorous, statesmanlike and above all hopeful, despite the dead weight of the UK currently dragging Scotland down. The FM presented a progressive, internationalist case for the kind of independent nation state Scotland can and must be. A speech, in other words, that none of the Unionist parties could hope to conjure out of their pre-modern politics of xenophobia and imperial delusion.

Derek Bryce
via thenational.scot

READ MORE: First Minister's full US speech on independence and Brexit