I READ Andrew Wilson’s comments yesterday morning with great interest (We need to convince voters born in rUK to back independence ..., April 18). His argument is beguiling, and, in many regards, I think he is right.

It prompted me to think of an old colleague and friend – let’s call him John – who was born in the midlands of England but worked here for more than 30 years. Talking with him after the 2014 vote, I learned – not entirely to my surprise – that he had voted No. He was equally unsurprised that, like the 53% of native-born Scots in the sample Mr Wilson refers to, I had voted Yes.

He explained this on the basis that I had voted with my heart – which as a Scot he had considerable sympathy with – but he had voted with his head. He was not willing to take what he saw as “a chance”, that there were too many uncertainties, too much not fully thought through.

Thus, I can only agree with Mr Wilson’s initial argument that “lessons must be learned” – though that is always a good maxim (eg regarding the 47% of native-born Scots who voted No).

However, I wonder how far Andrew Wilson has thought through some of what follows. First, it’s probably germane to appreciate the effect that Brexit has had on people like my friend John. He is horrified by it, and by some of the post-EU referendum attitudes of even some of his family still in England. The effects of Brexit have almost certainly pushed some of the No vote across to Yes, including those living here originally from Europe who might have been spooked into voting No because Scotland would have had to leave the EU (according to Ruth Davidson).

But most importantly, I wonder if Mr Wilson has considered the kind of UK (or rUK) that we might be negotiating with post-independence. He is right, taking a share of UK debt is the “right and moral and fair thing to do”. He is also right that a “debt interest share can fairly balance a division of assets and liabilities, including foreign exchange reserves. But that is for negotiation, of course.” And there is the rub, as we would be negotiating with a state which has only recently isolated itself, possibly with few trade deals worth talking about other than perhaps one with the US, which could swallow it up. But in particular it may well be extremely resentful that part of the UK has decided to leave, thus threatening not only its international standing (perceived to be delusionally high) but also its identity. Looking back to 2014 there was great unwillingness to share assets on a goodwill basis – the BBC is a “core British institution” and “the Scots won’t be allowed to cherry-pick defence assets”. Cameron’s EVEL statement, and its timing, also spoke volumes.

Thus, while the positive, moral stance proposed by Andrew Wilson is apt, we need to be prepared to “play hardball” should it be necessary, but also clear that the cause would not be ourselves.

Alasdair Galloway

ANDREW Wilson draws our attention to the important saying “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Very wise words indeed, and I thought very appropriate coming from Andrew at this time.

Andrew will no doubt remember that in the few weeks before the independence referendum the SNP’s currency plan fell to pieces in front of us all when the Unionist politicians made it clear they would not co-operate in any way with Scotland.

Many of us have learned the bitter but clear lesson from that. We in Scotland must, next time, put forward our own policy for our own currency for Scotland which does not rely on any understanding, assistance or co-operation from Westminster.

Most of us got that message from that bitter lesson, Did you not get it, Andrew?

Andy Anderson