IN the great scheme of things, standing up for Scotland’s reputation as a tourist-friendly country is perhaps not the most important call to arms at this horrendous time of Brexit – but when The National discovered that a travel website was accusing this nation of being anti-English, we had to act.

Denmark-based has a good reputation as a price comparison website for the travel industry, but it got its facts plain wrong with its Travel guide to Scotland with Orkney & Shetland Islands.

We could not really quibble with their advice about our most infamous denizens: “Midges are rife during the summer months especially in the Highlands. From May to August use an effective insect repellent and keep yourself covered, particularly in the evening and wear light-coloured clothing.”

The final sentence of their guide, however, was beyond the pale: “Be aware that some parts of Scotland are very anti-English.”

We are not so naive as to say that there is no-one in Scotland who is anti-English, but their numbers are infinitesimal and certainly there are no “parts” of Scotland that are in any way “very anti-English”.

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One woman was so worried about the comment that she wrote to this newspaper highlighting the offending sentence.

The National:

Scotland is renowned for being tourist friendly

The National had no choice but to swing into action in defence of this realm. Actually, we just telephoned’s chief executive, Ole Stouby, in Denmark. After we explained the issue, his reaction sounded like the Danish for “oops” and the offending sentence has now been withdrawn.

The very personable Stouby explained that as soon as he had received an email alerting him to the situation, he had forwarded it to the people responsible for the content.

He told The National: “This is a 20-year-old text, and it was produced by a freelancer together with 500 other destination online guides, and we had not noticed this sentence.

“This is the first time anyone has raised this with us. It will be removed by tomorrow by our tech team.”

Stouby admitted it was embarrassing “as I have been in Scotland many times and absolutely love it – it’s actually one of my favourite destinations”.

For the avoidance of doubt, Scotland is regularly promoted as a friendly country by the Scottish Government and national tourism agency VisitScotland.

A VisitScotland spokesman said: “Scotland’s reputation as a friendly and welcoming nation is internationally renowned and just one of the many reasons why people from across the world are inspired to visit time and time again.”

There is also a serious point to this matter – there are more than 400,000 people born in England who now live in Scotland, and it doesn’t take an arithmetical genius to deduce that the more of them who can be persuaded to vote for independence, the more likely it will be to happen, not least because No won by 400,000 votes in 2014.