I VOTED no to Scottish independence last time because I didn’t want a border between me and my relatives.

I believed that the UK as a whole offered a stronger voice in the world and that we were stronger in the EU. I thought independence cast some doubt about Scotland’s membership in the short/medium term.

I believed that through the promises of the Better Together campaign, England had finally woken up to Scotland and its differing needs, and the newly defined partnership of UK countries during that campaign would elevate Scotland’s status in Westminster.

I will vote Yes now because I realise the border issue is irrelevant. I have relatives and friends all over the world, and borders have no bearing on our relationship. Brexit shows Westminster’s view that if borders for trade with the EU can be managed, then why not between England and an independent Scotland?

The EU offers the best prospects for our descendants to live and work within the diversity it offers. They would better take their place in the global world and invest their talent as Scots to represent our interests in the European project for the benefit of all Scots and their enterprises.

Subsequent actions by the Westminster Government have laid bare the bogus partnership declared in 2014, proving it little more than a ruse to defeat independence.

READ MORE: From No to Yes: The Union is all about Scotland putting up and shutting up

Scots have been denied any say in the Brexit process. There is no seat at the “partnership” table for Scotland’s voice to be heard; we Scots are dictated to, thrown the scraps from the Westminster table and otherwise ignored.

We’ve been led to believe that Scotland needs to be “better together” because if we’re not, then we’re somehow incapable of organising and running our own affairs.

This is a gross insult to all Scots. It offends me.

There are around 118 countries with a smaller population than Scotland. New Zealand has a population of around four million, yet its economy thrives and we’ve just witnessed its world-leading response to the Covid-19 crisis. The UK’s appalling record of the second-highest rate of excess deaths proves beyond doubt that being “better together” has cost us deaths of those we love.

In Scotland, we have the talent to emulate New Zealand and succeed to benefit all. We would again be able to take our place in the EU should we choose and our place at the table will put us at the heart of decision-making in all our interests.

We have had 10 years of Tory austerity. We’ve seen our public services decimated, the imposition of taxes aimed at the poorest members of our society. Westminster is an incompetent government as it blunders on wreaking societal havoc, with unfair policies that mitigate against the poor and vulnerable while bolstering the vested interest wealthy, increasing the gap between the haves and have nots.

Scotland hasn’t voted Tory for 50 years. Independence would protect us from the buffoonery and inequality of governments like the current shambles, which could be with us for over four more years.

With Catherine Calderwood’s resignation we know there are still clear political standards in Scotland. Cummings-gate is still raging, and we can clearly see that political standards in Westminster have descended deeper than the Victorian sewers of London.

No in 2014, Yes now is a no-brainer.

Jim Taylor, 67, Edinburgh