AS ever, Joanna Cherry’s contribution on how to bring about Indy2 is welcome (Plan B must be developed to bring UK to the talks table, July 2). Now that the discourse is getting on to a sensible basis, there are two whole areas of fruitless and irrational controversy that we can dismiss out of hand.

One is the idea that by withholding Section 30 permission, London is preventing Scottish independence. That is a debilitating, servile position to take. It is quite false, and it gives London a veto which it neither holds nor claims. It is the height of imbecility. To get independence it’s not London we have to persuade, but the people of Scotland.

The other is that we have to invent some miraculous route to independence, by appealing to international courts, the UN, the EU or whatever, or relying on the terms of a 300 year-old treaty to rescue us. Such nonsensical speculations only serve to deflect the movement from its proper, straightforward course.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: Why we need to explore all legal routes to indyref2

Happily, the UK constitution does not prohibit Scotland from leaving if it wishes, and the age-old sovereignty of the Scottish people persists. This means that, minimally, only two steps are required, namely the making of the vote and the implementation of the result.

The vote must be legal, constitutional, peaceful and democratic. There are only two obvious possibilities: a referendum or an election. If it turns out to be possible for Holyrood to hold a legal referendum without the Section 30 power, there is no reason why that should not be done. Otherwise, in the absence of permission, an election is the only route, under a direct independence manifesto, as it was always conceived to be before the referendum idea took hold.

To make the election route completely democratic and therefore capable of overturning the 2014 vote, independence could only follow if the election was won not only by seats but also by actual number of votes. Whether the election is for Holyrood or for Westminster is immaterial, except for timing; Westminster will not be till 2024, while Holyrood is next May, and the sooner the better.

We may assume that if the vote, held by whichever means, went in favour of independence, London would accept the decision and negotiations to bring about independence could commence. But to keep the pressure on, so to speak, Scotland would have to be prepared to effect independence over London’s head if necessary. That second step would be taken by the supreme representatives of Scotland, its MPs, leaving Westminster and constituting themselves as the parliament of an independent Scotland. The country could then carry out whatever measures were necessary to make its independence complete in the eyes of the world.

The clock is running. Events, for now, are in our favour. May our SNP government not let Scotland down.

Ian Roberts


THE recent petulant outburst by Boris Johnson claiming there is no border between England and Scotland is in direct contradiction of Article 19 of the international Treaty of Union, which guarantees the judicial border between the two countries. A judicial border is internationally recognised as the defining limit between separate nations.

Since the English regime is unilaterally violating its treaty obligations with Scotland then said treaty is rendered null and void, of no force or effect. This means England and Scotland are not in a legally constituted union. In 2001 legal authorities in the European Journal of International Law judged that the attempt by England in 1999 to annex Scottish maritime territory – thereby recognising said border – will not comply with international law on Scottish independence.

READ MORE: Gerry Hassan: A Scottish Border or a Great Divide?

We, the Scottish nation, have always been free to hold a consultative referendum with a view to formally dissolving the treaty and initiating the process of re-establishing our independence, just as the English nation exercised the same inalienable right to self-determination in 2016. I observe the irony that the English regime which is so paranoid about denying Scotland’s border, in order to control the assets contained within it, is obsessed with building barriers and borders in the wake of dragging us out of the EU.

Linda Horsburgh