THE National was kind enough, on January 7, to print my superficial list of EU states whose independence was not gained by gold-standard referendums.

I’m moved again to write concerning: Kevin McKenna’s article “Why SNP should be taking seriously McEleny’s indyref back-up plan” (January 13); the outline of that plan on; and a tweet by Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday saying: “Today we honour Lithuania’s Freedom Defenders & their bravery. 30 years ago, Soviet tanks drove into a peaceful crowd standing for the country’s independence. Their sacrifice reminds us how precious EU values are. Today, we celebrate liberty, democracy & freedom of expression”.

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Lithuania held Soviet elections where candidates of various parties aligned themselves with a commitment to independence. With no further referendum the new Lituanian parliament declared independence and this was declared illegal by the USSR.

Nevertheless Lithuania became recognised as an independent state, a member of Nato and of the EU ... in the absence of a “gold standard”, “legal” referendum.

The referendum on Brexit surely outlined Scotland’s view of “precious EU values” and the consequences demonstrated the Tory view of our precious Union.

Are EU member states like Lithuania going to stand in Scotland’s way? Perhaps a question for the SNP: where the people mobilise, can governments prevent them from achieving their aims? And for the EU: are “liberty, democracy and freedom of expression” accessible for Lithuanians without assent of the USSR but not for Scots who must seek permission from the UK?

George Gourlay

SORRY to see Richard go. Has there ever been a politician score more own goals? He even made Willie Rennie look like a competent leader!!

C Tait