I ASSUME that R French is a man, and the start of his letter looked as if it was going to be interesting. However he turns out to be just another delusional Englishman. Oh sorry, he doesn’t identify as being English, but as British! But let me answer some of the points he raises.

Her Majesty the Queen, is not just the Queen of England or the UK but had a separate coronation as Queen of Scots and as such is the crowned head of state for Scotland, so can’t be considered a foreign national as Mr French implies if Scotland gains independence. However, there is little or no debate here that I know of about being a republic and abolishing the monarchy, and if so there would have to be a discussion and then presumably a referendum at some time in the future. The assertion that she will have to get rid of Balmoral is premature and hypothetical. Likewise his plans for Holyrood Palace.

READ MORE: As a Brit and a Unionist I say let's lance the boil and go our separate ways

Mr French, you think the Britannia should be moved “back” to be put alongside the Cutty Sark. Forgive me for mentioning one small point but if you want Britannia, then as the Cutty Sark is a Scottish-built ship, should we not get her back? Then again, The Britannia was built at the John Brown and Company shipyards in Glasgow, so technically that is still Scottish like the Cutty Sark. So does that mean we get both after independence?

So you want to close Faslane and relocate it in Portsmouth or Plymouth. That’s a great idea but it will take several years of planning before you can use the new facilities and ancillary services for the Trident subs. This means that they will have to be serviced in America until then. The new docks that you propose of course have to go through all the planning stages and consultancy stages, then the building stages, so you might get them around 2035 at the earliest. Well it will be the Westminster government, so better make it about 2050 just in case. Please take note of course that if anything should happen with one of the nuclear warheads, then you could lose a big swathe of land to radio active fallout, not to mention the city itself and the naval base!

The National:

Of course Faslane (and Coulport) won’t close as we need these for our own naval base into the North Atlantic and for fishery protection. Not to mention that any suspected piece of ordnance in the Clyde and the west coast is investigated by the bomb disposal squad from Faslane. This suggests the loss of jobs that you predict won’t materialise.

Why should a border between England and Scotland cause conflict and make the “troubles in Ireland look like a walk in the park”? Your remark makes it look as if England is going to declare an all-out war on Scotland. There is no reason why the border should have any issues at all and if you look at most borders around the world they are very peaceful and the countries have amicable relationships with their neighbours. Why should the Scotland/England border be any different?

READ MORE: Whatever way you count it, SNP are winners of Scottish election

As for your assertions about the EU, I will advise you to read the very paper that your letter appeared in and you will see that they think differently from you. What your point did show is that you do not read up on current affairs or European affairs. As for the ferry link, that’s easy to install, or re-install. However, that will mean that there will be job losses in the English ferry ports as they will undoubtedly lose the trade. But it is your loss and our gain, as that is how these things work. I should also mention that goods in transit going through a country to another destination are sealed by the customs before leaving their point of origin so the only thing that happens at a customs point is a rudimentary check on the customs seals to make sure they haven’t been broken.

You may not like the Barnett Formula, and to be fair to you, neither do a lot of Scots. However, the formula is based on what England or the rest of the UK spends on areas that are devolved to Scotland and is based primarily on a per head of population. So in effect we get exactly the same as you do. We do, however, pay more into the Exchequer than we take out and can’t overspend, so we have to service Westminster debt. So what you are actually saying is that Westminster squanders the money that it gets for things like their NHS.

You may of course think that us gaining independence will release you from giving us millions of pounds, when Scotland contributes more per head of population to the UK economy than it gets. In that case, it is the rest of the UK that will be the loser. So let’s be clear here, you will lose about 96% of the gas fields and the revenue, 100% of the oil fields and the revenue, trade that goes through Westminster; the money we contribute to Westminster debt amongst other revenue we give you, so how do you then pay for HS1, HS2, Crossrail, Trident, the new Royal Yacht that Boris has announced and all his other hare-brained schemes?

The National: Boris Johnson

I could go on about all the points you have raised but will leave you with one last point: you didn’t pass your Tenderfoot badge for the Boy Scouts in the 1960s! We had to learn about the various flags of the UK and certain aspects of the Union. We had to learn how to fold the flag, and what way the Union Flag was flown. The Union Flag came in to being after King James VI inherited the English Crown after the death of the English Queen Elizabeth in 1605. The original Union Flag came into being as people didn’t know what flag to fly, and what flag should take precedence if they flew both the Saltire and the St. George Cross, so they were incorporated into one so people could fly either their own flag, or the Union Flag. The Union of Parliaments came into being under Queen Anne in 1707, and the Union with Ireland in 1801, which saw the incorporation of the Irish St. Patrick’s Cross. And as you mentioned at the beginning of your letter that Mary Queen of Scots is a particular interest of yours, then you will be aware that she was executed by Queen Elizabeth on the 8th February, 1587, which was 18 years before the Union of the Crowns and 120 years before the Union of the Parliaments.

You are of course more than welcome to come and visit Scotland any time you want. Being British is not frowned upon here and neither is being English. What we don’t like is uneducated people telling us our history and what will happen after independence when they don’t know what they are talking about. Like many people here, I know a lot of English or British people who are here or holiday here and they have no problems whatsoever, so maybe it is your attitude that is the problem.
Alexander Potts

I WAS interested to see a detailed diatribe from Essexman last Sunday.

For all his claimed love of Scotland he is sadly ignorant of the actual history of Scotland or England for that matter.

The “crowns” were never unified. Elizabeth is “Queen of Scots” courtesy of the 1689 “Claim of Right” of the Scottish Parliament and was made so the night before her coronation as; God’s anointed Queen of England, her dominions, colonies and commonwealth.

The Treaty of Union only dates from 1707 and is a treaty agreeing a voluntary, unitary parliament for Scotland and England – not including said English dominions, colonies or commonwealth.

In the meantime, since the mid 1750s when Scotland was found to be awash with the riches required for the 18th century industrial revolution, along with the skills to transform the basic ingredients into iron in bulk, all sorts of useful bits and pieces (such as the Carronade for HM ships of the day) and the development of factory made cloth in New Lanark and other sites, Scotland has put more into the Parliamentary Union Treasury than it has ever received in return.

The moves in 1912 to move a home rule bill for Scotland were, in part, a response into an increasing hue and cry about the lack of re-investment of Scotland’s cash surplus, to the UK Treasury, in Scotland. In the early 1960’s the Church of Scotland presented a damning report to the Secretary of State for Scotland on the state of living accommodation and poverty in Scotland against the serious amount of income Westminster was creaming off Scotland, with little being re-invested.

In the face of serious questions about what was happening to the surplus revenue from Scottish oil and gas fields, Westminster magicked up the “Barnett Formula”, Joel Barnett came up with this in 1978 to hide Labour’s blushes on how much “UK Tax” they were creaming off Scotland’s assets which among other things allocated just 6% of the Treasury earnings from Scotland’s oil and gas fields to the Scottish grant calculation. In the meantime the 1977 McCrone Report to the Labour Government, on the actual value of Scotland’s Oil and Gas wealth to the UK, was embargoed for 25 years, minimum.

Of course all these historical key factors are passed by unseen by Essexman; to which is now added the people of Scotland being ripped out of the EU against our considered will, the rampant corruption let loose in the current Tory Government plus the absolute midden which is Brexit.

Like many in England Essexman will only discover the extent Scotland has subsidised everything from their electrical bill and petrol costs via food, HS2, Trident, London Crossrail, the Docklands et al on Scottish independence; once the hard border that will arise because England is not in the EU, comes into play, and all the tax and licensing revenues from oil, gas, renewables, whiskey, food exports and the rest, belonging to Scotland, stays in Scotland.
Peter Thomson
via email