ANGUS MacNeil and Chris McEleny have set out an alternative strategy for independence, rightfully so, yet while the intent is admirable, surely the scope is rather limited (Call for 2014-style campaign for Yes, July 9).

Without doubt it would be better to say that whenever a pro-independence majority of MSPs or MPs is elected, the SNP would support such and allowing such support was mutual, the parties concerned would use that mandate to open negotiations under a set timeframe towards reaching an amicable settlement with London.

READ MORE: Angus MacNeil calls for 2014-style Yes campaign NOW

Surely though, any such declaration should also include a time limit, possibly between one and five years, or several months before the expiry of that Parliament’s life, after which if no such settlement is achieved, the parliament of Scotland at Holyrood shall simply and unilaterally end the Treaty of Union of 1707 together with revoking all of its relevant articles.

Any treaty between nations can be unilaterally or multilaterally ended. That’s really all we’re discussing here. End the treaty, easily done now, and with Westminster recognising the Claim of Right, and end the Union. Scotland is once again free to make its own decisions.

It would, by any measure, seem to have a solid grounding in international law.

Many might cry about the need for a referendum, a Section 30 order, or such. We should remember that it was Alex Salmond who permitted the setting of that precedent, not strictly a requirement for the Section 30 order, prior to the 2014 referendum, and that his driver for doing it was to provide absolute clarity for the result.

Westminster itself effectively superseded that need for any multilateral agreement last year, with parliamentary recognition of the Claim of Right, the sovereign right of the Scots to decide their own destiny.

Everything now shines in simple clarity; however, it’s guaranteed that London will do all in its power to muddy those waters. Perhaps that everything will stop short of sending in the tanks, one can hope, yet civility towards Scotland from England’s ruling classes has been in notoriously short supply over these last few centuries, except in cases of dire need, when there has been more than one “Rough Wooing”, each loaded with worthless promises.

In the meantime, Holyrood has breathing space to create or expand all the institutions that an independent nation will require. One thing we will all acknowledge it that after any such vote, our politicians will be busy.

Before any action, it would seem imperative that we Scots give ourselves something which the English, Welsh or Northern Irish might never have – a written constitution, if just the fundamentals.

Without that framework, it is arguable that folk voting for independence-leaning parties did not actually understand what they were voting for. It could also, if drafted well, provide more votes for those parties.

Once adopted, like America’s, it should require a super majority in Holyrood to alter it.

Meanwhile we should remember that in the 1970s, London itself proclaimed that a majority of Scots MP’s elected to Westminster could trigger Scottish Independence. It’s a very poor commander who discards any advantage.

As to a referendum, why rule that out, but why indeed rule out any other route, especially a peaceful way through the ballot box?

Ashley MacGregor
East Kilbride