THE latest new polls indicate that the expectation of independence is greater across all groupings/parties than the desire to vote for it, yet both polls show a demand for independence within Scotland. Concomitant with this will be a demand for some clarity as to the way forward in early agreements.

This would appear to suggest that the people of Scotland have decided that Mr A Johnson’s Scottish Tories, and Mrs J Swinson and her Scottish LibDem compatriots, are being fundamentally dishonest with their false claims of no demand for independence in Scotland.

READ MORE: Scottish politicians react to bombshell independence poll

Whilst there are still many further hurdles to get over before an independent and successful Scottish Parliament can be realistically delivered to the people of Scotland, perhaps now is the time to consider some issues that both rUK and Scotland will have to address over the next decade or so, including:

  • How will Scotland/rUK address the issue of fracking and GM crops in rUK near the Border? Will we need to have early joint agreements at least in the border areas on these issues?
  • How will Scotland/rUK address the issues of transport policing and hot pursuit of criminals into the rUK near/across the border?
  • How will rUK/Scotland address the issue of US-inspired higher-price pharmaceutical drugs in the privatised rUK NHS, generating issues such as the smuggling of such drugs into the rUK from Scotland?
  • How will the rUK/Scotland address the issue of personal taxation of rUK residents working in Scotland, in both the border areas and deeper into Scotland?
  • How will the rUK/Scotland deal with energy transmission given that the rGBP value would no longer be underpinned by Scotland’s extensive natural resources? Will energy transfers need to be denominated in the euro or the USD?

The problem with getting any such agreement arises when the fundamental dishonesty of the individuals named above, and their acolytes, are taken into account.

So, together with indyref2, and YES2, Scotland will probably require a fully legitimised form of Smith2 as well, at least in the short term.

Stephen Tingle

READ MORE: Scottish independence: John Curtice reacts to bombshell poll​

GREGOR Young’s article (August 5) said that Boris Johnson’s promise of a cash injection of £1.8 billion into NHS England is “just a drop in the ocean”. For those facing ever increasing waiting lists and shoddy buildings, any increase in funding would be welcome. What is more difficult to understand is the difference between this promise and the many many others made in the past which have not been delivered.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's £1.8bn fund for NHS 'drop in ocean'

His party promised to balance the books by 2017 and run a surplus thereafter. The deficit in 2018 was £40.7 billion, a £2.5bn increase from 2017. They promised to cut net migration to below 100,000 people a year, but in 2017 net migration was running at 273,000. They promised to give workers the right to three days’ volunteering leave a year, but that never happened.

They promised to increase British exports to £1 trillion by 2020, which will not happen, and Brexit will mean it will not be met for many years to come. They promised thousands more GPs in training and working for the NHS, to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, and to clamp down on extremism. Surprise surprise, none of these were delivered either.

Mr Johnson’s predecessors were keen to point out that there was no “magic money tree”, but his plan to increase the allowance for those paying the higher rate of income tax, funded by an increase in National Insurance, will transfer responsibility from those who can most afford to pay to ordinary working people, and damage the UK economy as a whole.

His plan to refuse to pay the UK’s fair share of the costs of our EU obligations would see the UK being taken to the International Court in the Hague, which could severely damage our reputation abroad and make trade deals less likely.

It is vital that Scots do not have to put their future in the hands of these Tory extremists. Self-determination is the only way to achieve this.

Pete Rowberry

THE article on the recent UN report on children being maimed or killed in conflicts by weapons supplied by UK companies authorised by the UK Government made disturbing reading (Blood on the hands of Westminster, August 4).

READ MORE: UN report finds Westminster has blood of children on its hands

Saudi Arabia and Israel were mentioned in this report. The report found that the Saudi Arabia coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children during 2018. Another statistic from the report was that 59 Palestinian children were killed in the West Bank and Gaza during 2018. Some of these children were as young as 18 months old.

I am aware that there are some politicians and some groups who support and defend countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. However, in supporting and defending the countries they seem unable to condemn the violence and human rights abuses both countries commit on a regular basis.

It would be good to hear from some of these politicians and groups in the wake of this sickening and heartbreaking United Nations report. Hopefully they could show a bit of principle and condemn the horrifying behaviour highlighted in the report.

Arthur West

I WOULD like to congratulate the staff of The National for giving us, on Saturday, the second chance in three days to admire that lovely image of our newly-minted leader.

I refer of course to the photograph of Boris doing something which he obviously really enjoys; clutching a bird firmly to his chest with both hands!

George M Mitchell