I AGREE with all of George Kerevan’s excellent analysis on the challenges for an independent Scotland in the EU, except that I favour leaving the EU as I believe it is a sclerotic institution which is in no way intrinsically progressive, despite the attempts by many who should know better across Scottish politics to suggest otherwise (The EU should be a friend after independence, not our master, September 16).

George Kerevan rightly calls for “immediate and drastic democratisation” of the EU. How is this to be achieved, and why are the Liberal Democrats, Greens, or the SNP not leading the way with proposals of this kind? To be fair the SNP government did produce minimalist demands for EU reform around five years ago. What has become of them and did the EU Commission listen?

All the evidence is that the EU Commission does not want to listen, and a salient lesson was the reaction from Brussels after the 2016 EU referendum. There was no element of collective soul-searching with an imperative to reform – indeed quite the opposite, as leaders like Macron are very open that they want ever closer political union. Even after the 2014 independence referendum the regressive and semi-feudal UK dimly realised, out of the urge to survive, that reform, however inadequate in the form of the Smith Commission, had to be offered.

Mr Van Rompuy says he still has “hesitations” about Scottish independence. Well I have hesitations about a supra-national centralised monolith which would prevent an independent Scottish Government offering state aid, or nationalising key utilities post-2023, and this is a serious issue regarding the kind of Scotland we seek in the future.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

I WAS reading, as you do, extracts from Hansard of the second reading of the Barbados Independence Bill 1966. The contrast with the current Westminster attitude to Scottish independence was quite striking. On October 29, 1966, Mr Edward du Cann (Taunton) said: “I think we should say to them, and say clearly, speaking as a British Parliament: ‘We may no longer have responsibility for your government, but we who are your friends will stand by you and help you, as equals’.”

Earlier, far from laughing at the thought of Barbados trying to become independent, it was suggested that the success of the Barbadian economy should not prevent them, once independent from Britain, from receiving considerable financial aid.

It would appear that whilst welcoming the impending independence of this colony, a colony of Britain for more than 300 years, it was of concern that the British Government should help sufficiently the people that Britain had once been responsible for.

Perhaps once Westminster has helped to facilitate Scottish independence, a transitional period of fiscal transfer will be implemented to assist with the smooth start to our new path forwards? Or perhaps the Scottish people are not valued and regarded with the same esteem as our friends in the Caribbean?

It really is an interesting read: bit.ly/BarbadosHansard.

Andrew Darby

I DO believe in the reestablishment of a United Ireland. I consider the gerrymandered country of Northern Ireland created almost 100 years ago by the British Government to be an absurdity. It is an example of how the policy of the British Government in the 20th century was to draw lines on maps which purely addressed situations which presented themselves at any particular moment in time. A policy which sought to address symptoms rather than trying to find permanent solutions. Other examples of this policy can be readily seen today in Africa, Asia, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. Areas where many of the world’s greatest problems are all too evident.

I do, however, realise that my belief in a united Ireland is not presently universally shared in this country. How best, then, to persuade the majority of my fellow countrymen to back such a course of action? I believe persuasion and recourse to history would be a good places to start. The rash of Republican parades presently taking place in Glasgow are, if anything, counter productive.

I believe these parades and those held by the Orange Order are purely manifestations of the sectarianism which blights Scotland. I feel that many of the participants, rather than espousing any particular cause, are more intent in fuelling hatred. I contrast these with the All Under One Banner parades where tens of thousands can march with enthusiasm and good humour to proclaim the need for Scottish independence.

Might I suggest those who would further Irish unity look to the template set by AUOB and seek to build bridges with the greater community, not antagonise them?

George Kay