WHAT Boris Johnson thinks about Scottish independence is irrelevant. What Westminster thinks about that is also irrelevant. What the English courts might think is irrelevant.

We know from the Kosovo case at the International Court of Justice (22 July 2010) that Scotland can make a legally binding declaration of independence which is valid in international law, whatever any UK court thinks. What does matter, however, both in legal and in political terms, is what the majority of Scottish people think about this issue.

So let us ignore the irrelevant and concentrate on the relevant.

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It may be, if recent polls are accurate, that there is now a majority of the electorate in Scotland in favour of independence, but polls tell us that there is a much larger majority in Scotland for the Scottish Government rather than the UK Government to have the right to decide this, and that view concurs with international law.

Now we can either wait for months to get Johnson to change his mind, which seems futile, or we can test Scottish public opinion on the question of who they think should decide on a referendum on Scottish independence.

Such a campaign can be run in Scotland and decided on this year. So that by the time the UK is once again involved in the “Deal or No Deal” drama with the EU, Scotland will have decided that the Scottish Government has the authority to organise a referendum on Scottish independence.

If we were in that position, then it would make sense for the Scottish Government to have contacts in Europe talking about protecting our trading position in the single market, on a temporary basis, if the UK came out of the EU with no deal, to give us the chance to organise a referendum on independence and make our own trading arrangements with Europe.

It does seem to me that we should proceed along these lines and start this work now.

Andy Anderson

OUR First Minister says that “a referendum, whenever it happens, must be legal and legitimate.” Frankly, a result that gives an overwhelming mandate to inform the Scottish Government to proceed accordingly is legal and it is legitimate. Because when the people speak it is the government – any government – that asks how high. And that includes first ministers, prime ministers, presidents, monarchs or otherwise.

If that situation were to develop, it would be ludicrous in the eyes of the world if Boris Johnson then staunchly declared that his authority superceded the wishes of an entire nation and such a result was null and void. The entire situation would and should be judged on democracy.

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And it is also a fact that this authority of his (pseudo authority in this day and age) could, by his will alone, permanently deny any referendum we ever seek and the right to apply for entry into the EU.

I think the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations would have something to say about that.

Robert Gritton
Newmachar, Aberdeenshire

REGARDING Craig Allison’s letter of February 6 about previous letters objecting to “Tories out” chant as independence marches – yes, you did miss something!! Post the very successful election in December there are in Scotland virtually no Tories to get out!

In my letter – if that is the letter alluded to – I made it clear that in Scotland we must think ahead. We have been urged to persuade anyone who might vote Yes when the time comes to do so – this may be put severely at risk if people who vote Tory in Scotland – who might have even lent the SNP their vote in December – think twice if there is such antipathy.

We won the vote in December and it was acknowledged that many from different political parties lent their votes. Surely this is an indication that the tide is turning towards independence? To that end I made it clear that every vote will count when it comes to a vote.

What is happening in England is now in the past, in that Scotland is now more and more in the position to rightfully have an independence referendum.

Yes, the Tories have wreaked havoc in both Scotland and England but let us be the bigger nation that we are, and welcome all – no matter what political persuasion – to feel welcome and included at any demonstration.

Maybe I am missing something, as I thought the AUOB marches stood for ALL under one banner! Tories – in – we need you to help win our independence.

Frieda Burns

IN his letter, Solomon Steinbett takes other readers to task for criticising “a 71-year-old lady” (Letters, February 6). Can I ask what relevance the age and gender of the letter-writer has to do with anything?

Mr Steinbett also says that he is not going to vote SNP again. That’s his choice and he’s free to make it. Fortunately the majority of independence supporters are wise enough to realise that without the SNP, and clear evidence of support for them, independence won’t be happening any time soon.

Douglas Turner

THE prosperity of a nation essentially comes down to economics and good management. It seems to me that the Scottish Greens at least have an economic plan, in the Green New Deal, which attempts to transform the economy with environmental considerations in mind. On the other hand, if the SNP can’t come up with anything better than the Growth Commission report, then we’re in for a shedload of trouble!

Solomon Steinbett