IT was good to read the report in The National that a motion has been submitted for the upcoming SNP conference on “seamless trade” within the UK. This recognises the legitimate concerns about the future relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK, which is shared by people who vote for other parties. The issue could become as much of a barrier to independence support as the currency question was in the last referendum.

Labour and the LibDems might join the Tories in saying that the need to maintain open borders is one reason for having devo-max on indyref ballot papers, with further devolution then excluding powers over international trade, foreign affairs, defence and other undefined exclusions. This could leave Westminster making UK trade agreements and in charge of trading regulations, UK immigration rules, Scotland’s £18 billion contribution nuclear weapons development, and a grossly inflated defence budget.

READ MORE: Scotland's electricity grid charges 'jeopardise UK's net-zero efforts', MP warns

Whilst the continuation of Westminster power in these areas would be unacceptable, the independence movement needs to recognise that of £85 billion in Scottish exports, £50bn is from exports to the rest of the UK. We would also want to keep open borders with rUK and the mutual benefits from UK free movement of labour. Therefore, whilst a federal system leaving Westminster with any power over the Scottish Parliament and Government would be inappropriate, a new kind of British Isles Federation will be desirable.

Scandinavia offers a model for a new kind of British federalism. The Nordic Council is the official body providing the means of governmental cooperation, with 87 members elected by its constituent parliaments to represent the various political parties of the member states (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) and the associate members (the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands). The council elects a president and is supported by a secretary general and secretariat. The countries also have an intergovernmental Council of Ministers, with ministers for Nordic cooperation, agriculture, the environment, health and education.

READ MORE: Industry bosses urge Tories to U-turn on carbon capture snub ahead of COP26

The UK and Scottish Governments are already members of the British–Irish Council, which also has representatives from the administrations in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. So, there is already a body in which Scotland could participate as an independent state, alongside any other European or global partnerships that an independent Scotland may wish to join.

So, the Yes Campaign should reach out to previous No voters in all political parties not only with the slogan Independence in Europe, but also calling for Independence in Britain and Ireland and we should set out how best both of these aims can be achieved. A devo-max referendum option would be unacceptable – the maximum amount of devolution is independence. But this does not have to mean border barriers and can still allow seamless trade.

Andrew Reid
Comrie, Perthshire

“SEAMLESS border between iScotland and rUK” ... are you kidding me? Have we lost the plot here? Has no one heard the expression “cake and eat it”? NI 2.0.

I absolutely despair reading this. Who exactly, as an independent country, would we be making our demands to? rUK? The EU? Please tell me this is Unionist propaganda to undermine the SNP and the independence cause (it is working, by the way), because

I have absolutely no under-standing, as we watch the Brexit “cake and eat it” strategy unravel before our eyes, why such a nonsensical idea would be worth debating.

Independent Scotland will face some hard choices, but I predict this preposterous fantasy will not be one of them – not if we want the benefits of EU membership, that is.

I Easton