THANK you for publishing Wednesday’s article on a proposed third option for a future independence referendum (Why devo-max should be option in indyref2, Jan 5).

This issue – one which has occasionally threatened to break through into the wider constitutional conversation since 2014 – remains a popular “what if?” among many. As was recognised by Chris Hanlon in his piece, devo-max was a popular option in 2014 and would have offered an exciting and potentially transformational change in government for Scots.

Despite this, the question as I see it continues to be framed in the wrong light. Instead of the impetus being put on those discontent with the status quo of British politics, those intent on shackling Scots to the broken and right-wing Westminster government should be making the case for a third option in any future vote.

READ MORE: Former SNP policy chief backs three-option referendum to break indyref 'logjam'

In any three-option referendum using single transferable vote, the maths and views of Scots simply would not allow for the Union in its current form to survive – either in a renewed devolution settlement or with a Scottish republic forming.

The SNP, Scottish Greens and others who fall down on the pro-independence side of the current constitutional debate have clearly set out their stall on where they stand. Meanwhile, the Tories, their Union flag-wearing supporters and other imperialist fanboys seem unmoving in their support for all that is Britain, and will no doubt remain in the No camp in perpetuity.

As I see it, it is Scottish Labour who have the most to gain (and lose) in the discussion around a three-way vote. MSPs past and present, including Monica Lennon and Neil Findlay, the party’s Campaign for Socialism, and even a member of the House of Lords – Pauline Bryan – have shown a strong appetite for such a move. As the (supposed) party of the left, democracy should be a core tenet of its values. Joining with the Tories in 2014 made it clear that Labour are not going to be waving the flag for an independent Scotland any time soon. But with a significant portion of Labour members and supporters (40% being the figure most regularly quoted) being pro-indy, being seen to be open to this conversation can only improve their poor political standing.

READ MORE: What is devo-max and does Scotland want it? Professor John Curtice explains

For Scots, this would also be a win-win situation. Project Fear won out in 2014, in part because of a lack of options for those not entirely convinced by the idea of independence. While some may have shifted in the years since, there will remain a level of hesitation among many. A third option on any indyref2 ballot ensures that Scots have the chance to chip away at the power of Westminster.

The Tories losing grip on any number of powers is undoubtedly a good thing, and if those intent on defending the status quo are pushed to defend the few benefits of the Union, we may just see those who are hesitant about independence (and who would favour a devo-max option) fall down on the right side of history.

Harris Scott
via email

I AM utterly appalled at Wednesday’s front page, with a sentiment that is shared with nobody I have spoken to about it. It indicates clearly that some figures in the SNP do not understand politics (and, very worryingly perhaps, some of them understand only too well).

Let us be very clear. The reason we got devolution was that we stuck to our growing demand for independence. Had we gone for “devolution” we would have got a lot less than was eventually conceded. That’s the way it works. While many of us took devolution as a step in the right direction, we fully understood that it was a desperate last-ditch barrier to Scotland’s independent future. The notion that – as we grind our way to majority support for full, free nationhood – we should now go for some ephemeral half-cocked devo-max is absurd.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think of a 'three-option' independence referendum?

There is no devolution that gives us the absolute control that all the 190-plus free nations of this world enjoy, and no devolution that makes Scotland a nation.

This proposal presents merely another barrier to our independence and, as the rest of the world waits for us, makes us a cowardly laughing stock. Bin it right now.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

SADDENED that the editor has seen fit to air this bilge from Chris Hanlon. I’ve known for years that there are MI5 sleepers in the indy movement, and this seems to confirm it. Does ANYONE believe this drivel-for-the-gullible? Next thing he’ll be advocating “federalism” – yet another dead end designed to kick the indy can even further down the road. Westminster is NEVER going to voluntarily devolve meaningful powers to a Scottish government! When indyref2 2 is won, we don’t ASK for it – we DECLARE it. Subservience at an end!

Scottish PEOPLE are the sovereign body, NOT the English government.

Barry Stewart

I HAVE not spent more than 50 years pursuing Scottish independence to see Scotland become the laughing stock of every country that has won its independence by holding an independence referendum with Yes, No and Maybe options.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I CANNOT believe the naivety of Chris Hanlon. Ask any pensioner what Westminster’s commitment to a “triple lock” is worth. Any fudge that leaves us subservient to rampant English nationalism just delays our right to self-determination.

Ian Richmond

CAN we say no to nuclear weapons with devo-max? Or veto a constitutional change like Brexit? If not, devo-max is too little, too late.

Besides, who would trust Westminster to honour it? And not remove its powers one by one?

Kenny Kerr