I’M very glad to see from Mr Blackford’s statement reported earlier this week that SNP policy still sees the Queen as the Head of State for a future independent Scotland. This settles the issue for the manifesto for indyref2 and removes this as a fruitful line of attack for the next Better Together campaign.

More importantly, it recognises that a substantial proportion of the population do see the monarchy as part of their cultural identity whether they are politically aligned with the independence or Unionist movements. All of these people will still reside in Scotland after a successful campaign and as in any “consensus democracy” they have to accept the outcome of the campaign for this outcome to be implemented.

Having witnessed so recently the strife after a narrow Brexit result which took three years to implement; we must avoid at all costs anything which suggests that the losing side must simply accept absolutely every change to their futures without question of without so much as a “by your leave”.

READ MORE: Queen would remain as head of state after independence, Ian Blackford says

Irrespective of the views of activists it is highly likely that far more votes would be lost than gained in the attempt to attack the position of the monarchy or to address every pet wish at the same time as the fundamental question on independence. So lets not focus on anything other than the main prize in a challenge for which the outcome will not be clear until the votes are counted.

The monarch is in reality no more than a Head of State in the UK and in a Scotland of the 21st century. There is an incredible degree of fiction, wishful thinking and quite frankly blather around the actual powers exercised by the monarch. This is either because the statute has not caught up with reality or because it suits the government of the day to use monarchy as a fig leaf to hide some of their actions behind.

The oft-quoted notion of the monarch being able to declare anything and have that declaration actioned is entirely dependent on the ability and willingness of the establishment to implement such declaration and convince the population – electorate – to accept this. This was just as true in the mid 1970s (47 years ago) where this was last exercised in both Australia and in UK.

The important thing is that the monarch’s actions were not in isolation from the action and wishes of the respective establishment and the acceptance of the public in both countries. Let’s remember that the Queen is still Head of State in Australia despite the constitutional crisis in 1975. That simply would not be the case unless the Australian public wished it to be so.

The monarch in practice must accept the advice of the government and it is the government which exercises the Royal Prerogative through Ministers of State. Any residual powers of monarchy are now defined or limited by the Courts since a judgement in July 2019.

The last time the Royal Assent was witheld from legislation i.e. against the wishes of the government of the day; was in 1708 which gives a better indication of the actual power of the monarchy.

In practice the relationship with the monarch as Head of State in an independent Scotland will be the same as in rUK. The real power will always be exercised by the government of the day.

Gus McSkimming

I’VE never bothered much what the Queen got up to apart from resenting how much it cost the nation. Colin Beattie has thrown a whole new light on this (‘The Queen being Scots head of state would be no-go’, Letters, March 8).

A quick read of Wikipedia confirms she’s head of the Armed Forces and the more I read, the muddier the waters became. I see this as simply because the UK does not have a written constitution.

The Constitution for Scotland consultation simply says in clause three that the Head of State will be selected by referendum and the appointed by parliament.

The National:

If, as Colin says, the queen can simply declare a national emergency to stop independence it then becomes a whole new ballgame. How do we proceed? Maybe once the count shows a majority for indy we declare ourselves a republic before the procedure to declare a state of emergency can take place. I wish I was a writer, I can see the basis for a novel here!

Catriona Grigg
Embo, Dornoch

IN reply to Colin Beatie’s letter, I would like to point out that a number of factions of the independence movement are saying that we should have a written constitution. Moreover this has been stated on numerous occasions by elected SNP representatives. As such his assertions that the Queen will/can dismiss the elected government of Scotland is nonsense. That goes for some of his other points he makes.

READ MORE: Queen’s jubilee sparks fresh debate over monarchy in an independent Scotland

Colin should realise that a written constitution first has to be agreed by the majority of the electorate and determines how a country is governed, and primarily stops prerogative powers of the monarchy or dictators from overstepping powers. The UK wouldn’t be in the state we are in today if we had a written constitution, instead people like Boris Johnson makes it up as he goes along. Not only that, the English MPs like to remind us of king whatever his name did as being constitutional hundreds of years before Scotland joined the Union and we have to abide by it. No thanks!

I along with thousands of others are not putting the case for a modern democracy to be informed that the queen (or king) can overrule something because they don’t like it. I’m not against having the Queen as head of State or Prince Charles when he ascends the throne as Head of State, as long as it is under the Constitution of Scotland and their powers to interfere in the governance of the State is limited by that Written Constitution that we shall have in place.

Alexander Potts