THE Wee Ginger Dug’s article (Anti-independence parties lack the bravado and confidence of 2014) and Andy Anderson’s letter on referendums in The National on Tuesday clarify the differences between referendums held in the UK and Scotland.

The result of the referendum on Scottish independence, as the will of the sovereign people of Scotland, will be binding on the majority of MSPs elected to the Holyrood parliament on a manifesto commitment to hold such a referendum.

The position in England is different, where the UK Government decided in the case of the consultative Brexit referendum that it would acquiesce to the will of the people in England and put the required legislation through parliament.

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Theresa May’s letter to the EU president and statement to parliament on Brexit on March 29 2017, and her letter to the nation of November 24 2018, were all based on her intention of honouring the will of the people – there is not even a hint that the referendum is legally binding on parliament.

In fact, in her letter to Donald Tusk notifying the European Council of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union she makes it clear that she is invoking Article 50 as “the United Kingdom Parliament confirmed the result of the referendum by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.”

The present debate on binding or consultative referendums is being conducted on the basis of the relationship between people and parliament in England. There are no grounds for such a debate in Scotland, where the relationship is quite clear: the people are sovereign.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I HAVE always believed that people are entitled to their opinion, though blatant lies and deliberate distortions always angered me. On reading Kevin McKenna’s article (Launch event was lacking optimism of 2012 despite better starting spot, Jun 15), here are my opinions.

I have enjoyed a lot of Kevin’s pieces, although some that he has written in a humorous vein were not quite my cup of tea (everyone to their own taste).

Kevin recently wrote that he would not lose any sleep over Yes being defeated in the next referendum. The criticism he expresses is a revival of what he has written before, and gives me the impression that he is anticipating a future undisturbed sleep.

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New to me in his criticisms is his comment about trade unions and his specific remark about the leader of Glasgow City Council. He seems to have forgotten that it was under her leadership that council women workers won their historic pay demands.

The source of denial of those justified pay demands was the collusion between a certain trade union and the previous Labour council.

As for the remarks about the vital campaigning for Yes in 2014 (I assume his is referring to the trade unions and their leaderships), if there was campaigning it was surely from the rank and file, because their leaderships were for a No vote.

There were, to the best of my knowledge, two exceptions. One was my own union Unite, and I think the other was the Fire Brigades Union – both adopted a neutral position.

Bobby Brennan

FOR months folks have been gnashing their teeth with discontent at there being no news of a referendum. We get the launch, and in The National Common Weal, Red Kevin the Labour mouthpiece/occasional Yesser and Lesley Riddoch all presented such a gloomy response in their articles. Kevin’s was an outright assault on all things SNP.

Come on, people, the question is do we want our independence? If Yes, then let’s get behind the vehicle that will get us there. The opposition will throw plenty of grenades so we don’t need to do the same.

Jan Ferrie

I HAVE been loath in present times to answer some of the rants in the letter’s page on the grounds that (a) answering them gives them undeserved daylight and (b) in many cases they are the work of plants. One wonders why some of them aren’t to be seen in the letters pages of our Unionist press. One feature in virtually all of it is that there is absolutely no sensible or productive alternative to the political positions that is under attack.

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I was energised by the declaration that we are having a referendum whether Westminster agrees or not. I’m sure most of us feel exactly the same. That is exactly the right position right and now increases the pressure is on the Unionist coalition to come up with any democratic reason why we should not be allowed a referendum. In particular, the sad cartel that is the “Scottish” Labour party cannot cope with this declaration of our democratic right.

The Scottish Claim of Right, the Smith Commission and, more significantly, the UN Charter all make it absolutely clear that we have the right to choose our own future and any notion that we should doff our caps and crawl back into our wee boxes when the UK suggests it can stop us is pathetic.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

I SEE that in their desperation that the English Tory government has, with no sense of irony, returned to the 1970s by referring to trades union leaders as “union barons”. Deeply ironic from a party which has packed the House of Lords with donor barons and robber barons to sit alongside the silver spoon barons who are only there because their 15x great-grandad raped, pillaged and murdered to get there.

Cal Waterson