GRANGEMOUTH is closing, leaving oil-rich Scotland with no refinery and reliant on England. We’ll no longer be a manufacturer and exporter of petroleum products and become an importer, which is the point. England, always a huge net importer of manufactured goods, couldn’t bear that Scotland has always been a net exporter, so it has “blown another hole in our industrial base”.

The useless GERS accounts will show a fall in Scottish revenue as jobs move south and tax is paid in England. This is all about Westminster putting Scotland back in its box.

READ MORE: Grangemouth oil refinery closure makes Scotland 'more reliant' on England

Grangemouth is owned and controlled by Petroineos, a joint venture between Chinese state-owned PetroChina (China didn’t sell off its energy assets) and London-based Ineos, ruled by Jim Ratcliffe, the Brexiteer who took his car production overseas rather than provide employment or pay tax here. I bet he can hardly wait to start fracking in the Forth freeport area – another stupid Tory idea – which includes Grangemouth.

The SNP leader in Westminster couldn’t muster a single question on Grangemouth during Wednesday’s PMQs. We’re in this sorry situation, stuck with a colonial administration clinging to Westminster’s green benches, because a majority of Scots voted NO to governing themselves in 2014, choosing to believe the “better together” lies.

If we want to stop the asset-stripping and economic emasculation of Scotland we need to declare our independence from this thieving Union, seize our resources from corrupt oligarchs, rebuild our industrial base and public services, and start taking care of our people.

Leah Gunn Barrett

IT seems the asset-stripping and the destruction of the Scottish industrial sector is culminating in the closing of the Grangemouth refinery. Started in the 1980s, this project has moved the common wealth of the UK, held in the assets built with public investment, into the hands of an oligarchy and plundered the natural resources of Scotland to the detriment of its people.

The cynical way that Jim Ratcliffe and his ilk are punting the transition to renewables as the reason to close an important resource that Scottish business relies on tells the story of greed and indifference.

READ MORE: Neil Gray: We shouldn't be alarmist over Grangemouth refinery closure

Grangemouth is essential to the production of fuel and raw materials which will be required for decades to come. We in Scotland will have to rely on fuel imported not only from abroad, but from the large refineries in Merseyside which may be controlled by a hostile England when Scotland gains independence.

This is an act of Unionist vandalism in the face of the possibility of Scottish independence. As usual Ineos will take the private profit while the community will carry the public risks and costs, another example of the subsidised capitalism that has run riot in the UK for decades.

David Neilson

SO now Scotland, with the closure of its only refinery, will have to import back from England, “buying back” refined product derived from the oil stolen from it in the first place. The great asset and energy robbery steps up a gear.

Oil, gas, electricity (water will be next!) – it all flows south, with little benefit to Scotland. Yet Scotland has the highest energy and fuel bills, even in this resource- and energy-rich country – we have all the necessary ingredients for success, but this criminal plunder is preventing us from a fair and sustainable future that uses our own assets for the benefit of our citizens and communities, whilst allowing big corporations to profiteer.

READ MORE: BBC changes story on Grangemouth closure over 'incorrect' data

Couple this with the so-called freeports (tax havens here, to add to the kleptocratic havens abroad), then it’s a free-for-all-ports strategy for those asset thieves to plunder without restraint ... I despair.

We need to act firmly act NOW – to stop our assets and resources being tangled up in commercial and contracts that, even after independence, will mean Scotland will continue to be subjugated by predatory kleptocrats elsewhere.

David Hood
via email

THE closure of Grangemouth is a glimpse of what lies ahead within the UK, Scotland becoming 100% dependent on imports while 100% of its natural assets are exported.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

ON the day after possibly the last Tory government Autumn Statement before the next UK General Election, why has The National chosen to run a main feature exclusive story questioning the competence of the SNP Scottish Government?

Was there nothing in the Chancellor’s statement worthy of such prominent criticism? Buried at the bottom of page eight is a story reporting the SNP’s Drew Hendry branding the statement “another Tory con trick”. Perhaps this might have been a better front page headline from an independence-supporting newspaper.

David Howie

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LISTENING to Sunak’s PMQs responses, what’s clear is that he is in total denial – avoiding answers, swerving the question, spouting Trump-style nonsense of supposed improvements. Johnson tried this and it also failed for him. Let’s examine why such an approach fails. Well it’s simple you see, what you spout HAS to resonate and be felt by the electorate. If it isn’t, then quite simply you are perceived as a fraud. Sunak has learnt nothing, he’s not his own man. He will fail, just as Johnson failed. Tell the truth, don’t waffle, it only brings failure!

Dale Hughes
via email

YOUR letter from I Archibald, Edinburgh (Nov 23) states Michael Matheson allowed his kids to access his ministerial iPad. It was not a ministerial device (otherwise why would parliament be paying for it?) and it’s out there on the internet that the kids accessed it via a hot spot arrangement.

This sort of ill-informed comment should really be weeded out before it makes it into print otherwise The National is no better than the rags I stopped supporting years ago.

Andrew Buchan
via email