KEIR Starmer is right: the choice in this election in England is who will be prime minister as the austerity imposed by the Tory/LibDem coalition is set to continue under a Labour government.

Although Scots appear to have more choice, Scottish votes will not decide who becomes Prime Minister so perhaps they too have a binary choice – to vote to continue the fight to take back control to our parliament or to acquiesce that Scots are better governed from another parliament.

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If predictions are fulfilled, we will soon be under the control of the most right-wing London-centric government in hundreds of years, with the Labour Party so dominant that the Westminster parliament will have less authority than a rubber stamp.

If there is a Unionist revival in Scotland, the detrimental effect on devolution would be immense and permanent. Should the Unionists have some successes in Scotland, the Prime Minister could appoint Anas Sarwar, leader of the unregistered Scottish Labour Party, to set up a group to consult widely with the Scottish people before producing a successor to the Brown Report, with the promise that its recommendations will be laid before Westminster as amendments to the Scotland Acts.

This would be framed as rewarding Scottish voters by updating devolution to what Scots really want in their own government, and be a practical demonstration of how much more influence Scots have with a Labour government in Downing Street.

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On July 4 Scottish voters will be making their most important political decision since they voted for devolution, one that will again affect their lives and the lives of future generations in Scotland.

If the SNP are not returned as the major force representing Scotland in Westminster, be prepared for major changes to the devolution settlement and the internal trading process that will strip away the additional benefits enjoyed mainly only in Scotland – advantages that have been built up gradually over a quarter of a century of devolution, having been added to by all Scottish Governments since the first Labour-LibDem coalition introduced free personal care for the elderly.

Scots really have only a binary choice at this election. No matter who England elects as Prime Minister, the London-based parties will continue to act in unison when dealing with Scotland in Westminster.

The future of Scotland really does lie in the hands of Scots at this election.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

IT is timely that we should remember that 2014 brought us not one, but de facto two referenda. First, there was the referendum the independence movement negotiated. It simply asked whether Scotland should be an independent nation. The second “question” was not physically written on the ballot paper. It existed instead as a threat.

Uninvited, it was introduced from London and pressed very forcibly as a top issue by Westminster’s anti-Scottish-independence bloc and propagandised on its behalf by our media. This second, and unwritten, “question” was based on two things. Firstly, on the bloc’s claim and pretence that the EU would evict a supportive and resources-rich nation for expressing a democratic view – while of course the EU had said no such thing. Secondly, there was Westminster’s promise that only a No vote to independence gave certain guarantee of Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU.

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Many Scots from elsewhere in the EU, content with or supportive of Scottish independence and wanting to stay in Scotland, were tricked into fearing that a Yes vote might lose them their chosen home and maybe their livelihood. And no doubt others conceded to the threat too. Therefore, the top question many of these voters saw and answered was: “Should Scotland leave the EU?” This of course enhanced the No vote, while Westminster afterwards pretended their vote was really a “no” to only the first question.

Then in 2016 Scotland provided a clear “yes” to staying in the EU while England said “no”. The unequalness of the UK’s union meant that Scotland’s wishes were 100% irrelevant, and we were insulted for saying so.

In contrast to a modern union such as that of theE U, Westminster/the UK applies only the priorities of the biggest of its constituent nations. It denies the other nations any parity or veto; even where there is a clearly expressed alternative view concerning a deeply harmful issue as absurd as Brexit.

In this present election, the two big London-based parties promise to continue to prioritise England’s interests over ours, to treasure their Brexit, and to stifle, ignore, or overrule Scotland’s voice. It has become impossible for Scotland to exist within what had been its two unions.

In the name of elementary democracy, the question needs asked and answered: “Which union does Scotland want to be a part of?”

Professor Aonghus MacKechnie

FARAGE is Trump’s pal, and now he is Putin’s pal. Soon to be Deng’s pal?

Farage effectively blames the EU and Nato for Putin attacking its Western neighbour. Surely Ukraine is as entitled as any country on the planet to form whatever alliances, unions and co-operations that it wants?

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After the Soviet Union broke up and its satellites went their own way, none have so far formed a queue to rejoin so that they can again be governed by Moscow.

The Soviets did not baulk when Poland and others were next door to Nato countries so Putin cannot complain about any country which abuts Russia. Russia could have easily have had a more stable relationship with the West if it had joined Nato when invited.

M Ross