BILL Brown (Letters, February 4) asks what we would do if “Boris Johnson, having been elected as our PM started a constant and unrelenting call for independence for England, Wales and also for Northern Ireland every time we heard him?” Might I remind Mr Brown that Mr Johnson not only made such proposals in 2016 (justified by such as “£350 million more per week for our NHS”) but has acted on them, sweeping Scotland, where those who voted made clear their wish to Remain, out of the European Union as well. Mr Johnson now has his “independence”, or will have by the end of this year.

In contrast Ms Sturgeon’s argument, no matter what you might think of it, applies only to those of us “with a Scottish postcode”.

In similar fashion Peter Russell (Letters, February 4) too prefers his own reality, suggesting a “divisive and bitter nature of … Scottish Nationalists’ politics”, posing the question of whether we want a repeat – “Bravehearts vs Quislings” – with a second independence referendum. Yet what is the evidence for this?

Mr Russell’s view is that referenda cause divisions, which seems a particularly odd position to adopt in a week when three successive polls have indicated support for independence is running at 50-52 per cent. However, Mr Russell has things the wrong way around. Other than for the most myopic, or those content to evade and deflect in ways such as “I see no sign of any demand for another referendum” or “once in a generation”, it must be clear that the division (which is inevitable in a binary issue) already exists. A referendum would merely address an already extant division of opinion.

Moreover Scotland in 2014 demonstrated that a referendum can be conducted in a mood of, to quote Alan Little, “passionate engagement”, and even though there may have been “online abuse, though it flourishes, [it] runs against the grain of the general, quiet civility”, as Ian Jack wrote at the time.

Mr Russell’s reticence to support another referendum is as understandable as it is only to be expected, particularly as the current level of support for independence is even now almost twice what it was estimated to be in 2013. However, perhaps he should contemplate the opportunity for another vote, another period of “passionate engagement” to address and resolve a division that exists already?

One thing does though seem clear, that if Westminster continues to say, “you’ve had your referendum”, this will resolve nothing, and merely allow any division to deepen and fester.

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

IF I were Nicola Sturgeon, I'd be mightily disappointed that in recent opinion polls support for independence is only hovering around 50 per cent, and not the 60 per cent level she used to insist was her trigger for demanding indyref2.

The SNP, as the party of government, has campaigned ceaselessly for independence since 2012, many would say at the expense of managing our public services. It completely controls the Scottish political narrative plus with an unmissable Westminster presence. Labour is in disarray north and south of the Border, and Scottish Tories leaderless. Plus it is assisted by an upsurge in pro-EU emotions as Brexit happens, with many even believing SNP spin-doctor rhetoric that Scotland will glide easily and quickly into the EU. And still only around 50 per cent supporting the break-up of the UK.

As Ms Sturgeon's speech last Friday made clear, there's a long way to go before she can be confident her dreams could be realised.

Martin Redfern, Edinburgh EH10.

WITH the greatest respect to Jim Sillars ("SNP members ‘willingly misled’ by Sturgeon over Indyref2", The Herald, February 4), may I point out that the European Union did not stop the UK Government from holding a referendum on membership of the EU, and it is not the EU which is denying Scotland the opportunity to choose her own future. It was a Labour government, not the EU, which trashed the UK's economy; it wasn't the EU which imposed years of Tory/LibDem austerity cuts and denied the Waspi women their pension rights; and it is not the EU which keeps Trident weapons of mass destruction in Scottish waters and which dragged us into an illegal war.

Sure, the EU has its faults, but because of its many positive benefits Scotland voted to remain within it; and as the latest opinion polls show, increasing numbers of Scots voters are coming to believe that independence in Europe would offer a better future by far for Scotland.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

I AM sorry that Boris Johnson, Jackson Carlaw and others seem to think that Nicola Sturgeon is neglecting the "day job". I must point out that pursuing the cause of independence is her day job. The First Minister is to be congratulated for her persistence and determination in the pursuit of that cause.

Margaret MH Lyth, Uddingston.