THE Ruth Marr-Nicola Sturgeon claim that the 62 per cent EU referendum vote means Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will (Letters, February 7), can only be valid if Scots answered a different question from the rest of the UK. But we didn't have a different question to answer. The ballot paper in 2016 was an inevitable legal and political consequence of the 2014 result.

In the thousands of years of our history, we the people in Scotland have been sovereign only once – between the hours of 7am and 10pm on polling day in 2014. The decision at 10pm was to hand it back to the UK. That Scottish decision made the question in 2016, whether the UK would leave or remain in the EU, the only one that could be asked. That it was a legitimate question in a UK context, was endorsed as such by Nicola Sturgeon deciding to go south to campaign for Remain. The fact is that in 2016 the majority in Scotland voted for the UK to remain, not Scotland.

Of course, I understand Ms Marr and others latching on to the 62 number to make political capital. But do they really believe that the Unionists in the 62 would, if given the choice, vote for Scotland to re-enter the EU and in doing so quit the UK? That is an untested question. Those who voted Leave in Scotland have been largely ignored. I am among the 1,018,322 Scots who did so, and when you consider the overall UK majority was 1,269,501, we can stake a claim to it being "us Scots wot done it".

I hope Ms Marr is relieved to know that one of my reasons for voting Leave was different from that of Boris Johnson. I voted to get the EU out of the way for the next referendum, given that in 2014 it was on the side of the UK Government, telling us in polite language to get stuffed. Had the UK remained in the EU, one of the most powerful states, and a major contributor to its budget, there would have been no change in attitude towards an independent Scotland.

Jim Sillars, Edinburgh EH9.

NEIL Mackay is partly right, that the key to switching No voters to Yes is to stop talking about independence and start running the country well ("The key to winning over No voters is for SNP to govern well", The Herald, February 6). But there are others factors at play that will turn the tide in favour of a free Scotland. Boris Johnson promised the NHS £350 million per week if we left the EU. Many of us knew it was a lie, but many also believed it to be true and voted for Brexit because of it. That money won't be delivered in 2021 or any other year, and a price will be paid.

I struggle to understand how anyone could vote for a proven liar, and by association supporting the austerity measures that have devastated our country over the last 10 years, massively damaging our public services – roads riddled with potholes, police taken off the streets, the health service brought to the edge of chaos, the number of homeless and food banks incrementally increased. This sacrifice doesn't make sense just for blue passports that will cost £200 billion, or at least 21 years of EU membership.

At 11pm on Jan 31 a disconnect opened up with my English friends (and I am from England). Our values diverged, we started travelling in different directions.

Paul Shaw, Dunblane.

AM I the only person who is feeling effectively disenfranchised? For the past 10 years, I have voted for the SNP because of the previous abysmal performances of the three (so-called) major parties. Sadly, the obsession with independence has overridden the priority of effective devolved government.

The fiasco with the Calmac ferry services, the disgraceful overturning of the independent Reporter’s decision against the Murray tennis centre, the ongoing refusal to do anything about the pollution and dangers of offshore salmon farms, the lack of governance and responsibility in the building of two major hospitals and the continuing problems with service delivery in the Health Service, the dropping standards in education. These are just some of the reasons why I am in despair.

The problem is the lack of any credible alternative at the present time: opposition parties led by nonentities or dinosaurs who have no coherent policies with which to persuade the floating voter to turn to them.

I am old enough to be sanguine about my own longer-term future, but I fear for what awaits my grandchildren.

John NE Rankin, Bridge of Allan.

WE live in a democracy where society is governed by laws and Acts of Parliament rather than public opinion or the whims of an elite; at least that’s what they told me years ago when I was being programmed at school. Therefore if the independence referendum was to be a “once in a generation” event then I assume that fact will have been recorded in the appropriate enabling legislation. If it is specifically stated in the legislation I am unaware of it, but then I’m just a punter. If it isn’t then why is the phrase repeated ad nauseum as if it had any relevance to future events?

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

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