WE residents of Scotland are between a rock and a hard place. Many of us have concerns about the cost to Scotland of independence, it being disappointing that nationalists are failing to come up with a convincing financial analysis.

On the other hand, we wish to find a way of disassociating ourselves from the destructive economic and social philosophies of the current British Government.

In next year’s Parliamentary elections we must give an unambiguous message to the effect that we wish there to be created opportunities for formulating clearer Scottish approaches to issues by having the powers devolved to Holyrood increased and strengthened.

However, I read in the online version of The Herald today (July 13) that “the UK Government is planning to withhold power from Scotland and Wales when the Brexit transition ends”.

I am beginning to suspect that there is sufficient time before the next Westminster election for the current manifestation of Conservatism to bring about the end of the UK.

John Milne, Uddingston.

WE are being told that support for independence has increased to 54 per cent which the “experts” say will result in an increase in MSPs backing separation at the Holyrood election next year. It appears this increase is largely due to Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis and her “polished” daily appearance on television.

How very sad that the possible destruction of our wonderful country could be placed at risk by those who are fickle enough to be swayed by Ms Sturgeon simply reading a list of instructions provided by her advisers – this is no basis for endangering the future of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

It is interesting that apart from Jeane Freeman, Ms Sturgeon clearly has no faith in having the likes of the hapless John Swinney or woeful Fergus Ewing front the daily readings and taking questions. This is absolutely understandable, as the baying herd of journalists would make mincemeat of them and support for independence would plummet.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

ANENT Rishi Sunak’s remarks during his “mini-budget” speech, I am afraid that the “undeniable truth” is that Scotland could have fared better as an independent country, like all the other countries around the world who have abandoned the “broad shoulders” of the UK in the last 50 years and more, in favour of standing on their own two feet.

Had Scotland been independent, we would have had no need of the Bank of England, as we would have had our own national bank as lender of last resort.

Had Scotland been independent, according to the international ratings agencies, we would have had a triple A rating, which the UK lost after the 2008 financial crash.

Had Scotland been independent, we would have had full borrowing powers, and none of the huge debt that burdens Westminster.

Had Scotland been independent, we would have had a state stake in our oil and gas industry and have had a savings fund like Norway to support a crisis.

Had Scotland been independent, we could be charging Westminster for the use of Faslane and Coulport, until such time as they were forced to close.

Had Scotland been independent, we could be charging Westminster for the electricity we currently send south via the Grid, at a huge penalty cost to us, as opposed to the subsidy that is given near London.

Had Scotland been independent, we could have been charging similarly for water that is piped south.

Had Scotland been independent, we would still own the 6,000 square miles of North Sea, with 6 wells therein, which Tony Blair stole.

Need I go on? Meantime, I would recommend anyone who still doubts the ability of Scotland to run a financially viable, independent state to read some of the work of true experts like Dr Tim Rideout and many others, which is already in the public domain. Rishi Sunak sounds to me like a bean counter who has yet to count his beans.

L McGregor, Falkirk.

IT takes a certain amount of chutzpah to start an article citing, in evidence, contrarian Jim Sillars and ending with Jackson Carlaw in Bute House ("It’s not quite Stalin v Trotsky but SNP is facing a civil war", The Herald, July 11). Perhaps this is Struan Stevenson’s Tory version of gallows humour. But a “civil war”? Really? Haven’t we been here before? In fact hasn’t “peak nat” been a popular theme of British nationalist commentators, week in, week out for years now?

The iron law of politics dictates that those in power, in an internal party dispute, always come out just fine. Thatcher and Heath, for example. Alex Salmond may front up an alternative independence party, standing on the list (hardly a threat to the SNP): otherwise “he aint comin’ back”. I would guess the person who should worry is Leslie Evans, Whiltehall’s top civil servant in Scotland, who is front and centre of the botched inquiry; but as we saw with Sir Mark Sedwill, soft landings can be arranged.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

STRUAN Stevenson is clearly rattled that support for Scottish independence is at 54/55% and rising, which is why he concocts a titillating story about SNP internecine warfare. Unionists like he are desperate to change the narrative but will fail for the simple reason that the Tories are an epically and relentlessly incompetent government.

In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s no accident that the UK has the highest morbidity from Covid-19 in the world. From the outset, the Tory Government has badly bungled its response, from locking down perilously late, squandering any social solidarity by failing to punish Dominic Cummings’s breach of lockdown rules, and reaping the effects sown by more than a decade of savage public sector cuts that has left the NHS enfeebled.

A look at the recent numbers is telling. England has borne the brunt of infections and deaths, with a 7-day average death rate of 71.3, whereas in Scotland the rate is 0.3, 24 times lower than England. Since breaking from the disastrous four nations approach, the Scottish Government has demonstrated how sound science and clear, calm and consistent communication have suppressed the infection and death rates.

And when the economic impacts of Brexit, something Scotland resoundingly rejected, are added into this toxic Tory mix, it’s no wonder Scots are increasingly determined to flee the sinking Union ship. Already before Covid-19, UK GDP growth in the last quarter of 2019 was 0 per cent. The OECD is forecasting that Britain will suffer the worst recession of any developed nation, with GDP projected to fall 11.5% this year.

Janet Bungener, Edinburgh EH10.

STRUAN Stevenson ends his doom-laden prognostications by predicting that "Jackson Carlaw will have to clean the bloodstains from the walls of Bute House if he takes up residence there". If the likelihood of a damaging civil war within the SNP matches the likelihood of Mr Carlaw moving into Bute House, we have very little to worry about.

Derrick McClure, Aberdeen AB24.

AS Scotland is not an independent state and has expressed no wish to be one, why on earth does it have a so-called "Government"?

This is a miscalculation by the proper administration – the true British Government – to pander to the little Scottish Gauleiters who cannot win an argument but accept the prize anyway.

Scotland is not a separate country and any appearances to the contrary merely seek to obfuscate the fact that Scottish political institutions are nothing more than a glorified and expensive form of local authority.

Janice MacKay, Blackwood.

Read more: Letters: When will they learn that England isn’t the UK?