I DON’T disagree with too much of Rebecca McQuillan’s article ("Independence the ‘settled will’? It’s far too soon to say", The Herald, October 16), with hubris a big danger for both sides of the constitutional debate. My main difference would be that Brexit will occur before any independence referendum takes place.

No serious economist suggests anything other than a Brexit hit to the economy of the UK (though a handful of fishing millionaires may become fishing multi-millionaires), and this will be in tandem with the dire economic consequences of the pandemic. By the time of a referendum, say in two or three years' time, I think it would be inevitable that any nostalgia for the past will invoke memories of the prosperous “good old days” of EU membership. If that is correct, then the blame for the unavoidable decline in our standards of living will land on the head of the pro-Brexit Westminster Government, and attempts by them to portray independence/EU membership as an economic disaster will be accordingly more difficult to sustain.

Not all of this will be fair to the unionist side, but when was politics ever about fairness?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

RACHEL Ormiston of Ipsos MORI Scotland contends that the SNP is in "extremely good shape" and in "fine fettle" ("Leadership is key to SNP’s good showing in the polls", The Herald, October 16). The recent telephone poll of 1,045 Scottish adults, indicating that 58 per cent planned to give their constituency vote to the SNP, is one poll reflecting people’s views between October 2 and 9 this year. In political terms, there is still a long way to go to the Scottish parliamentary elections next year with the possibility of voters’ intentions being affected by what Harold Macmillan once described as "events".

I believe that she paints rather a bright picture of the prospects of the SNP. I say that for a number of reasons. The full story from the parliamentary investigation into the failure of the inquiry into alleged misconduct by Alex Salmond has still to emerge. Moreover, a number of senior SNP figures have been passing less than complimentary remarks about the party and its leadership. Jim Sillars has expressed "grave concerns’" about the Hate Crime Bill. Kenny MacAskill has criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for independence. Alex Neil has suggested that the SNP should rethink its plans to rejoin the EU after independence. The SNP has yet to publish its workings for the economics of independence. Further, after the Holyrood elections next year, the party will be without what can be described as a number of old hands, such as Jeane Freeman, Roseanne Cunningham, Mike Russell and Alex Neil, who have all indicated that they are standing down.

The SNP, I would suggest, is not in such a glowing position as Ms Ormiston would have us believe.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

I DOUBT Nicola Sturgeon really expected Sky to give up its “Crown Jewels” but her advisers never miss cynical opportunities for populist headlines ("Sturgeon wants an Old Firm free-for-all", Herald Sport, October 16). If she did expect free access to the Old Firm match then once again she has shown her complete lack of understanding of the real economic world.

Everything has to be paid for. And she has yet to say who is going to pay for the tsunami of consultants and lawyers that would be needed to break up the UK; the compensation for those who will be entitled to it; the cost of fixing the inevitable mistakes over many years; the much enlarged Scottish civil service, the Scottish Army, navy and air force; the obligations of public service pensions and the enormous welfare state that she is cultivating.

Her guru promises a generation of hardship. Who votes for that? Independence? Not no, but never.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

TODAY'S Letters Page (October 16) reached a new level of doom-laden dross with the likes of James McIntyre referring to a "dire separatist plot" to abolish "one of the finest nations on earth".

Forgetting centuries of colonisation, genocide and slavery, as many of your correspondents tend to do when discussing the "United Kingdom", the very "hatred and rancour" these same letter writers allude to are very clear in demonstrations such as Orange marches, statue-defending gatherings and counter-Black Lives Matter campaigns, where hatred and thuggery are the order of the day.

I would personally much rather live in a country where social justice and tolerance are the norm, and not greed, racial intolerance and bigotry, as is encouraged by unionist/loyalist masses and billionaire tax evaders who support the majority at Westminster.

Kevin Orr, Bishopbriggs.

JAMES McIntyre writes about "the abolition of one of the finest nations on Earth".

It's not the actions of "the finest nation on Earth" to invite people to reconstruct it after it had been almost destroyed between 1939 and 1945, and then 50 years later to deport these same people and their children, to countries the children didn't know, and where their elders had no living relatives.

It's not the action of "the finest nation" to put notices on buses telling these same people to go home. This was despite the fact that these immigrants had worked in Britain, paying taxes and NI contributions for 50 years.

Finest nation? I think not.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.

FOR once I’m in agreement with Alexander McKay (Letters, October 16).

Tam Dalyell knew that the main thing holding Scotland back from going for full self-government was a lack of national self-confidence. Once the people saw that Scots-based politicians were capable of running the devolved government the natural thing was to want them to take over the “reserved” powers too.

We can develop a country in tune with our philosophy: no more weapons of mass destruction or jingoistic wars and a welcome to those paying us the compliment of wanting to make their homes here.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow G31.

Read more: Letters: Yes lead is down to poor opposition and will not last