NATIONALISTS never tire of running Britain down. Yet millions of people from all over the world have chosen to live here. This year, 8,000 migrants have spent thousands of pounds to cross the Channel in dinghies at great peril to gain illegal entry. Why choose Britain when they could have settled in any of the EU countries they passed through? If Britain were as bad as the nationalists claim they would have avoided it entirely.

Supporters of the SNP claim that the Union is treating Scotland unfairly. But thanks to the Union, the Royal Bank of Scotland was saved from disaster. Numerous infrastructure projects have gone ahead in recent years – new hospitals in Glasgow, Dumfries, and Edinburgh; the new Forth crossing; dualling of the A9; the Borders railway; new warship construction on the Clyde and Rosyth; new schools and health centres. These projects were only possible because of the strength of the UK economy, which underwrites Scotland's public spending deficit (the difference between spending and taxes raised) of £15 billion. During the Covid crisis the UK Treasury is supporting 900,000 Scottish jobs. The Union dividend is worth £1,941 per Scot.

The SNP's own Growth Commission report explained that a decade of austerity would lie ahead following independence. The truth is that all the economic arguments favour Scotland continuing to belong to one of the largest economies in the world.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

YOU have reported that Whitehall insiders have suggested with the departure of Dominic Cummings is an opportunity for Boris Johnson to “reset” his Government post-Brexit. They could have also added post-President Trump and the election of the much more pragmatic Joe Biden whom Mr Johnson has far more in common with regarding key policy areas such as climate change, Iran, the World Health Organisation and his response to Covid-19 – notwithstanding the spat about the Irish border which will be resolved soon one way or the other.

With regard to another referendum it is interesting to note that the Dunlop report on strengthening the Union is due shortly, which could well be the precursor for a future referendum in the not too distant future. However, it will be well nigh impossible for the PM to build future relations with the SNP administration is nigh impossible given Nicola Sturgeon’s latest manufactured grievance about the UK Internal Market Bill, which she called an “abomination”. As someone who spent most of his working life manufacturing in Scotland and depended on the UK internal market for most of the sale of our products I find her comment not only offensive but downright ignorant. It was not by coincidence that we sold five per cent in Scotland and around 65 per cent in rUK (similar to today’s figure for Scotland’s “exports” to rUK) with the remainder overseas, especially the US, where we don’t even have formal trade deal. It is therefore vital (in my opinion) to keep the UK internal market intact controlled by whichever UK Government is in power to insure a genuine level playing field (unlike the EU single market) for businesses wherever they are located to maximise opportunity. But as long as Ms Sturgeon’s rallying call remains that in all circumstances independence “transcends” Brexit, oil and the economy Scotland’s businesses face tough times ahead.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.