IT must surely be obvious to everyone in the UK, as it has been to many in Scotland since 2014, that referendums do not settle issues "once and for all" and cause more division and harm to the body politic than can possibly be justified. However, if they are to be on the scene as a permanent running sore in the UK, it is surely time to improve on their conduct in the light of experience.

I therefore have some sympathy with William Durward (Letters, April 1y) and his proposal that future independence referendums should require a two-thirds majority. This is indeed the requirement of the SNP in its own constitution, as it is in other countries as such as the United States. Likewise, Nicola Sturgeon herself said that she would only call for another referendum when there was sustained support of more than 60 per cent for independence (which is as near as dammit.)

Another way of ensuring a decisive result for a referendum is to require a double majority – that all or a majority of parts of the country need to agree to the proposition. I have agreed with Ms Sturgeon in these pages that the Brexit referendum should have needed such a double majority. I am sure she will agree with me that it is just as reasonable to require that all or a majority of the regions and islands groups of Scotland should be required to vote for a Yes majority.

The danger of proceeding on any other basis would be that No-voting areas such as the Borders and Orkney and Shetland might wish to follow Ms Sturgeon's own example and say "we didn't vote for it, so were not having it." They might then – again following the First Minster's example – seek respectively to rejoin the UK and become Crown dependencies, like the Bailiewicks of Guernsey and Jersey.

Peter A Russell,

87 Munro Road, Jordanhill, Glasgow.

SOME people are shouting that there should be a mandated 40 per cent vote for the Yes side in the next Scottish independence referendum.

Surely the 40 per cent rule should also apply to the No side. This would avoid the dead and absentee voters having a say. We would be back to our normal democratic "one vote counts".

Bill Kerr,

56 Sandyknowes Road, Cumbernauld.

Read more: Letters: There is a case for indyref2 to require a two-thirds majority

I READ Keith Howell's letter (April 17) and was genuinely unsure how to react.

As a Scot of English, Irish and Scots ancestry I have been privileged to have letters of mine printed in The Herald in support of independence for Scotland among other issues in which I believe. By far the greatest amount of vile abuse, always anonymous, comes from Unionists. Some of the suggestions enclosed are not only surreal but also anatomically impossible. However I do note that these loyal Brits have retained their Anglo Saxon vocabulary. So please be assured Mr Howell your fellow Unionists even want me thrown out of the land of my birth.

However. there is a point I feel is worth making. When one is 100 per cent negative as Mr Howell is towards anything SNP and especially the First Minister, negativity attracts negativity. Common sense tells one that there are major failings with Westminster governance and to attempt to divert the blame on others inevitably invites ridicule. I am sure Mr Howell and I would never agree but I do not blame Westminster for everything that is wrong with Scotland. I believe in positivity and optimism while Mr Howell believes in negativity and blame.

I have no desire to remove Mr Howell from Scotland. It will just obviously take a little longer for him to appreciate what the future can and will hold rather than clinging to a long lost empire.

David Stubley,

22 Templeton Crescent, Prestwick.

MAY I reply to your correspondent (Letters, April 18) who claims I "hate the SNP’’? I would like to think I do not hate anyone.

What I do not like, intensely, is nationalism, of any kind. Be it British, German, Serbian, Scottish, Polish, "civic’’ (whatever that means), any brand. It is a call, no matter how disguised, to the most base, tribal instincts of human beings and everywhere it has flourished has in the end been demeaned.

Alexander McKay,

8/7 New Cut Rigg, Edinburgh.

NICOLA Sturgeon claims there will be "nothing disorderly" about Scottish independence, were it ever to happen ("Concerns raised over rise in trains skipping stations", The Herald, April 18). It would seem the years of Brexit chaos have passed her by – and we haven't even got down to the detail yet.

It's taking many years of bitter, fraught negotiations to extricate us from a "semi-detached" political union with the EU. It seems optimistic in the extreme to suggest severing a 300-plus years of closely intertwined social, cultural, political and economic relationships will be a walk in the park.

Martin Redfern,

Woodcroft Road, Edinburgh.