REBECCA McQuillan helpfully suggests that there are more options than independence for Scotland or the status quo, for example “… a move towards federalism…” (“What Scotland needs is a British Citizens Assembly”, The Herald, July 5).

A clear majority of Scots have voted to remain in the EU which involves the acceptance of a two-tier government and some loss of self -determination. So, the significant proportion voting for independence from England seems slightly contradictory and clearly results from the perception that Scotland is dominated by England, which is the much larger country, the location for the national government and not sharing a devolved form of government.

It is worth noting that the governmental headquarters for the EU has been deliberately located in Belgium, a smaller and less powerful country, to ensure that the historically stronger nations do not dominate or be seen to dominate.

In considering the locating of the national capital within the UK so as to ensure a sense of fairness, I found myself first ruminating as to whether, as a continuation of the Irish peace arrangements, a full apology , reconciliation and re-unification might have been possible between the UK and Eire, even to the extent of the national government headquarters being relocated to the latter country. Reconciling Northern Ireland might be more difficult but the option to locate the federal capital in Belfast might have helped (I am an Anglo-Scot by the way).

The above scenario is likely be a utopian impracticality and Brexit would make it even more unlikely. However, less radical solutions to relocate the national government headquarters for a federal state away from London should still be worth pursuing to address the perception and reality of England’s dominance within the UK Union. Options for this might be for the UK capital to move to one of the three smaller countries or, if unworkably contentious, to the north of England (if federally separate from the south) say, to Manchester, where other cultural organisations have already devolved or somewhere like York with its important governmental role in centuries past. As Rebecca McQuillan rightly states “…it’s not just that the relationship between Scotland and England that isn’t working properly, but between the English regions as well.”

Stephen Downs,