UNIONISTS like William Loneskie (letters, December 15) repeatedly ask the same question: why should it be good for Scotland to leave the UK but bad for us to leave the EU? And, repeatedly, independence supporters demonstrate why this poses no contradiction.

Within the EU (or a similar voluntary free trade “club” such as EFTA, the European Free Trade Agreement), Scotland would be a full member of the pack, with the same voting rights as all the other 27 members and with no one club member dominating everybody else by dint of population, history or political institutions.

Attached to the UK as it leaves the EU, Scotland is the tail on the lone wolf, far from the brain and neither consulted on nor necessarily informed of decisions which affect itself.

Another allegory: it’s the difference between an adult who pays a subscription to an organisation to be allowed to attend meetings and occasionally chair them, and a (working) teenager living at home with parents who control everybody’s earnings and dole out pocket money as they think fit.

Scotland grew up long ago. It’s time we had our own home and our own bank account.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow

Who is dependent upon whom?

WHILE I could take issue with William Loneskie over several points he makes, one in particular requires the application of logic. That is his claim that “we depend on England for more than 60 per cent of our exports”.

That is exactly the reverse of reality. Any country has to import what it has in short supply, and a country which has these resources in sufficient abundance obligingly exports them to the country with the shortage.

Scotland, from our abundant resources, exports to England supplies of what they lack. Who is dependent on whom?

Perhaps Mr Loneskie thinks that SSE, Scottish Power and the National Grid, for example, have agreed to the east coast subsea interconnector from northeast Scotland to the Yorkshire coast, because we are desperate to get rid of our surplus electricity and England, out of sheer altruism, is willing to accept it to help us out.

That our exports to England are so high, indicates just how much England is dependent on Scotland. One reason, perhaps, why they are so desperate to keep us?

L. McGregor, Falkirk

Union constraints on Scotland

FOR the third time in as many weeks Herald readers have endured a turgid dissection of the GERS figures by Kevin Hague (“Independence would cost us dearly – the statistics prove it”, December 15).

Mr Hague clearly believes these figures demolish all arguments for Scottish independence and would have any right-minded Scot scurrying back to the UK Treasury, cap in hand, forelock tugged, asking for further financial largesse.

There is little point in number-crunching the GERS figures against the estimated balance of payments in a future independent Scotland: there are just too many variables.

The GERS figures are a very approximate estimate of Scotland’s current account balance where we presently sit, as a fully integrated part of the UK, which renders many of Scotland’s assets and income streams invisible.

Kevin Hague obsesses about costs but nowhere in his “analysis” does he show any awareness of value. Where are his figures illustrating the economic worth of an independent Scotland’s vast green energy resources, our world-class universities or our well-educated workforce?

Looking towards the economic prospects for an independent Scotland requires a strategic overview. As an EU member state – and yes, the EU would be delighted to welcome us back – inward investment and headquartering from businesses in North America, Europea and the rest of the UK would hugely benefit the Scottish economy.

Scotland has many economic and resource advantages over other successful small European countries, yet these states are invariably more prosperous than a Scotland currently constrained by the Union.

I wonder if Mr Hague ever ponders the irony of his argument which represents little more than an economic variant of the Scottish cringe. He wants Scottish voters to believe they live in an economic sinkhole and yet his solution to this perceived penury is to promote the continuation of the Union which has produced such economic tragedy.

Does he have any positive vision of the Union to share with us, or is he simply a doom sayer clinging to perpetual Westminster rule by governments Scotland did not vote for?

Scotland and its voters have changed dramatically since the devolved Parliament was established in 1999. Despite Mr Hague’s exhortations of economic disaster Scottish voters will not approach the voting booth at Indyref2 with a GERS spreadsheet in their hand. Instead they will look at what the Union has imposed Scotland over the last five years, from Brexit to the embarrassment which is Boris Johnson and his government.

Having seen all this and contrasted it with how our First Minister has performed, perhaps best illustrated by her management of the pandemic, I have little doubt Scots will decide this Union has run its course.

Iain Gunn, Sheriffmill, Elgin

Let’s all agree to disagree

I SUSPECT that I am not alone among your readers in having arrived at the conclusion that the debate, on the relevance of GERS figures to how an independent Scotland would be likely to operate, has run its course at least for a while.

The proponents of the importance of the figures, prominent among them Kevin Hague, and the SNP critics of their use seem to have argued interminably with the same arguments being rehearsed time after time .

I am sure that most of us, with an interest, have got the message. Why don’t they just agree to disagree since a meeting of minds is not even on a remote horizon, at least until the run-up to the Holyrood elections next year.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie

Precarious state of our finances

MY goodness, Neil Mackay (“Brexit speaks of the death rattle of English nationalism”, December 15) really must see his GP – if he still has access to a doctor under this woeful SNP regime.

I could feel his blood pressure reach extra unhealthy levels as he berated Boris Johnson and his Government.

It is easy to see where Neil’s ruddy completion comes from.

My blood pressure could easily have risen as once again he bemoaned the United Kingdom and maintained that “ the break-up of the U.K. It’s coming”, had it not been for the usual good sense on the following page of Kevin Hague.

These Islands founder Hague once again provides ample evidence that the Scottish Government’s GERS figures are a true indication of the precarious nature of Scotland’s finances.

Supporters of independence were happy to accept GERS when oil was over $100 per barrel but now ridicule them as they show an entirely different story.

As Kevin Hague says: “The truth is that the act of separation would lead to eye-watering austerity in an independent Scotland”.

Separatists should be very aware of what they wish for.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar, Aberdeenshire

Fighting the Brexit war

I HAVE been a more or less faithful reader of your paper for nigh on 60 years and you have occasionally (very occasionally) kindly printed some of my letters – and, I hope, this one, too.

I’m now finding that too many of your contributors (no names, no pack-drill, but the list is not short) have such a fragile grasp of the concept that they merit being called out as Trumpian democrats.

That is, those who are democrats for only as long as they are on the winning side.

Although an acceptable exit deal with European Union still awaits, the fact is that Brexit is done and dusted.

The UK democratic majority voted, warts and all, to reclaim the sovereignty lost when, without our permission, governments took us into the EU from a perfectly acceptable situation and voted for Common Market.

Given the chance to vote fifty months ago we, as did the US Democrats more recently, seized the chance to correct a bad mistake.

However, far too many correspondents and contributors insist upon ignoring that simple fact.

They wish to fight the war they lost all over again, and no doubt again and again, until they win.

Then, suddenly, no more votes because “we”, the (self) appointed elite know more than “them”, hoi polloi.

It is only bad sportsmen who challenge and deny the referee’s decision.

Isn’t it time everyone accepted the past, ceased their niggling and nitpicking, “grew a pair”, and devoted their energies to constructing a worthwhile future for us all?

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian