Independence is back at the top of the agenda of our Letters Pages, following the First Minister’s launch of a new economic blueprint for Scotland earlier this week.

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In his speech, Humza Yousaf referred to the UK as the “poor man of north-west Europe”, a characterisation which raised the hackles of one of our readers.

Alexander McKay of Edinburgh writes:

"I was genuinely surprised to read of the First Minister of Scotland calling the UK 'the poor man of Europe'.

The UK he derides in large measure supplied much of his recent generous handouts in the Middle East. This should have given him leeway to extend badly-needed help to the weather victims in Brechin, but it did not. The UK is a leading world economy and is also a major provider of aid for the poorest countries on the planet, including the FM's favourite recipients of aid in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

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Perhaps Humza Yousaf can explain why hundreds of thousands of would-be migrants and asylum seekers by-pass our ''rich'' neighbours and risk all to get to the ''poor'' UK. For many decades this ''poor'' country has provided succour to the poor of India, Pakistan, Africa and elsewhere. Most of the incomers are grateful.

In fact, Scotland, under the SNP, is the 'poor man' of the UK."