I FEEL that the view of Leah Gunn Barrett (Letters, June 15) on who holds sovereignty in Scotland is one of political rather than constitutional significance.

If indeed you believe that sovereignty lies with the Scottish people then it has to be accepted by many that the Scottish voting public have been guilty of gross misrule. They have repeatedly forced us to be administered by a party in power, namely the SNP, which has consistently shown the financial acumen of a schoolboy in a tuck shop with his pocket money.

Our inability to build ferries on the Clyde has made us an international laughing stock. It is unbelievable that we have had to turn to Turkey, which is apparently on track to build them on time and in budget. We, the so-called sovereign Scots, own an airport at Prestwick which haemorrhages money in the millions of pounds every year. Holyrood is about to spend a reported £470 million on a covering of the A83 Rest and Thankful road which will doubtless prove more expensive than a new road on a lower site. The dualling of the A9 has turned out to be another fanciful timeline.

Additionally, we have two consecutive SNP First Ministers who know what is like to be questioned by the police.

No, Ms Barrett, I would trust King Charles III, whose judgments have not perhaps always appeared to be gilt-edged, to make better decisions on the future of Scotland than the SNP.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

There is no Scottish Crown

I READ with interest the letter from Lean Gunn Barrett She puts forward a case that, whilst entertaining, is factually incorrect. First, it is simply not the case that in law "the Scottish Crown represents the sovereignty of the People of Scotland". Rather this is a somewhat romantic notion based on a very modern misinterpretation of the Declaration of Arbroath (which does not actually form part of Scottish constitutional law – rather it is closer in nature to a diplomatic exchange between states).

Secondly, there is no "Scottish" or "English" crown any more. The entire purpose of the Act of Union (England) – passed by the –English parliament in 1707 and the Act of Union (Scotland) passed by the Scottish parliament in 1706 – was to legally unite the two kingdoms into one kingdom (Great Britain) with one crown (the British crown). There has been no King of Scots or King of England in more than 300 years (although this fact often escapes Hollywood film writers). The Coronation Oath (that Charles is required to make by the 1689 Claim of Right) does not specify the Scottish Crown – only that Charles agrees to govern in line with respected laws and customs.

As with all these arguments one reads about how the UK is built on a tissue of deceit and law-breaking, I would simply ask why – if your correspondent's argument is correct – the SNP has not used it as part of its patchwork argument in favour of independence?

One may draw one's own conclusions.

David McIntyre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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Waiting for total Brexit

HARDLY a day goes by without a letter published complaining about the actions (or sometimes inactions) of the Scottish Government with the direct or implied message that the people of Scotland are dependent on the altruism of our southern neighbour. Surely in a situation where the people both north and south of the Border believe their social and economic aspirations are not being met the solution is for both countries to “go their own ways”?

It is the settled will of the people that Scotland should have its own parliament (nearly 75% voted in favour of devolution); the only valid debate is when that parliament should have the constitutional powers to determine the future of the people it represents. In spite of the SNP’s recent travails, support for independence continues to average above 50%, so confidence has grown over the last decade, and especially since the Brexit catastrophe, that Scotland can and should go its own way.

What appears to be holding us back is that in spite of the bluff and bluster of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, our southern neighbours do not yet appear to have the confidence to go forward by themselves. Perhaps some of your able scribes who regularly criticise the Scottish Government (with its significantly limited and effectively diminishing powers) can persuade their friends down south that they should escape the economic trap of “dependence” on Scotland’s extensive natural and enterprising human resources and begin campaigning for the core independence aim of “Total Brexit”.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

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Labour let us down again

FAR from abolishing the House of Lords, Labour peers failed to use the powers it does have by merely abstaining on Tuesday and thus supported Tory Government plans in the shape of the Public Order Bill to further curb citizens' right to protest. They also allowed the UK Government to use an unprecedented abuse of power through a Statutory Instrument to enact primary legislation in order to bypass House of Commons scrutiny.

This was followed by Labour MPs abstaining rather than supporting an SNP proposal to set up a Westminster committee to examine the causes of the cost of living crisis and the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. Brexit is the reason for the UK’s much higher inflation and shortage of skilled workers desperately needed by Scotland’s tourist and agricultural sectors. Also, EU officials have poured cold water on Labour’s hopes of being able to negotiate a better Brexit deal by changing Boris Johnson’s Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

Rachel Reeves has rowed back on Labour’s grandiose plans for a Great British Energy Company as it no no longer going to invest £28 billion a year in green energy, the latest in a long line of broken promises from Labour, which could have very real and damaging consequences for Scotland's green energy potential.

Traditional Labour voters are also concerned by the drift towards increasing private health provision and means testing rather than universality given their plans to rule out offering universal free childcare.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

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Make them pay for by-elections

WITH the announcements from Boris Johnson, Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams that they wish to resign their seats in Parliament, it begs the question of who pays for the by-elections to replace resigning MPs?

Standing as an MP carries a commitment to represent a constituency until the next General Election, elevation to the Lords, death or some grave misfortune that prevents continuation in the role. The law is clear that resigning is not an option for an MP. By invoking the anarchic appointments to the Hundreds of Chiltern or the Manor of Northstead, MPs have invented a manoeuvre to circumvent the law, provided the Chancellor upholds their application for one of the posts. The retiring MP will receive a very generous pension for life in return for their curtailment of their services to the country.

I think that the costs of the by-election to replace them should be derived from the pension they will receive after retirement. Alternatively, appointment to either of these posts should require forfeiture of the parliamentary pension and repayment of the bye-election costs.

Brian Redman, Selkirk.

How to say sorry, nicely

I OFFER the following in response to Richard Wiggins’ call for suggestions for something more appropriate than flowers from the SNP MSPs to Messrs Murrell and Beattie as expressions of their sympathy and solidarity through the present inquiries these two gentlemen are facing (Letters, June 15).

For Mr Murrell, a no-brainer would be what I am sure would be a most welcome year’s subscription to the Caravan and Motorhome Club, and for Mr Beattie an equally welcome abacus to assist him in dealing with any future problems in balancing accounts.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Politicians of faith can succeed

KATE Forbes has said that people of faith are fearful of politics. This is not the case. For example, four Scots of strong faith who have been active in politics for many years are Murdo Fraser, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Sir Michael Hirst and Lord MacKay of Clashfern. When Lord MacKay was appointed to the office of Lord Chancellor, he impressed upon Mrs Thatcher the importance of the sabbath to him.

Leslie Mutch, Dingwall.