Letter: Scottish options

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The sentiments expressed in your leader ("The Scots should seek independence", 3 April) are realistic, but demonstrate the lost opportunity for fair and sensible government in Britain.

Of course Scotland, and any other country in the Union, must be allowed to go it alone if a majority of its citizens are unhappy with their lot. But we need never have come to this. The Union is mainly the product of opportunist English imposing a non-federal parliament on their neighbours in 1707.

If only things had been different. Had the Scots been allowed to keep their Parliament the possible dissolution of the United Kingdom would not now be threatened.

Why do our political masters lack the imagination to put things right, ignore the blatant self-interest of the SNP and offer a federal Britain, with assemblies for Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland, and anyone else who wishes to be associated. The interests of all these islands could be represented, major issues such as defence and taxation being entrusted to a federal assembly, replacing the House of Lords.

Crucial and joint interests, such as agriculture and fishing, could be represented with a more powerful voice. This could be a valid alternative to the pound being coerced into shotgun marriage to the euro.

This time, let's get it right. Have self-government, but within a federal structure, allowing Scotland's citizens to continue to play a vital part in British, not just Scottish or English, history.

The total separation of Scotland and England would be a retrograde step, which both nations would soon regret.

JOHN CRAGG

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

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