Sir, – English Scots for Yes D and G were at the fore-front of one of the largest demonstrations Dumfries has ever seen, last Saturday (June2), when 10,000 people marched in support of Scottish Independence.

We were all people who originated from South of the Border and who actively support the Yes campaign.

Saturday was a fantastic, family-friendly day, with people of all ages, including prams and dogs. It was a very democratic, inclusive event with English Scots, Welsh Scots, American Scots, Pensioners for Yes, LGBT groups, England football tops and Crosses of St George being flown, all attending in their own free time and all demonstrating their support for independence – and a second Scottish referendum.

Those who attack the wider Yes movement state that the independence movement divides people according to whether you’re English or Scottish. Let me be clear. It absolutely does not.

The Yes movement is absolutely not anti-English. As an English Scot, born in England, with English parents and being an active Yes campaigner, I absolutely know this. Where I come from is not an issue in Scotland.

The very existence of this group and its 1500 members across D and G and Scotland shows this. Scottish nationalism is purely about deciding who runs Scotland. There is no us and them.

I urge everyone in Scotland to recognise the fantastic work of the Scottish Government in trying to protect the poorest in society from Conservative cuts, in fighting against a disastrous hard Brexit and protecting ‘Scotland the Brand’.

'English Scots for Yes' opposition to Westminster rule is because we feel that Scotland should get the government that Scotland elects, run by people who know Scotland best and who care about its future. To suggest that support this is in some way racism is not only patent nonsense, it’s offensive to boot.

The independence movement is one of civic, not ethnic nationalism. Scotland welcomes people irrespective of their gender, sexuality or county of origin and Scotland badly needs lots of new Scots to ensure the Scottish economy thrives, as the Growth Commission correctly pointed out last week.

Lack of control over immigration in Scotland is one of the many disastrous consequences of Brexit and the UK is, unfortunately, dividing families on a daily basis, with its attitudes to immigration.

John Schofield

Convenor 'English Scots for Yes',

Dumfries and Galloway.