BORIS JOHNSON, an old Etonian English Conservative who heads a government struggling to contain the pandemic, is probably not the best ambassador to be sent into Scotland to make the case for keeping the union, but at least some of the points he raises should be thought about.

Brexit has taught us that there is no such thing as a simple yes/no, in/out referendum – that's why Britain has left the EU but a bit of it, Northern Ireland, somehow remains inside.

Scotland must know exactly what it is voting for before it goes to the polls: will it be keeping the pound, the Queen, the army? How will it feel about borders cutting it off from the North-East, inhibiting the ease of trade, just as Brexit has done to Britain.

Many still feel that, because of our payments to the EU – the bus said it was £350m-a-week – we will be better off out, but Scotland won't be better off out of the UK. It spends £14,829 per head a year yet it earns £12,058 a head, with the deficit being covered by the British taxpayer.

Perhaps Mr Johnson's visit will let people think about these cold hard points even while they are enticed by the warm romanticism of independence.