PETER A Russell’s suggestion (Letters, June 27) of a referendum after the final negotiations on the UK’s post-EU status are completed, on whether to accept the final deal, or stay in the EU, is a good one.
The Leave campaign is already discarding its promises. Many Leave voters are furious, realising they were lied to.
The EU referendum result is a valid reason for another Scottish independence referendum, but that doesn’t mean we should rush to hold one.
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The process for leaving the EU is for a member state government to notify the EU of its intention to leave under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Years of negotiations on post-EU relations may follow before exit.
The referendum was an advisory vote. The UK Government is not legally obliged to implement it. Politically, it is, but it has not yet made any notification of withdrawal, and there’s no deadline to do so.
So the UK may still be in the EU for two years or more. A lot can happen in two years.
We should wait and see what the final settlement is – it could be joining the European Economic Area with free trade and freedom of movement maintained.
The EU might change, including in membership requirements.
There may be a UK General Election and change of government and even another EU membership referendum.
Independence could bring benefits to Scotland in the long run, from better government policies, reversing austerity and “welfare reform” and investing in infrastructure and education. But it would also bring risks and costs.
Scotland would initially have a higher deficit as a percentage of GDP than the UK, meaning more cuts or borrowing.
It would have three main currency options. Keeping the pound sterling would risk being treated like Greece or Spain by the government of the UK. Adopting the euro – ditto, but by the EU. Issuing our own currency in an era of deregulated financial markets would be a target for speculators seeing it as an untested quantity, and opportunity for profit.
We should wait until it’s clearer what we’re choosing between.
Beanshields, Braidwood, Carluke.
THE younger members of my family inform me that social media is awash with wailing and the gnashing of teeth over the outcome of the EU referendum. Much of it I am told is along the lines that we have suffered an injustice at the hands of those of a racist persuasion.
This view surely has at best only a tiny modicum of truth. Certainly banging the drum that we should “take back control” of immigration appeared to resonate with the electorate perhaps most strongly in the Midlands and north east. But wishing to take control of immigration is not the same thing as racism. The Leave campaign favoured a points system for immigration - exactly the system favoured by the SNP as delineated in the white paper. But no one is accusing the SNP of racism.
I think we all need to “keep the heid” as Kezia Dugdale advises and allow time for calm reflection rather than knee- jerk reaction which could bounce us into even deeper waters. Regardless of the volume of the outcry a rerun does not seem a realistic possibility - or even a fair one. But it is not unreasonable to expect that the exit negotiations will produce an outcome that is satisfactory to most.
In relation to immigration, for example, I do not see the EU approving a points system even though it has a lot going for it. But there are other possibilities such as that operated by Switzerland which allows free movement of workers provided they have a job to go to. If the object is to control rather than eliminate immigration then such systems are surely worth exploring.
3 Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh.
SIR Tom Devine is quite right (“A change in our political mood is under way”, The Herald, June 25). Many of those who did not vote for independence last time now want to leave England to its own deluded, confused and self-congratulating new leaders.
But first we need three assurances from the SNP.
Will the First Minister approach Spain and obtain an assurance that they would not veto our application, and so leave us neither in the EU nor the UK?
Will she clearly state which currency we will use, and if we are compelled to use the euro explain why that would be acceptable?
Will she tell us how the gap in the budget due to falling oil revenues might be filled?
Without clearly addressing these questions, the Scottish Government will not deserve to win the next independence referendum either.
Upper Flat, Chesterhill, Shore Road, Anstruther.
IF it were to be possible to find a formula for Scotland to remain in the EU, it might attract widespread support. This Better Together activist might vote for a proposal to keep Scotland in the EU when our UK partners break away – because Brexit changes everything.
A Scottish Remain strategy could only succeed with the benefit of extraordinary skill and diplomacy both in the capitals of Europe and at home. The SNP's foreign affairs spokesman does not possess such skills. Alex Salmond's arrogance will not impress anybody in Brussels, Berlin or Paris, and he is quite capable of alienating internationalists in Scotland.
A serious initiative to salvage Scotland's place in the EU would have to be technically coherent, politically broad-based; and diplomatically presented. The big question is whether the SNP Government is going to find a credible way to rise to such a historic challenge.
John Home Robertson,
The Apple House, Paxton, Berwickshire .
IT seems likely that we are to face another referendum in the near future. During each of the last three referendums, there has been excellent, nuanced debate on the streets, in societies and city pubs, but this seems to have bypassed the official campaign messages and swathes of the mainstream and social media which have largely focused on polarising arguments.
Whatever question is set for the next referendum, whether on Scottish independence within the EU or reconsideration of EU membership for the UK, I do hope that it will be a multi-option referendum with preferential voting, to encourage nuanced debate and consensus building, to hopefully lead to a better decision and more generally accepted outcome.
Dr Geraint Bevan,
3e Grovepark Gardens, Glasgow.