WHAT is the Labour Party’s position on Brexit? Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard have both said that Labour wants a “jobs first” Brexit but that the UK cannot remain in the single market and customs union. So, what does a “jobs first” Brexit mean? This phrase ss developing as much credibility as Teresa May’s “strong and stable” Government.

Mr Leonard appears to be convinced that the UK Government’s Brexit deal will fail to gain a majority in the UK Parliament, resulting in a General Election which Labour hopes to win. Assuming that this happens, the earliest time for a General Election is likely to be November 2018, as the final Brexit deal is unlikely to be known until October.

Should Labour win such an election, it will have about four months to negotiate its Brexit deal before the UK leaves the EU. As it currently doesn’t seem to be able to articulate what it wants, the EU can’t respond. Given that any deal has to be approved by all 27 EU countries and the European Parliament, it is virtually impossible for any such deal to be approved and implemented by the end of March 2019.

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This would leave only two possibilities: withdraw the Article 50 letter or exit the EU with no deal on world trade terms.

Labour needs to reassess its position on Brexit. It is on record as saying that Brexit will happen (having supported the Article 50 letter) and at present is not in favour of a second referendum. If Labour does not unite with other parties in the House of Commons in demanding a Brexit where the UK remains in the single market and customs union (“Corbyn told to get off high horse and join coalition for soft Brexit”, The Herald, January 11), it is by default supporting the extremes of either a “hard Brexit” or “no Brexit” should the UK Government fall, resulting in a General Election.

The UK public deserves better from a party that wants to be the UK Government.

David Howie,

7 Kippenross, Glen Road, Dunblane.

THERESA May finally came to her senses over the desirability of a “no-deal” exit from the EU and the failure of our negotiating team has been so complete that even the most deluded Tory backwoodsman will realise our only route to economic survival lies in a very long transition period.

Our options are still the same as a year ago: a Norway-style deal that includes maintaining the free movement of workers with the EU or a Canada-style free trade deal that doesn't cover financial services, by far our main export. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

I couldn't understand at first why a lightweight like David Davis was made Brexit Secretary but it’s now clear: he's a smokescreen through which Mrs May appears from time to time to accept another demand from Michel Barnier in what is essentially Britain's unconditional surrender.

This allows more distance to be put between the Brexit referendum and the event itself. Negotiation failures and the inevitable economic fallout will erode pro-Brexit sentiment and prepare the country to reverse course or settle for a Norway-style arrangement plus a customs union.

Rev Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place, St Andrews.

IN its 2017 report Learning from Scotland’s NHS, the Nuffield Trust warned that, while there is much to praise in Scotland’s NHS, “a polarised, hostile political context makes an honest national debate difficult”. Unfortunately, this toxicity extends much further than the NHS. It is therefore excellent news that, at Westminster, the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens (but unfortunately, not yet Labour) are now working together to stop a hard Brexit, while at Holyrood the Scottish Tories have joined with the SNP and other parties in condemning the Tory Government’s failure yet again to protect Scotland’s interests. Far from promoting grievance as alleged by one of your correspondents (Letters, January 11), it seems that the SNP’s efforts to resist Brexit are now gathering broad support across the political spectrum.

Paddy Farrington,

46 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

A REPORT issued this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that Britain's factories enjoyed further growth in November as the sector notched up its seventh month of expansion in a row for the first time in 20 years. Official data showed that manufacturing output surged by 3.9 per cent year-on-year over the three months to November, the biggest rise since March 2011, and by 0.4 per cent between October and November.

This helped overall industrial output lift 3.3 per cent over the three months and by 0.4 per cent between October and November alone as it was also boosted by energy demand in the autumn cold snap, according to the ONS.

This manufacturing cheer comes as British goods are in high demand overseas thanks to the pound's falls since the Brexit vote. These are the facts of Brexit.

Our economy is based on the value of the pound. We have a large trade deficit with the EU so any trade tariffs or barriers will affect them more than us.

The major danger to the UK economy is that the euro devalues and the EU disintegrates. This is a distinct possibility and would have the same impact on our economy whether we were members or not.

When are the politicians going to stop telling us half-truths?

W Thompson,

2 Crawford Avenue, Lenzie.

AT a time when the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund exceeds $1 trillion directly based on their North Sea oil revenue it is particularly galling to read in your pages that the British taxpayer will be stiffed for £30 billion or more towards the decommissioning of privately-owned oil installations ("Oil rigs could be habitat for marine life, says professor", The Herald, January 11). More so, currently most of the decommissioning is performed by foreign companies as neither the Government nor British industry foresaw the need for domestic expertise in this field. Who did our representatives and negotiators think was going to do it when they agreed on our behalf to share the costs?

Why is there uproar at Westminster about paying billions to the EU as a penalty for quitting the Union yet not a dicky-bird about handing multinational corporations a similar amount to clean up after they have sucked all the profits out of the North Sea? Why wasn’t the total cost of the clean-up taken from corporate profits? If you ever needed an example of how the British people are treated as a resource to be harvested by multi-national corporations and their compliant Westminster puppet government there you have it.

David J Crawford,

85 Whittingehame Court, 1300 Great Western Road, Glasgow.