IT seems that Paul Masterton may not have read this column three weeks ago, when his glossing-over of the economic impacts of Brexit in a letter to constituents was highlighted.

That is not a problem in itself. Mr Masterton, the Conservative candidate for East Renfrewshire, may well be a busy man and he can obviously read what he pleases.

Maybe he read it and maybe he did not. C’est la vie. However, what is surely a big issue is that he has dispatched another missive to his constituents, who let us remember opposed Brexit strongly in the 2016 referendum, in which he does not even mention the B-word. This is incredible. Especially given that a slew of surveys have – since his previous letter which mentioned Brexit only in passing – underlined the impact of the mere prospect of leaving the European Union on the economy already.

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These surveys include reports from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply on UK services, manufacturing and construction activity signalling private-sector output fell for a third straight month in October. And the Scottish private-sector economy contracted in October for the first time in five months amid Brexit-related uncertainty, as manufacturing output dropped at its fastest pace in nearly nine years and employment fell at its sharpest rate in a decade, a Royal Bank of Scotland report showed.

In these times in which you could be forgiven for observing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and concluding the Tories are a single-issue party, focused only on delivering Brexit regardless of the consequences, it seems incongruous that Mr Masterton does not want to talk at all about leaving the EU in his postcard. Rather, the first priority he lists is to “stand firm against the SNP’s plans for another divisive independence referendum”.

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Oh, and there is the usual bar graph of support at the last General Election for the Conservatives, SNP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats which shows, we are told by the Tories, that “only Paul Masterton can beat the SNP”. As an aside, it was amusing to overhear a younger voter on a train declare he was grateful to Mr Masterton for the graph because it had informed him who he would be best to vote for to beat the Conservatives.

You could hazard guesses about why Brexit might be absent from the postcard.

Maybe Mr Masterton is struggling to reconcile his own vote to remain in the EU in the June 2016 referendum with Mr Johnson’s hard Brexit deal. This deal would see the UK leave the single market. And it would, on the Conservative Government’s forecasts under Theresa May, damage the UK economy very significantly further. Such damage would seem likely to hamper other priorities on Mr Masterton’s list.

You would imagine the measures he favours to tackle climate change would be more difficult in a weak economy.

Meanwhile, he wants to “back…amazing small and independent businesses to help our high streets thrive, create jobs and boost the local economy”.

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Brexit will, if it occurs as Mr Johnson desires, hammer living standards as the economy struggles with the loss of the free movement of people that is so important to allowing it to reach its potential amid huge demographic challenges in the UK. These challenges are very acute in Scotland. And then there is the impact of the loss of frictionless trade with the rest of the EU, as the UK misses out on investment and sees jobs transferred to continuing member states. All of this means that people will, if Mr Johnson’s hard Brexit is implemented, sadly have less money to spend with “amazing small and independent businesses”. And this will be another bitter blow to struggling high streets.

Maybe Mr Masterton wants to avoid the B-word because of an awareness that, in East Renfrewshire, 74.3 per cent voted Remain and only 25.7% opted to leave the EU, on a turnout of 76.1%.

We can only speculate on why he is actually steering clear of Brexit. However, what is indisputable is that he has gone in recent months from being very vocal on Brexit to not talking about it at all on his postcard.

This week, we have had the usual soundbites from Mr Johnson, who claims Parliament has held the country back. What Parliament actually did was fulfil its role wonderfully well in opposing Mr Johnson’s attempt to drive through his hard Brexit deal with haste and apparently little heed of consequences.

“We must get Brexit done,” declared Mr Johnson this week. “We have to clear this Parliamentary blockage in this Dyno-Rod election.” What tiresome nonsense.

Why should we “get Brexit done”? After all, Mr Johnson’s Brexit is clearly going to be to the detriment of the UK, its economy and society, and people’s living standards.

Mr Johnson and his fellow arch-Brexiters seem, ever more by the day, to view getting Brexit done as an end in itself, rather than the real start of the troubles triggered by this Tory folly. He and his adviser, Dominic Cummings, do not provide sensible reasons for Brexit. It is tempting to trot out the “answers on a postcard” jibe. However, Mr Masterton’s postcard contains no answers on Brexit.

When it comes to the economy, Mr Johnson continues to play to the gallery. And, as Tory policy mistakes keep on inflicting damage on the Scottish economy, Mr Johnson makes noise about how he will never have a debate with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It has seemed there has been more substance on the business front from Jeremy Corbyn than from the Tories. True, big business does not look like a fan of Mr Corbyn. But the Federation of Small Businesses did welcome Labour’s pledge to tackle the blight of late payment faced by firms. This is a real issue.

This week, we have had a video of Mr Johnson (hip, hip, hooray) sticking a “made in Britain” sticker on a washing machine. And that summed things up: lots of jingoism but no substance from the Johnson camp on the economic impacts of Brexit. This is a very sorry state of affairs. After all, he is fighting the election with the aim of getting a working majority to push his hard Brexit through Parliament.

The very least Mr Johnson and Tory candidates such as Mr Masterton could do is tell people what this would actually mean for them.