Dear Paul Sweeney MP,

We write to you as a group of disaffected students from the University of Glasgow, of which you are alumni. We have set up a cross-party organisation on campus that advocates a public vote on the final outcome of the Brexit process. As a group predominantly made up of young people who are concerned that our voices are being drowned in the national debate we are deeply disappointed by the lack of willingness for the opposition to represent our view at such a critical time.

This should in no way be interpreted as a personal attack nor an attack on the Labour Party as a whole. Indeed you should be commended in the work you do for your constituency and especially for the city of Glasgow as a whole through the Building Preservation Trust. Further, you were right to back the Yvette Cooper amendment that sought to delay Brexit and avert a disastrous No Deal that would hit those who could least afford it hardest.

Yet as a member of the shadow cabinet we feel that you are in a unique position to represent Scotland who voted 62% remain in 2016. We are dismayed by the fact that the government is driving us forward toward a cliff edge Brexit by passing the meaningless Brady amendment which is certain to fail in Europe. We similarly concerned by the lack of credible opposition to the Brexit process which is, in no uncertain terms, a project of the hard right of the Conservative Party. Young people, who the Labour leadership majorly relies upon, increasingly view discussion of ‘six tests’ and ‘options on the table’ as nothing more than as Labour trying to be all things to all people without having a clear, credible alternative.

We recognise the sensitivities that many Labour constituencies voted to leave, however, is time to start communicating the reality that leaving the European Union will not solve the problems that many of these communities face. Several large businesses have also raised concerns about the future of jobs in Britain, which would hit working families the hardest. We do not believe that these negative implications of Brexit have been effectively communicated by the Labour Party. When we leave the European Union the problems of underinvestment in the North, a London-centric economy and an out of touch political system will not be solved.

Ultimately there is three option on the table, No Deal, May’s Deal, or a People’s Vote. With the Prime Minister surviving a vote of no confidence, a general election and a Labour renegotiation are simply out of the question and time is running out. As residents of Glasgow and students at your former University, we urge you to help break the deadlock, pressure the Labour leadership and back a People's Vote.

Students of Glasgow University

I write as an inhabitant of Ms Sturgeon's best wee nanny state in the world, with insufficient provable Irish ancestry, to raise a couple of points regarding Brexit.

I have friends from Northern Ireland, from both communities, who have taken advantage of their right to hold both British and Irish passports as a precaution against Brexit gone bad, and good luck to them. But the problem is that the supremely English Mrs May has opened up the possibility that the "British" Government she leads will deny the rest of her compatriots the protection the Northern Irish already have. Especially the Scots, who voted strongly against Brexit when they had the chance. Is there any court (obviously not a British one) where this injustice against British people can be raised?

On another matter, Mrs May used to be a banker, who gained the (unreliable) support of the DUP (who represents a minority of Northern Irish people) at the cost of £1bn. Is this wise stewardship of public money?

I ask these questions on behalf of my grandson, who was not even born on Brexit Referendum Day but who recently turned two, and who will have to live with the consequences of that day for (hopefully) much longer than the rest of us.

Norrie Forrest


Touring the USA and Canada, Nicola Sturgeon has been seeking to suggest that Scotland as a whole shares the SNP’s grievance agenda when it comes to our place in the UK.

Without any attempt to explain how and on what terms an independent Scotland could eventually rejoin the EU, she bemoans the UK’s decision to leave the EU as if she could somehow reverse all the effects of Brexit with a magic wand. In fact she is well aware that securing a place in the EU would require a fundamental restructuring of an independent Scotland’s public finances, threatening many of the expensive vote winning universal benefits that the SNP has introduced without regard for where the need is greatest.

She has previously implied that the EU will bend to her will on those elements of membership that she does or does not want. Perhaps she similarly expects the EU will help fund her largesse after she cuts us off from the sharing of resources across the UK, but I suspect Brussels will have different ideas.

Keith Howell

West Linton

Alexander McKay declares that he is not a Unionist, he is instead "Pro UK" (Letters, February 3).

Presumably that means those of us whom Mr McKay terms as "a wild element" in the SNP can also be labelled as being "Pro Scotland" because we want to prevent Scotland being hauled over the Brexit cliff by a Unionist party we haven't voted for since 1955, and which has refused to acknowledge that Scotland voted to remain within the EU.

Mr McKay declares that he would vote for anyone who is best placed to defeat the SNP, so therefore he must be seriously prepared to either vote for the warring Conservative Party, which has unleashed mayhem on Scotland and the rest of the UK, or the dysfunctional Labour Party which Mr McKay claims he has abandoned.

I would remind him that Scotland is not an English county, and if we can save this nation, and save our children and their children from the dire consequences of Brexit, it would be totally irresponsible to cling to the past when what matters is the future.

Ruth Marr



Scottish workers face a £500-a-year charge to park at work because Derek Mackay, our financially unqualified Finance Secretary, said he had "no choice" but to capitulate to the six Green unelected list MSPs who gathered only 13,126 votes. Green tail definitely wagging SNP dog.

Then in another cop-out the SNP said it would be up to councils whether they introduced the scheme or not. Of course they will think of all that juicy money to spend on worthless pet projects but not enough to fix potholes.

Already Scotland's largest teachers' union the EIS warned that this levy could force teachers to leave, at a time there is already a shortage of teachers. How many more exemptions will the Scottish Government and councillors concoct in the public sector leaving the private sector to pay – as usual?

Clark Cross



The current Scottish Government consultation on fireworks is little more than an expensive publicity stunt after the First Minister promised to do something following complaints about misuse of fireworks in her constituency last November (Call for public views on fireworks ban, Herald on Sunday, February 3).

For decades Animal Concern and many other organisations and individuals have called for a ban on the retail sale and private ownership of fireworks with their use restricted to advertised public displays carried out by competent licensed operators.

This would stop antisocial behaviour involving fireworks, greatly reduce injures and damage caused by fireworks and allow pet owners and people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to avoid firework displays.

No matter how many consultations they hold the Scottish Parliament cannot do this as the power to ban fireworks is not devolved and rests with Westminster. Instead of holding a talking shop at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon should get her MPs to push for Westminster to either ban fireworks throughout the UK or devolve that power to the Scottish Parliament.

John F Robins

Animal Concern Advice Line


In his latest contribution, Clark Cross states that "Scottish households are subsidised by our English friends" (Letters, February 3).

Is he not aware that the National Grid charges the electricity companies 19p for every kilowatt transmitted in Scotland whereas in London, for example, the power generators are subsidised 6p per kilowatt, transmitted on the same grid?

This a continuous subsidy of 25p to an estimated daily head count of approximately12 million of "our English friends".

Maggie Wynton