I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Denis Bruce (Letters, August 16) that in setting up a government of national unity to oppose the current Dominic Cummings/Boris Johnson administration’s determination to leave Europe at all costs, the interests of the nation must take precedence over narrow personal or party advantage.

The problem is that Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Bruce’s favoured candidate as leader of such a cross-party government, does not command the trust or respect of the large majority of Conservative MPs, or indeed a significant number in his own party. For this reason it is unlikely that a parliamentary majority could be relied on to support any temporary government led by him.

Given that we are in a national emergency where normal arrangements do not hold, it is not sufficient to argue, as Mr Corbyn does, that he, on the basis of “the normal constitutional processes”, should be interim PM. If he is honest with himself about how he is widely perceived, then he must accept, if he genuinely has the nation’s interests at heart, that he is not the right person to lead this cross-party coalition.

In any case it is desirable that the leader of a government of national unity should not be the leader of any of the main parties, all of whom have particular axes to grind, but should instead be an experienced back-bench parliamentarian who can be impartial, and who has earned and can command the widest possible trust and support in the house. Suggested names of suitable candidates include Kenneth Clarke, Harriet Harman, or Yvette Cooper.

If Jeremy Corbyn, in this moment of national crisis, proves to be concerned only with putting personal vanity and party interests first at the expense of sincerely getting this laudable initiative to work, he, and unfortunately his party, will not be forgiven.

Robert Bell, Cambuslang.

JO Swinson was right to reject the idea of a caretaker government of national unity headed by Jeremy Corbyn. While MPs who oppose a disastrous No Deal Brexit must work together to find a solution, it must be a workable solution, not a fantasy. And a Corbyn-led government is not deliverable – it is doubtful if he could even count on the support of all Labour MPs.

The caretaker government option must be pursued, but it must one be headed by a Prime Minister who both commands a majority in the House of Commons and has credibility with EU leaders. The EU must be able to have confidence that the Prime Minister genuinely plans to offer a further referendum, preferably on a deal less damaging to the UK and the EU than that negotiated by Mrs May’s government. As Mr Corbyn has been all over the place on Brexit, and is still lacking a clear position, he has no credibility whatsoever.

The SNP’s support for the Corbyn option just delays the difficult work needed to get a credible solution. This increases the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU at the end of October. But maybe that is what the SNP actually wants, despite its repeated protestations to the contrary?

Alistair Easton, Edinburgh, EH12.

ALAN Thomson (Letters, August 19) is concerned that Parliament should respect the will of the 55 per cent of Scottish voters who in 2014 chose to remain within the UK. He shows no such concern for the will of the 67 per cent of Scottish voters who in 2016 chose to remain within the EU.

After the failure of the independence referendum, the Scottish Government acted with commendable realism and maturity, accepting that the independence cause would have to be relegated to the back burner for the immediate future. It would perhaps still be there, had it not been for the lunacy of Brexit: a move of which the results could never have been anything but bad, and thanks to the well-nigh unbelievable irresponsibility and incompetence with which the process has been conducted are all set to be catastrophic, for the entire UK and most of all for Scotland. If this is not a “material change” of sufficient magnitude to warrant a re-opening of the independence issue, I can’t imagine what would be; particularly since a key argument of the No campaign in 2014 was that by remaining in the Union Scotland would safeguard its place in the EU.

Mr Thomson imagines that it is “debatable” whether Boris Johnson will succeed in re-negotiating a withdrawal agreement. He will not: that is no more debatable than the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. Either we will crash into the chaos of a no-deal withdrawal on the appropriate date of Hallowe’en, or we will be subjected to a few more months of ignominious floundering by the Westminster parties and their feuding sub-sections (for the third possibility, of sanity returning and Article 50 being withdrawn, is not one on which I would risk the price of a tattie scone). Scotland’s means of escaping from this shambles is clear: clear enough by now, fortunately, even for those who mistook their course in 2014.

Derrick McClure, Aberdeen AB24.

THE scare stories about No Deal, fanned by the BBC, are really reaching ridiculous levels. I’m sure most of us remember the doomsday scenarios described before the Millennium about what was dubbed the “Millennium Bug”. Computers all over the world would crash, planes would drop out of the sky, lifts would stop working, power would go off, operations would be cancelled, salaries and pensions couldn’t be processed and so on. What happened? Absolutely nothing.

Donald Lewis, Gifford.

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