TRUST is the essential foundation of democracy, the law and all the institutions of a free society. If we can trust neither our MPs nor our judges to honour our choice in the referendum, the future is dark indeed.

In 2016 Leavers won a referendum, and in 2017 we elected both a government and an opposition who promised to honour our choice. Since then the majority in Parliament led by the Speaker and assisted by every arm of the Establishment has sought to frustrate the referendum result.

Now we have a minority government, which cannot govern and an opposition preventing the renewal of a General Election. Who is to say that when we do get a General Election, it will make any difference? The decision of the Supreme Court (“Unlawful: PM misled Parliament, the people and the Queen”, The Herald, September 25) indicates that even a genuine Leave majority in the House of Commons would have the greatest difficulty in honouring the referendum result.

When change cannot be effected by rule-governed democracy to which all assent, then trust in and assent to our institutions can only crumble. Our MPs and our senior judges clearly prefer a future of autocracy punctuated by riot and revolution; I do not.

Otto Inglis, Edinburgh EH4.

SO it seems the Supreme Court ruling also contradicts the SNP's mantra that it is "the people who are sovereign". Not any more.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

BRIAN Kelly of all your correspondents on the Supreme Court’s decision (Letters, September 25) gets to its heart.

The Declaration of Arbroath 1320 asserts (to the Pope, then the final inter-state arbiter) that if King Robert didn’t do as he was bid then Scots would replace him. The King, then the executive power, was not above the will of the people or the law. The Supreme Court’s decision re-affirms that.

Partly because of the lack of a second chamber in the Scottish Parliament the Court of Session has had to exercise a wider supervisory constitutional power over the executive than has until now been exercised by English courts.

Hence the conflict between the decisions of the Court of Session in Scotland that it could consider the lawfulness of PM Johnson’s propagation and that of the English Divisional Court that it could not.

Darrell Desbrow opines that you can only break the law if there is an existing law to break. As “patently” there was none hence the court’s decision is, in his view, no more than fiat. The judgement, however, is peppered with references to well-established principles of public law going back before and after the English Civil War 1642-51. Lady Hale explains it with crystal clarity and in non-legal terms.

Andy Wightman, Green MSP, elsewhere in your paper offers us his considered opinion that the Queen should resign because she acted on PM Johnson’s unlawful advice, now declared unlawful ("Queen ‘should resign’ for her part in prorogation, says MSP", the Herald, September 25). For his benefit let me quote from paragraph 30 of the judgement: “... prorogation is a prerogative power ... recognised by the common law and exercised by the Crown ... acting on advice, in accordance with modern constitutional practice. It is not suggested in these appeals that Her Majesty was other than obliged by constitutional convention to accept that advice ...we express no view on that matter...”

Whilst no submissions were made that the Queen should or should not have acted on the advice, Lady Hale opined that the PM was the “only person” with the power relevant to prorogation. Can you imagine the stamping of outraged feet if the Queen had refused to do as bidden by politicians?

This decision wasn’t about Brexit, although it arose from that unresolved mess.

These appeals were about the rule of law. The judgement simply states that the government of the day cannot arrogate to itself the absolute power just to carry on as it sees fit, with Brexit or any other matter, without parliamentary supervision and accountability on behalf of the people.

It reinforces the separation of powers.

Alasdair Sampson, Stewarton.

THE legal basis upon which any Prime Minister is entitled to request the Queen to exercise the royal prerogative on any matter (such as the prorogation of Parliament) and the legal basis upon which the Queen is entitled to act on that request, is that he and his administration enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons. The Queen's advisers within her household know this. On just what evidence, if any, one wonders, did those household advisers and the Queen herself reach the conclusion that Prime Minister Johnson enjoyed the confidence of the House when he requested prorogation? And if, following the Supreme Court's decision this morning, Mr Johnson were once more to request a prorogation, one wonders whether those household advisers should not scrutinise the evidence on this matter rather more closely.

Professor Robert Black QC, Edinburgh EH3.

GERALD Edwards’s question (Letters, September 25) “Those who brought this action to the Supreme Court, especially the politicians, will be congratulating themselves on a major victory. But is it?” is prescient.

It is certainly true that the Supreme Court decision will allow Parliament to reconvene, but what will it achieve, no matter how long it sits? As Iain Macwhirter ("A bloody nose, but PM will carry on acting disgracefully", The Herald, September 25) points out, the House “has rejected all the alternatives: a repeat referendum, Theresa May’s Withdrawal Deal (three times), a Norway compromise, Customs Union, revoking Article 50”. Realistically how likely is this to change before October 31?

There is though one factor that is often forgotten – the EU must agree. The Benn Act should send Boris Johnson off to seek another extension, the dominant view seeming to be till January 31 next year. But will the EU agree? Might it think that this problem needs more than three months, offering instead an extension of a fixed 12 months (for instance)? If so, how would the House of Commons react to that? Might that not induce new splits in the Commons, encouraging the European Union to pull “the plug in disgust and [send] the UK on its way”, as Mr Macwhirter notes. Nor does it have to be the entire EU, or even a majority. A single member state objecting would be enough.

However, whether the EU grants an extension or not, a General Election becomes not so much a desirable option, as a practical necessity. What could we expect from this? In “normal” times one might suppose that Mr Johnson would lead the Conservatives to a rout of historic proportions, particularly given the succession of defeats he has suffered, both within and outside Parliament, since taking office. But the fact that there have been few opinion polls suggesting other than a Conservative victory of anything up to 80 seats, or yet another hung Parliament, shows clearly the times are anything but “normal”.

It is often said that, if the UK does find itself with another extension, the Conservative Party would be at a disadvantage for Mr Johnson’s commitment of leaving the EU by October 31 has not been made good. But, in that event who do you think he is going to pin responsibility on? Is he not going to argue that the UK would have Brexited already were it not for the “Remoaners” in Parliament tying his hands and preventing him from fulfilling the wishes of the British people expressed in the 2016 referendum? Will he not seek to marshal the Leave vote behind the Conservative Party? Given the divisions which exist on the Remain side, this could produce a significant Conservative majority.

Thus, for those of us who voted Remain, while the Supreme Court decision may have gone in our favour, with no clear indication that the Commons will approve any particular arrangement with the EU, and at least the possibility of a post-election Conservative dominated Commons, we do need to reflect on how much has really changed?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

DR Gerald Edwards tells us in his letter today that the "legal niceties" of the Supreme Court case will be lost on the British public and that those judges "betrayed their [the British public's] democratic vote to leave the European Union": I doubt it. I'm not sure Brexit was mentioned anywhere in the judgement but it is clear to this member of the British public that the judgement concerned the unlawful actions of the Prime Minister in misleading the Queen; that the Prime Minister and his Government acted illegally in Parliament and, most importantly, that they are not above the law.

Relying on the British public's lack of understanding may well be a tactic of those who would support an emerging demagogue like Boris Johnson but I for one have faith that the British electorate is not so easily fooled as those voters in the United States who landed their country with Donald Trump. If I'm wrong and Dr Edwards is right then the sooner Scotland disengages from rUK's electorate the better.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

THE bizarrely-conflicted public response, as evidenced on television programmes, to the unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court seems to reflect the baleful modern culture of social media: anybody and anyone feels empowered to vent at will on any topic and, now, when encountered by such imperatives as “law”, “right”, “constitution”, and “legitimacy”, sees them merely as alternative viewpoints, without any more weighting or value than their own ill-informed vacuities. The fact that a Prime Minister does not resign in those unprecedented circumstances is just another symptom of this self-righteous online anarchy; or, more rightly in its political manifestation – autocracy.

Professor Donald Gillies, Glasgow G14.

MY son suggests Boris Johnson should appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. But then he refers to him as “Boris the Bampot”. Good old-fashioned Scottish word that fits to a T.

Rodney Lang, Douglas.

PRO-ROGUES 0, Anti-rogues 1. Good result for parties in "de-mock-a-tory" camp. (Sorry.)

Duncan Graham, Stirling.

MY analysis following careful and contemplative consideration as to where recent events leave us can, be succinctly summarised as follows: “*** ** *** **** ** *** *** ** *** ** ****".

NB: Asterisks can be rearranged to reflect other analyses.

Alastair Patrick, Paisley.

Read more: Unlawful: Boris Johnson misled Parliament, the people and the Queen