THE Opposition parties insist that they are acting in the country’s best interests by refusing the Government’s repeated offers of an immediate General Election to resolve the Brexit impasse. They justify their refusal by saying that it is essential to stop a no-deal Brexit. They say also that they will agree to an election at a time of their own choosing after the Government has obtained an extension of the current Section 50 deadline of October 31.

The reality is that their current refusals will bring only a short-term postponement of the possibility of no deal, as whilst those parties supporting leave say their priority is to try to negotiate an acceptable deal, when an election does take place a no-deal Brexit will definitely be back as a possible outcome, at least on the Conservative and the Brexit Party tables.

The Opposition parties must know this. So why really are they so determined on delaying an immediate election, however short and pointless that delay might be? An obvious answer would be concern at their recent adverse election polling, causing them to decide they had little option but to try to delay an election in the hope that their ratings would improve. Another reason could well be that they expect some ultimate electoral gain by embarrassing Boris Johnson if he is forced to go to the EU, cap in hand, to seek a Section 50 extension. All party rather than country interests.

If it is accepted that everyone is fed up with the continuing delays and desperate for Brexit to be concluded one way or the other, and that whilst no deal can be postponed short-term it cannot be removed, would the country’s interests not be best served by the parties putting aside party interests and agreeing to hold an immediate General Election?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

BORIS Johnson and Theresa May have failed to understand that if someone pressurises you to do something, then it is often sensible to accede to the request. First of all you can justify the course of action as being the idea of someone else, and then if it does not work out the person who applied the pressure to act in a particular way can be blamed for the failure.

If Mr Johnson really wants an election then the simple solution is to ask the European Union for an extension to the Brexit process. This would not be a U-turn by the Prime Minister, but rather a case of the Prime Minister graciously accepting the wishes of his opponents so that an election can be held. In the same way that a small boy retrieving his ball from a garden claims that it was a big boy who has now run away who did it, the Prime Minister can claim that the extension of the Brexit process was not his idea, but rather the view of his opponents and that by accepting their demands the way is now clear for a General Election, from which the victor will have a reasonable time to deal with Brexit.

Sandy Gemmill, Edinburgh EH3.

LIKE Patricia Baillie Strong (Letters, September 27), I was disgusted by the unedifying performance of the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, at the despatch box last Wednesday. His angry blustering and playing to the gallery of baying Tory MPs on the benches behind him shamed his professional status as a barrister and revealed the emptiness of his argument. He found himself with nothing substantial to say and turned it into impotent fury against the Opposition.

However, should we be surprised? His behaviour merely emphasised the delicious truth that the Tory Government is now trapped and powerless and having to dance to the Opposition’s tune. What’s more, it’s the Government’s own fault for slashing its majority even further by withdrawing the whip from 21 Tory MPs. A spectacular own goal.

The Prime Minister has brought these troubles on himself by following extremist advice and deserves the consequences.

It will only be a matter of time until he has no choice but to go to Brussels with his begging bowl and ask for an extension to the Brexit process in accordance with the Benn Act.

In the meantime, I hope one-nation Tory MPs are becoming concerned at this uncharacteristic and dangerous extremism. I would not be surprised if moderate Tory voters are considering desertion to the LibDems or other parties at the next General Election.

Dave Stewart, Glasgow G11.

LIKE your correspondent Patricia Baillie Strong, I was astonished, appalled and alarmed at Geoffrey Cox’s behaviour on Wednesday. To me, his behaviour suggested that he is under some considerable stress and may have been pressurised to say what he said, and in the manner in which he said it, against his better judgment. It would have been closer to the mark if he had said “Government is dead as dead can be”.

Or am I giving the gentleman too much credit? It had the hand of Dominic Cummings all over it.

Boris Johnson continuously goads the Opposition to either vote for a General Election or a vote of no confidence in his Government. There is one simple reason that they do not do so; they don’t trust him nor his Government to adhere to the recent Benn bill. There can be no greater indictment on a Prime Minister than that Parliament cannot trust him.

Willie Towers, Alford.

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