IAIN Macwhirter is absolutely correct when he writes that “the Liberal Democrats and Tory rebels seem determined to keep Boris Johnson in Number 10” (“Labour and LibDems can’t escape the blame for Brexit”, The Herald, October 9).

I strongly disagree with Alexander McKay’s view (Letters, same day) that “only the Libdems have shown a semblance of principle and integrity”.

Over recent years, in their desperation for power at any cost, the Liberal Democrats showed not a semblance of principle and integrity when they went into the disastrous coalition government with the Tories.

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Their new leader’s voting record in Parliament shows a distinct lack of principle and integrity as she consistently voted for Tory cuts, cuts and more cuts; indeed, Jo Swinson voted in support of Tory austerity policies more often than did some Tory MPs. And Liberal Democrats apparently see no contradiction in supporting a second EU referendum while opposing a second independence referendum.

Liberal Democrats kept the Tories in power before, and by refusing to contemplate the leader of the official opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of a caretaker government prior to a General Election, they are doing it again

Ruth Marr,


AS Iain Macwhirter explains, there is certainly plenty of blame to be go round in regards to the Brexit maelstrom, and politicians on all sides must share some of it.

He also says, and I agree with him, that the apparent EU position of wanting to keep Northern Ireland in both the Customs Union and the Single Market would effectively be to keep it in the EU.

This, interestingly, is course what the SNP’s so-called compromise proposal on Brexit envisaged for the whole of the UK, namely that the UK would no longer be an EU member but would keep to all its rules and continue substantial EU budget contributions.

READ MORE: Jo Swinson accused of 'utterly grotesque' hypocrisy on Brexit and independence referendums

Those politicians who favour Scottish independence have been as guilty as any of those in other parties that have simply viewed the result of the EU referendum as a route to furthering their own party’s most dogmatic of positions.

Keith Howell,

West Linton.

WITH Boris Johnson’s revised Brexit proposals looking more and more as though they are on the point of rejection by the EU, the blame game has started in earnest.

Even though they were designed to fail, Boris is hoping to make himself a martyr, and to pin the blame firmly on the EU, or Remainers, or Parliament, or judges, or Jeremy Corbyn - anyone other than himself and the Tory party.

But Brexiteers need to look long and hard at how their campaign has been conducted.

No thought appears ever to have been given to the fact that the UK’s exit from the EU would mean a hard border on the island of Ireland; a hard border which virtually guarantees the return of the Troubles. And let us not forget that the terrorism was not just in Northern Ireland; no part of the country was immune from bombs and bullets.

Brexiteers said the pound would remain strong, but anyone who has been on holiday abroad over the last three years knows that sterling is down about 20 per cent and that prices in the shops for food and petrol have risen accordingly.

And there were lies in the campaign itself: £350 million extra a week for the NHS even though the UK didn’t actually pay £350 million a week to the EU; 70 million Turks suddenly being able to come to the UK - an absolute lie. The UK being forced to contribute to a EU army - another lie.

The UK always had an opt out and this idea was going nowhere.

No-Deal is not the answer, as there would be shortages of fresh food, medicine and petrol, and horrendous queues of HGVs on the road to our ports.

We need a second referendum based on facts not lies, as Labour have suggested: the best possible deal to Leave, against staying as we are.

Phil Tate,


WE read that the negotiations with regard to a Brexit deal have reached

a critical stage (“Brexit deal on the brink”, The Herald, October 9) and that what is described as “the blame game”, in the event of breakdown, is underway.

Rightly or wrongly, Angela Merkel is being blamed by some in relation to the lack of success in striking a deal.

I wonder if she ever reflects upon her role in the negotiations between the UK and the EU when David Cameron, as Prime Minister, was seeking changes in how the EU would operate, particularly in relation to immigration, before the referendum.

Maybe, if she had been more accommodating to the UK then, the result in the referendum may well have been different and we would have lived through the last three years in a completely different and more positive fashion.

Did she think then that, by agreeing to more concessions, all she would be doing would be to mitigate the divisions within the Conservative Party?

Did she perhaps believe that the UK would never vote to come out of the EU ?

Ian W Thomson,