SO the battle lines will soon be drawn between the various parties in the run-up to the General Election. For example, three of the four major parties, namely the Conservatives, Liberal and the SNP, have a relatively clear message when it comes to Brexit.

However, with regard to the Labour Party I think most people would agree that it has a contradictory and confusing policy which appears to change depending on the day of the week – hence why it is to focus on a domestic radical agenda rather than Brexit.

Having said that it, is only the Conservative Party which can offer the UK voters a Brexit withdrawal agreement (no “cliff edge”) with the EU and a proven economic track record going forward – especially for Scotland, with the real prospect of Freeports and access to a new trade deal with the US to avoid future penal sanctions enacted by President Trump against the EU on Scottish exports such as whisky.

On the other hand we should expect the one-trick pony SNP to run a predictable election campaign and avoid any discussion on its dismal performance on devolved powers and focus instead entirely on its fanciful promises about independence. For example the fact that Scotland has added around a further £60 billion to its debt since 2014 and become a “johnny-come-lately” European (a win at the last referendum would have had Scotland out of the EU indefinitely) will not be up for public scrutiny.

Furthermore, it would appear that tactical voting will play a major part on the outcome of the General Election with a number of people holding their noses to vote for the party which can deliver or safeguard either Brexit, Remain, the Union or an independence referendum. Under these circumstances surely the best outcome would be for an orderly Brexit; and also for a Scottish referendum to be put on the back burner for at least a “generation” to allow UK businesses (especially Scottish) certainty to invest for the future to the advantage of us all and not self-serving narrow nationalism either by the SNP or the Brexit Party.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.

IT is timely to remind the First Minister in particular and the SNP in general that sovereignty in Scotland is vested in the people and not in parliament. It is possible to win a majority of seats in Parliament, whether Holyrood or Westminster, by obtaining the votes of a minority of the electorate or a minority of votes cast; this being an insubstantial basis to demand Scottish independence.

William Durward, Bearsden.

SO the fates have decreed that we get an early Christmas present in the form of a General Election. While the date is clear, it is less obvious for whom one should vote where one is not already a paid-up member or ardent supporter of one party or another. It has to be said that the selection of party leaders is not overly impressive. It has to be one of the poorest list of leaders promoting election campaigns in our history.

For the Conservatives we have the incorrigible Boris Johnson, who has been known to be economical with the truth on occasion. For Labour we have Jeremy Corbyn, who was once vocal in his support of Venezuela. The current tragic condition of that country illustrates how dangerous the implementation of his doctrinaire socialist policies would be for the UK.

The Lib Dems have the opportunistic Jo Swinson, lacking in gravitas, who sees herself, somewhat delusionally, as the next Prime Minister. For the SNP we have the doughty Ian Blackford, the investment banker, living the life of a “simple crofter”. His party at Westminster basically and repetitively sings from one song sheet . Do not let us forget the ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage, now calling the shots for the Brexit Party. In spite of all the predictions of the subsequent profound adverse effects, he would prefer to leave the European Union without a deal.

While not being spoiled for choice with regard to the leadership qualities of those at the head of parties and their policies, more and more I have inclined to the view that there is a case for extending the choice available on the list of candidates on the ballot paper,by adding a box to be crossed with the wording “none of the above”’.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

PLEASE help our memories by answering the following questions:

1. What were the reasons for the Brexit referendum – apart from David Cameron’s promise to hold it?

2. Have we ever seen the full details of Boris Johnson’s deal accepted by the rest of Europe (excepting Scotland and Northern Ireland)?

3. Has a Prime Minister ever stood for election after two courts found him guilty of misrepresentation of advice to a monarch?

Bryce Drummond, Kilmarnock.

WHAT action has been taken regarding reports that the First Minister is/was using her personal SNP email account (which comes under the purview of her husband) to conduct government business? If true, this could be a very serious matter as developments in the United States have proved.

Government business records are not the property of any official or party, they belong to the people and should be open, either immediately or after designated periods of time depending on security, to public scrutiny. Let’s hope nothing in this personal account which may be of public interest has been binned.

W MacIntyre, East Kilbride.

Read more: MSPs tell Sturgeon to rewrite Indyref2 law