I AM always impressed by someone who can take a verifiable fact and turn it through 180 degrees and then base an entire article on it. Struan Stevenson ("Johnson shows way forward – now Sturgeon must follow", The Herald, July 4) asks that we in poor wee Scotia follow the lead of the Prime Minister in having a “nationwide” approach post-lockdown. The problem with that premise is that Boris Johnson has provided zero leadership in any aspect of this crisis and proceeds on his merry way in a fog of complete incoherence with even his own father ignoring the “rules" such as they are.

The Scottish Government is far from perfect but at least attempts to put the welfare of the citizenry before profit, which is certainly not an allegation that can be levelled at Mr Johnson and company, whose utter stupidity was neatly encompassed by their “countries to fly to" edicts.

Mr Stevenson then attempts his knock-out blow with the "it's only a unified UK approach that can work” as Scotland is too poor and too insignificant to pull itself out of the coming financial downturn. I might have more faith in that statement if Mr Johnson's Government were not pressing ahead at all costs with Brexit and effectively visiting a financial catastrophe upon us while we are still suffering from the Covid-19 trauma.

The point in Mr Stevenson’s article comes in the final sentences when he rails against the “threat of indyref2" and the damage as he sees it that could be done, completely ignoring the fact that the actions of the Westminster Government are acting as an enabler for what he opposes.

Kenneth Macaulay, Neilston.

STRUAN Stevenson writes that since Boris Johnson has shown the way forward, Scotland should follow. Follow where, exactly? Following Mr Johnson leads to a leap over the hard Brexit cliff, something Scotland never voted for. But let’s assume the PM knows what he’s doing with the announcement of his £5 billion "New Deal", which is just 0.2 per cent of UK GDP. The original New Deal in the US represented 40% of GDP, so there is just a wee bit of hyperbole going on here.

It turns out that £5bn won’t even meet half the cost of filling all the potholes in England and Wales, according to GMB Secretary Jude Brimble, and represents less than £100 of spend per person. Furthermore, Mr Johnson’s "Project Speed" is merely code for cutting workers’ rights and slashing environmental standards. He made no mention of investment in public services, starved after more than a decade of failed Tory austerity. The UK can’t build its way out of its current hole while local governments still have to cut vital public services.

Contrast his announcement with the Scottish Government’s call last Monday for the UK to invest £80bn, which represents four per cent of the UK’s GDP, to begin to address the economic fallout from Covid-19. This is the same proportion announced by the German government to kickstart its economic recovery. Reacting to Mr Johnson’s “New Deal”’, Nicola Sturgeon said, “To put it mildly, I’m extremely underwhelmed.” So should we all be.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh EH10.

I AM currently writing from Germany, where I arrived about a fortnight ago. I was due to fly home with Eurowings from Cologne to Edinburgh on July 9. After my arrival in Germany, Eurowings cancelled the flight as a result of the UK quarantine requirements and a subsequent slump in demand. The airline has removed all flights to Scotland until August.

I had hoped Eurowings would reinstate the service to Edinburgh once quarantine restrictions are lifted for countries with a low Covid-19 infection rate – countries such as Germany. Now we learn that the quarantine will indeed be lifted from July 10, but for England only.

Nicola Sturgeon's refusal to agree to end quarantine in line with Westminster means that there is no real prospect that Eurowings will relaunch flights to Scotland any time soon. In practice it means that I won't get back to Scotland with this airline and, in order to remain stranded here for the foreseeable time, I’ll have to pay for an expensive one-way flight with a different airline.

My stay in Germany is by no means a leisure trip. There will be more people like me who travel for essential family and business reasons and now have to put up with more unnecessary uncertainty, inconvenience and extra cost just because the SNP and other devolved governments are in a huff.

Withholding agreement to end this flawed quarantine policy for countries like Germany, which have a demonstrably better record on dealing with the pandemic and a sustained lower infection rate than Scotland, is simply unacceptable and a slap in face of our partners in the EU and beyond, effectively telling them that Scotland is firmly closed for business.

Thankfully the UK Government has seen sense and ends quarantine for international travellers. Meanwhile I live in the hope that discussions between Westminster and the devolved administrations will lead to the Edinburgh Government giving up its nonsensical stance on this issue.

Regina Erich, c/o Essen, Germany, permanent address Stonehaven.

ONCE again Nicola Sturgeon has criticised the most recent UK Government’s Covid-19 announcement, the air bridges quarantine policy ("Sturgeon’s quarantine plans face backlash", The Herald, July 4).

She certainly knew in advance that a policy was imminent and she may have a point that the Scottish Government was given little or no time to study it. However, now she wants time to fully peruse and examine the policy before either agreeing with it or dismissing it. My guess is that she will agree with it but it will probably not be introduced to Scotland until the usual one week later than England. We always seem to be trailing England, but again she always maintains that we have got to be safe and must not jump into decisions.

The questions that arise are as follows. Why did the Scottish Government not draw up its own list of countries where an air bridge could be introduced? Would that have been too difficult, or is it because Ms Sturgeon wants the UK Government to do the research and development, so that she can be in a position to criticise?

Why are Scottish families who are now into the formal school holidays having to wait for her decision? As the schools will return in mid-August, the clock is ticking if they want to get away for a European holiday, so delaying it will not give them much of an opportunity for an overseas break.

It would certainly be very positive, and welcome, if for once Ms Sturgeon could agree at once with a Covid-19 policy that originated from the UK Government. As our Prime Minister has stated the devolved governments are generally following the same route, the only thing is that we seem to be trailing behind as usual. What a shambles.

John Cuthbertson, Leuchars.

BORIS Johnson and his Government are in full-on self-congratulatory mode after achieving a deal with European countries over cross-border travel. We should be grateful that the rest of Europe is prepared to have us considering that, with the exception of Belgium, our Covid death and infection record is the worst in Europe by every measure.

It is our European friends who are taking a risk allowing us in rather than the other way round. If I am able to take a European holiday this year, I will make sure to thank them.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

I AM disappointed, to put it mildly, that Judith Gillespie should suggest that “Scotland is becoming a country that is defined by its hatred of England and all things English" (Letters, July 3). Such a divisive assertion is absolute nonsense which in itself can only give rise to ill-feeling.

It may well be the case that many of us domiciled in Scotland disapprove strongly of the approach of the hyper-nationalist clique in power in Westminster to such issues as immigration, Brexit, the handling of the pandemic, relationships with Donald Trump and Britain’s role in the world. That disapproval is shared with many in England, and thus should not be associated with nationalist sentiment north of the Border.

John Milne, Uddingston.

ACCORDING to David McEwan Hill (Letters, July 3) he was "confused" after reading the excellent letter from Dr Gerald Edwards (July 2) and then went on to make some astonishing claims about the Scottish economy. For example, he claimed that "Scotland provides 25 per cent of the UK's exports". Really? This is nonsense, as UK companies exported £689 billion worth of goods and services across the globe in 2018 whereas Scotland only contributed £33.8bn. He then made a lot of play about Scotland exporting power to England but failed to mention that most of the wind power is subsidised by the English taxpayers (which an independent Scotland would have to finance) and with little back-up power (when there is no wind) will become very reliant on rUK for power.

With regard to his comment about Scotland being the only "viable economic unit" in the UK when most people understand that London and the south-east of England are in a league of their own is equally laughable – notwithstanding the fact our fiscal deficit (before Covid) was five times that of rUK.

But he keeps the best to last with his assertion (based upon his nonsensical arguments) is that England somehow wants to "hang on to us". Perhaps he forgot it was the Scottish people who voted for us to remain in the Union, not the English.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.

DAVID McEwan Hill writes that "Scotland provides 25 per cent of the UK's exports, has a higher per capita in manufacturing base, feeds itself (while the UK as a whole imports more than 60 per cent of its food)...".

While I don't know whether the first two parts quoted above are factual or not, I think I'm on safe ground challenging the part where Mr Hill would have us believe Scotland feeds itself.

From looking on the various shelves of my local supermarket I can see all manner of produce from countries other than Scotland.

The UK may well import more than 60 per cent of its food, but given Scotland is part of the UK, it is likely Scotland also imports a similar percentage of food.

And as for Scotland being the only viable economic unit in the UK, I believe Mr Hill may be suffering from an overdose of SNP independence propaganda.

Brian Bell, Kinross.

Read more: Struan Stevenson: Johnson has shown the way forward