HOLDING another referendum on leaving or staying in the EU is causing a great deal of talk in Westminster and elsewhere. Most politicians seem to be coming round to the idea thankfully and it could well happen. There is loose talk of a second referendum being a betrayal of democracy after the 2016 result. This, of course, is nonsense. In 2016 the population was completely in the dark about the costs, complexities, disruption and dangers that would be involved in leaving. These have revealed themselves all too clearly in every sector of the country. The Leave process in the 2016 referendum was promoted by lies and being as easy as leaving a room and shutting the door after turning out the light. How far from the truth that was.

It will be a total betrayal of democracy, however, if a second referendum is held and the ballot paper does not contain a choice to remain in the EU. Almost half the population, over 48 per cent in total, and two of the four constituent parts of the UK, voted to remain in the EU and presumably will not have changed their minds. Many who voted Leave will have decided that, on reflection and with the necessary information they now have, that this was a mistake. There is also the large number of young people, for whom the decision is critical for their future, who were unable to vote in 2016. Any new vote must include 16-year-olds and EU residents in the UK.

Theresa May and the Conservative Party are against a second referendum and one must ask why. If they are confident that they and their policies are on the right track they should be happy to have their initial policies and present position reinforced. If they are nervous because they realise that what they are doing is destroying the economic position of the UK and reducing the prospects and future of the country and its people then they will, of course, be against such a move. The latter is more likely.

Nigel Dewar Gibb,

15 Kirklee Road, Glasgow.

ANGUS Macmillan (Letters, September 25) confirms my suspicion that the Brexit ideologues see the Irish dimension as a thorn in their collective flesh.

While Great Britain has seen Ireland as such for many centuries the reality is that the Irish have every justification for seeing the British as a thorn in their flesh, even that term being too mild to describe the treatment meted out to them throughout these centuries. Now, once more the Anglo-Irish chickens (not ignoring their significant Scottish genetic elements) are coming home to roost.

Theresa May, in high post-Salzburg dudgeon, demands that the United Kingdom (when what she obviously means is Great Britain) be treated with respect.

The EU negotiators, rightly determined to defend the integrity of what is, for all its shortcomings, a magnificently visionary project, have made clear their perfectly logical opposition to impractical proposals relating to the Irish border. On the other hand, given the apparent inability, or is it wilful refusal, of the Brexit extremists to recognise the issues involved, no meaningful attempt has been made by Mrs May to take on board, with serious intent, EU concerns and Irish forebodings.

Furthermore it would not be inappropriate to draw attention to the baleful influence awarded by Mrs May to the DUP. The Northern Irish journalist Malachi O’Doherty is reported as saying “the greatest outrage is that Theresa May takes Arlene Foster as speaking for the whole of NI, yet her party speaks for one-third of the electorate in a region which voted Remain”.

Mrs May has thus failed miserably to treat Irish democracy with respect. How dare she demand it for herself and the Brexit extremists on both sides of the Irish Sea and the North Channel who are leading her by the nose?

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.

REGARDING G Braidwood Rodger's comments on Brexit (Letters, September 25), we were never given any small print prior to the referendum because there was none. The same situation was in place when we joined without asking about any rules and financial penalties of leaving.

We have been a committee member of a club for all this time and should have better negotiated our terms and conditions whilst in office. To me a no-deal Brexit means to leave without paying any outstanding dues and lose all benefits as a consequence. We surely cannot expect to have our cake and eat it.

George Dale,

21 Oakwood Drive, Beith.

THE response to the Theresa May "disappointment" (Letters, September 24) was entirely predictable. Mrs May was told after several warnings and in no uncertain terms that the UK cannot undermine the EU single market and the four freedoms by cherry-picking. If some of your correspondents read wider than the UK press they would discover that the Chequers agreement was sent immediately to the EU and within two days was told it was a non-starter. Undeterred by this the UK team then visited and "consulted" our new "friends" in Europe, in the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and Hungary. Why? Because we have been up to our old tricks all along, seeking to undermine Michel Barnier and his negotiating team, "Perfidious Albion" all over again.

Draping herself in the flag and declaring herself "standing ready" will just not work any more for Mrs May – she has been found out.

Any sympathy I ever had for the woman evaporated as she ruthlessly sidelined the First Minister and the Government of my country. Scotland and her interests were ignored in the Brexit talks from the start. Mrs May was contemptuous, she showed no respect for Scotland whatsoever. So she has now got her comeuppance in spades.

Ian McLaren,

27 Buchanan Drive, Lenzie.

WHEN I was a teenager I was told that Scotland couldn't exist as an independent country because there was only about 15 years' worth of oil in the North Sea. Forty-five years later, Scottish waters are still oil-rich, and now there is a massive gas discovery off Shetland (Bumper gas find fuels interest in Shetland", Herald Business, September 25). Almost half a century of Scotland's oil revenues have gushed into the Westminster Treasury; Scotland has the food banks to show for it.

Scotland can either benefit from the oil and gas round our shores, or suffer from the Brexit chaos, which we didn't vote for but which is coming to our shores. When the people of Scotland next get the opportunity to decide Scotland's future we must not be distracted by project fear, false vows and downright lies. Scotland needs to have self-confidence, self-respect and self-government.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road, Stirling.