THE leader of Scotland’s voluntary organisations, Anna Fowlie, is spot on when she says “no one on the Leave side campaigned for a No Deal Brexit, and it is nonsense to suggest this would respect the outcome” (“Why we must withdraw the Article 50 letter, Agenda, The Herald, November 29 ). Every MP knows this is true and now most must surely also accept that the Prime Minister’s negotiated agreement is dead in the water, commanding insufficient political or public support. So, when she loses the forthcoming vote in the UK Parliament, the next step is straightforward – the decks have to be cleared for a second referendum, based this time on clear understanding of the options before us.

For those still favouring Leave the Norway model is the only sensible route at this stage – out of the EU but still in the single market. That will do for a few years and can be subject to further negotiation, if necessary, beyond the next General Election. For the Remainers the vote should be for EU minus – still in the European Union but no longer part of the Common Agricultural Policy or Common Fisheries Policy. The EU negotiators will not like this, but will give way in the end because their political masters will be so relieved to keep the UK on board that a bit of a dent in the CAP and CFP schemes will only ruffle a few feathers. And of course the UK will significantly reduce its budget contributions to the EU – with the CAP consuming around 40 per cent of the total EU budget, the UK can expect to be relieved of that burden as it opts out of the CAP.

Such special arrangements amongst EU members are not unique. When Denmark joined it was given a special derogation – the free market in land sales was constrained so that persons not resident in Denmark were prevented from buying land. Otherwise their nice coastline would have been bought by rich folk living in other countries with an eye to second homes. So today a Scot cannot go to Denmark and buy a few acres but, ironically, the reverse does not apply. A Danish citizen, Anders Povlsen, has been busy in recent years buying large chunks of Scotland. At 222,000 acres-plus he is now top of the pile, with even more land than the Duke of Buccleuch. So the message to our MPs is simple – another referendum please, with the choice between the Norway model or EU minus and, if the Brussels bureaucrats kick up a fuss about special arrangements, just remind them of the Danish model.

Dave Morris,

2 Bishop Terrace, Kinnesswood, Kinross.

IT is astonishing that the Federation of Small Businesses feels it is alright to ask for financial support from the Scottish Government, when neither it, nor the SNP, nor the Scottish Electorate voted for Brexit ("Call for cash to help firms prepare for Brexit", Herald Business, November 27).

Since it was the UK Government, Westminster politicians and the electorate from the remainder of the UK that created this sorry mess, should they not be getting their financial support from them? Also, when the prices of goods begins to rise, as they surely will, can we expect the federation to create a Brexit Fund for the hard-pressed consumers who will have to deal with the consequence of this, having already dealt with rising prices as a result of Brexit causing the plummeting pound? I seriously doubt it.

Francis Deigman,

12 Broomlands Way, Abbeyfield, Erskine.

A GENERAL Election reflects the will of the people. A referendum reflects the will of the people.

Which one carries more weight?

From the arguments on the Brexiter side, it would appear that any decision made in a referendum is set in stone and so unalterable.

Yet both appeals to the people merely capture the mood of the nation at the moment of voting. This is what makes nonsense of Theresa May's statement at Prime Minister's Questions (November 28) that John McDonnell was trying to overturn the will of the people by demanding a second referendum. If a referendum reflects the will of the people, a second referendum would also reflect the will of the people.

Whether that first result would be reinforced or rejected in a second referendum, would depend on the nation's mood of the moment and its improved state of knowledge about the consequences of what their first decision truly entailed.

If Theresa May has any confidence in her own direction of travel, she should have the courage to put it to the test in a second referendum, instead of parading around the country to provide sound bites with scenery

Success in the referendum would wipe out any opposition to her approach and she would have a clear mandate to develop her deal.

She could then in all confidence forge ahead with the deal she envisages will follow on from the Withdrawal Agreement.

Denis Bruce,

5 Rannoch Gardens, Bishopbriggs.

YOUR headline on Ian McConnell’s piece is very precise, and correct; it says “Absurdities abound as Tories admit Brexit cost but carry on regardless” (The Herald, November 30).

It is the irony of all ironies that a scant four years ago the Unionists were declaring that an independent Scotland would not be allowed into the EU, and we would face disaster; they now face disaster and try to tell us that the previous mythical British Empire will rise against the vicissitudes and will enter the sunlit uplands, exactly how that will happen is an open question.

The plain fact is that nobody in the Unionist brigade has any idea of how to get out of this impasse, and when it comes to Westminster they are looking at self-preservation.

Scotland has a clear idea of where we want to go but we are not being allowed to voice that; of course we would inherit a shambles, but can handle it – other people can solve their own problems.

Theresa May’s favourite dictum “Now is not the time” has run out.

Jim Lynch,

42 Corstorphine Hill Crescent, Edinburgh.

I CANNOT think of any country in history that has agreed voluntarily to become the colony of a foreign power, but that is what the Withdrawal Agreement which Teresa May concluded with the EU on Sunday would mean. If passed by Parliament, after March next year we would be forced to comply with laws and regulations over which we had no say for years to come. We would pay heavily for the privilege and we could only escape this humiliating position with the consent of the EU.

It is extraordinary that any Prime Minister who agreed to such a disgraceful proposal should not have been summarily removed from office by her party.

John Hunt,

20 York Road, North Berwick.