TOM Gordon points out that the chaos and confusion around Brexit may very well stymie the First Minister’s goal of a second independence referendum before her “mandate” runs out in 2021 (“Brexit’s unintended consequences for May and Sturgeon, The Herald, December 1).But there is another, more serious, consequence of Brexit for the Nationalist cause.

Last week Nicola Sturgeon claimed that Brexit was “making the case for independence”. But the one indisputable lesson of Brexit is that an established union between and among nation states is very difficult to unravel and that replacement relationships are even more difficult to envisage, never mind create, in an acceptable timescale.

The UK has been part of the EU for 45 years. How much more difficult would it be to unravel the 300-year-old Union of Scotland and England?

If picking your way out of legal, economic, trade and cultural relationships built up over decades is seemingly impossible, leading to the present political and constitutional shambles, how much more intractable are the problems within the much more deeply embedded relationships nurtured over centuries? How do you decide which institutions are to be replaced, and how will that be achieved? How are new institutions (military, immigration, borders, trade relations and so on) to be agreed and formed?

If we can’t do that for a union in which the UK was already, somewhat warily, engaged over 45 years, how does the SNP propose to do it for a UK that has been much more closely and enthusiastically integrated for so much longer?

All of which is without considering the economic shocks in such break-ups. Any version of Brexit will cost the UK billions of pounds in lost GDP. Most reputable economists agree that independence would hit the Scottish economy up to four times as much as Brexit.

Add the immediate loss of £13 billion in lost transfers from Westminster, and the economic impact of Brexit pales in comparison with the impact of independence.

Far from “making the case for independence” as Ms Sturgeon claims, the Brexit project is a dire warning against the type of constitutional adventurism the bold, but apparently logically and factually challenged, First Minister claims transcends all other issues.

Alex Gallagher,

Labour Councillor,

North Coast and Cumbraes,

North Ayrshire Council,

Cunninghame House, Irvine.

DURING the Brexit campaign, bribery was much in evidence as a vote catcher. Think of Boris Johnson’s notorious red bus and so on. After the disastrous general election result for Theresa May, bribery is once more in evidence.

The Democratic Unionist Party was bribed with £1 billion to support the Government after the majority was lost and, apparently, about one dozen knighthoods have been given to Leave supporting Tory backbenchers. David Cameron introduced the practice of awarding knighthoods to serving MPs; think also of vocal pro-Union campaigners elevated to the House of Lords.

Possibly not since the “rotten boroughs” and Lloyd George’s cash for honours scandals has bribery been quite so evident in politics.

Nigel Dewar Gibb,

15 Kirklee Road, Glasgow.

AS someone who voted Remain, I am concerned that, in a second referendum, I could be forced to vote Leave. The reason is that, if such a referendum were granted and if Remain succeeded, the EU would be a completely different negotiator.

When all deals are off and having the upper hand as the UK crawls back, the EU mandarins could and would, in my view, insist that we embrace the federal United States of Europe and adopt the euro as true Europeans.

We must reflect on this possibility in our “offshore-island” status.

Any negotiating means give and take and there is surely more wriggle room in the proposal before Parliament. Ironically, if Theresa May loses the Commons vote it will give her more clout in Brussels as things proceed.

Norman McLean,

38 Seafield Drive, Ayr.

THE Herald reports (December 1) that Theresa May refuses to rule out a second Commons vote on her Brexit deal. How does she reconcile contemplating giving herself a second chance with her refusal to contemplate a second referendum on Brexit?

Angus J Kennedy,

63 Galbraith Drive, Milngavie.