ALEX Gallagher (Letters, December 4) asserts that Nicola Sturgeon is factually challenged for stating that the shambles of Brexit would be a driver for independence. It’s difficult to see the logic of his argument, given Scotland’s disagreement with Brexit and our opinions on the matter being ignored by Westminster.

Is Mr Gallagher aware of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, due to Slovakia wishing more constitutional powers (sound familiar)? The Velvet Divorce between the Czechs and Slovaks was, ultimately, a model of constitutional reasonableness and both have established institutions of government promptly and have prospered. There is no reason to assume Scotland/rUK would be different. We would be close neighbours. Borders would be established but Westminster would need to be honest as to whether it wanted Ed Miliband’s “custom posts and armed guards” or the Irish style “invisible border” at Gretna.

As to trade, Mr Gallagher claims “reputable economists agree” that independence would be a “four-times” bigger economic hit. Which economists have published such a study? It would be a good thing for both sides of the argument. Scotland exports to England oil, gas, electricity, quality food and alcohol among other products. Tariffs would damage both economies but Scotland could find a ready market for much of what it sends south.

As to the old bogey “£13 billion transfer”: is that the best argument for the Union? Much of the wealth of the London region (the wealthiest in Europe) does not reach Scotland and is spent elsewhere on our behalf, on things not of our choice.

GR Weir,

17 Mill Street,


WITH regard to Alex Gallagher’s fears about Scotland negotiating our way out of the UK, I would point out that there are plenty of precedents; Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the Solomon Islands, to name but a few. All of these nations seems to be managing very well, and none is knocking on the Downing Street door wanting to relinquish its independence.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road, Stirling.

THERE can be no argument that the result of the 2016 referendum was to leave the EU which, we were told repeatedly, would mean leaving the single market and the customs union.

More recently, there has been an increasingly vociferous campaign to have a rerun of that referendum obviously in the hope of overturning the vote to leave. The suggestion is that there should be three options to vote on, namely: Remain, the May Deal or No Deal. My objection to that is two-fold. First, it denies the clear result of the 2016 referendum and, secondly, it splits the Leave vote, thus putting the bias of the result in favour of Remain.

If there is to be a second referendum, it must respect the result of the 2016 referendum and should therefore have only the two Leave options to vote on: the May Deal or No Deal.

Alan Fitzpatrick,

10 Solomon’s View, Dunlop.

ALEXANDER McKay (Letters, December 1) praises Theresa May for her “honesty, integrity, resilience and sheer pluck”.

While I might be prepared to acknowledge the latter two attributes I consider the overall standard of her performance as Prime Minister to be questionable at the very least. She has presided over the development of a deeply disturbing division in our society at a time when trust in our politicians has not simply reached an all time low but is also on the verge of self-destructing as a consequence of the the tactics adopted by the Brextremists. For the damage caused to our democracy she has demonstrated neither any awareness nor any sense of responsibility.

As William Davies, the political theorist, has suggested “the notion that public figures and professionals are basically trustworthy has been integral to the health of representative democracies”.

I suggest that the ship of state has neither a competent captain nor officers who have the slightest idea of how to put it into astern (the more deluded ones not even wanting to) and, as a consequence, it is drifting towards the rocks at the base of the oft-mentioned cliff.

These deluded officers hope to be able to build out of the wreckage a new vessel that will sail the highly dangerous seas of the totally unregulated free market.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive,


CONGRATULATIONS to the cross-party group of Scottish politicians from Labour, including my old colleague David Martin MEP, and Andy Wightman, the Green MSP, who initiated the move to prove that the British Government can unilaterally withdraw its application to leave the EU under Article 50.

Despite strong opposition and attempts to block the action by the Tories at Westminster, the Scottish courts and now the European Court of Justice have backed their judgment in the opinion of the Advocate General, which is likely to be confirmed by the court.

This gives the Westminster Parliament the option to reject Theresa May’s deal and withdraw the application to leave the EU and have further discussions, including the option to have a second referendum.

This shows that Scotland’s politicians and courts have some power when it comes to the EU and can work together in Scotland’s interests. We can end the nonsense of Brexit and focus on more important decisions such as taking more power in Scotland to deal with the real issues of poverty, inequality and public services.

Hugh Kerr (MEP, 1994-99),

Wharton Square, Edinburgh.

THE SNP will no doubt be pleased that the EU judges have advised that Brexit can be withdrawn, at the behest of the party, amongst others.

If this were to happen, has the SNP considered that its reason for calling a second independence referendum – that of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will – will therefore be null and void and thus there can be no excuse for continuing to pursue this particular goal? Will the supporters of independence welcome this change of heart?

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.

THERE is a 17th Century castle extension on the Hunterston estate in North Ayrshire which has a vertical sundial built in to the south turret wall. The face of the dial bears the most apropos Latin inscription: “Latet ultima cursum perficio!”

I understand this translates as: “The end lies hidden, I complete the course”!

Is this not a fitting motto to be embossed on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement when it passes through Parliament?

Archie Burleigh,