WE have all watched with increasing concern as the Brexit negotiations have resulted in a UK-EU withdrawal agreement and political declaration that does not have the support of the House of Commons. Nor does that appear likely to change in the coming weeks. Such a deal would anyway be much worse than our current position within the EU – politically, democratically and economically.

The rather chaotic process of the Brexit talks in the last year and a half and the deal the UK Government has agreed with the EU have shown that many of the promises made by the Leave campaign in 2016 could not be delivered. The public can see the reality of the Brexit choices the UK faces and the damage any realistic Brexit deal will cause.

Scotland voted Remain by a large majority and polls show there is a majority across the UK for Remain. In a democracy, people can change their minds, especially in the face of new evidence.

Westminster is also facing stalemate: there is no unity in the Government nor in the Commons on the way ahead. We believe it is time to take the decision back to the people. It is the best democratic way out of our current deep political crisis.

A People’s Vote will allow an informed debate and choice and a way to start to heal the divisions Brexit has created. We are not arguing for a return to the status quo; the Brexit process has shown it is time that, across the UK, we restore the welfare state to good health, not least the NHS, and tackle inequality and poverty as a top priority.

Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, 17 Rintoul Place, Edinburgh; John Edward, Open Britain; Mark Lazarowicz, Chairman of European Movement in Scotland;

Liam McCabe, NUS Scotland President; Sir David Edward, Professor Emeritus Edinburgh University Law School and former European Court of Justice Judge; Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde; Dame Mariot Leslie, Former British Ambassador; Lord George Foulkes, former MP & MSP; Professor Matthew Anderson PhD, Adjunct Professor in Leadership, Kedge Business School, Paris; Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen; Helen Liddell, former Secretary of State for Scotland; Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh; Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness.

THERESA May is struggling to get her deal through a hostile Commons, and faces a humiliating defeat and leading the country to disaster as a result of her overweening pride (EU rules out renegotiation of May’s EU exit deal”, The Herald, January 8).

When she became Prime Minister, she held a general election to confirm her position as the leader who was to take the UK out of Europe and the public rejected her. To remain in power, she did a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party that tied her hands on the Irish border issue and brought hard-line Brexiters into government, further reducing her ability to negotiate.

She has repeatedly stated she is acting for “the whole of the UK” but, by refusing to involve other parties which also represent the citizens of the UK, she made Brexit a party political issue. She then managed to divide members of her own party, making a parliamentary majority for any deal almost impossible.

Then, in a last attempt to frighten MPs into backing her deal, she claims a no deal would be bad for the country, having for most of her time in office stated the very opposite. It is a clear sign of her desperation and determination to win at any cost that troops have been put on stand-by, rehearsals for traffic congestion at Dover implemented, and meetings held with Tories to persuade them to back her; a few knighthoods and peerages may not be enough, given the extent of the discontent.

It is difficult to think of any past British leader who has been so pig-headed and stubborn as to defy the reality of the situation they found themselves in, Charles I and James II excepted. Before it is too late, she should take heed of advice that she must have learned from her father: “Pride goeth before a fall.”

T J Dowds,

6q Fleming Road, Cumbernauld.

Channel 4’s Brexit – The Uncivil War was a brilliant docu-drama let down only by the rushed last half hour which served to illustrate it would have been done better in two or three hour-long parts.

Benedict Cumberbach’s Dominic Cummings took the viewer on a journey through a wilfully out-of-touch elite on both sides to a world it ignored for decades: more than three million lapsed electors post-poll tax; millions more retreating from mainstream media post-Leveson; and thousands of suburban hell holes like Jaywick-resembling sets from a zombie apocalypse movie, unlucky enough not to be an inner city slum beneath the glittering ivory towers of London where someone might one day notice and care.

This was a world where Remain meant “remain forever ignored”. The drama concisely illustrated how Brexit offered them a one lifetime’s chance to prove James Baldwin’s dictum that the most dangerous in society are those with nothing to lose. That Cummings and his tech team still had to fight those meant to be on his side who “knew better” (including Aaron Banks trying to sabotage the official Leave campaign like a spiteful child) showed the depths of the chasm between “us and them”, the scale of their wilful ignorance.

But it missed a trick: explaining why Brexit happened also explained why Jeremy Corbyn almost won a general election a year later when the reaction of the elite to the vote wasn’t to empathise (only Mr Corbyn did) but to criticise. Those who tasted blood on June 23, 2016 remain out there: the harbingers not only of changes to come, but of those that might yet be.

Mark Boyle,

15 Linn Park Gardens, Johnstone.

NICOLA Sturgeon chooses her words carefully, telling us she hopes to announce her “preferred” second independence referendum timing very soon. In this she tacitly acknowledged what we all know: that, whatever date prior to the 2021 Holyrood election the SNP leader might demand for a referendum, she won’t get it.

Theresa May has repeatedly told her and us that a second vote is off the agenda while the Brexit process is ongoing. Judging by the chaos in Westminster, the voting public will not obtain a clear view on what exiting the EU means long-term for some considerable time. Then, once we have left and the transition period has expired, our trading relationships with the EU and other parts of the world will emerge over a number of years, not according to Ms Sturgeon’s peremptory second vote timetable.

The reality is that, as Ms Sturgeon knows, the earliest date that vote might take place is 2023 if, and it’s a big if, a Nationalist majority is returned in the 2021 Holyrood election. Anything else is rhetoric.

Martin Redfern,

Woodcroft Road, Edinburgh.