DOES the vote for Conservative MP Dominic Grieve’s amendment forcing Theresa May to present a new Brexit plan within three days if her proposal is defeated in the Commons do any more than embarrass the Government (“Government left reeling as MPs bite back over Brexit”, The Herald, January 10)?

For someone with so much expertise in the law, it appears to have been so loosely drafted that the Government could get off the hook by just ignoring it.

Although it specifies that the Government should come back to the Commons within three days with a plan B, if the Withdrawal Agreement is rejected, it does not nominate which minister should be responsible for presenting the new proposal.

It would appear that the three-day window is more aspirational than compulsory. Brexiter William Rees Mogg is treating it with measured contempt

Perhaps the amendment was loosely worded out of fear that, if it were tightened leaving the Government with no escape route, it would be lost.

So the Grieve amendment may have been a warning shot across the bows of HMS Withdrawal Agreement, even though it was firing only blanks.

What it has done, is make the headlines with yet another defeat for a minority government already on the ropes. It could be described as a toothless tiger, fearsome in appearance but lacking a cutting edge.

Denis Bruce,

5 Rannoch Gardens, Bishopbriggs.

THE Withdrawal Deal, claimed by Theresa May as negotiated, is in need of some applications of common sense. First, any assurances the Prime Minister manages to extract from her EU co-negotiators must, to be effective, be incorporated in the legal and binding document.

There can be one and one only reason for that to be resisted. Mrs May and her EU colleagues are effectively here today but gone tomorrow. I have no recollection of any politician being constrained to abide by an assurance not personally given. There are many examples of denial by the authors themselves, and in recent times blatant broken manifesto pledges.

If Mrs May wants reliance on “assurances”, she must, even at this late hour, negotiate their unambiguous inclusion in the deal. That would appear to be impossible and the conclusion to be drawn is plain to see.

J Hamilton,

G/2 1 Jackson Place, Bearsden.

THE Government held a referendum and Parliament decided to be bound by the result. The result was to leave and the subsequent General Election had the two main parties pledging to deliver Brexit.

The two options following the referendum and the election were to leave with a deal or to leave without a deal.We seem to be having our politicians pushing four disastrous choices.

First, a new vote would be a disaster, because we have already had a vote and it would be seen as a cynical effort to overturn the result.

Secondly, Parliament overturning Brexit would be a disaster because the politicians of the two main parties would be seen as going back on clear pledges.

Thirdly, Mrs May’s deal is a disaster given the caveats, for instance no new trade deals and the inability to leave a customs union without EU consent. It is the best deal that the EU will give us because it wants us to capitulate.

Fourthly, leaving without a deal, the so-called hard Brexit, is a disaster, but probably the only course of action under which the EU would take us seriously and lead to mutually beneficial negotiations carried out rapidly.

Recent weekends have shown us that the French public will not quietly accept the collapse of the UK market for Renault, Peugeot, Champagne, wine and cheese companies. The German public would not be happy about the collapse of the UK market for BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Audi.

If our politicians can go against pledges to the electorate, they can easily revisit how promptly we give the £39 billion to the EU.

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and the bulk of the money should be paid after a comprehensive post-Brexit trade deal has been agreed and signed off.

I think a hard Brexit is regrettable and a disaster but the best option among four terrible choices.

John Leonard,

Drossie Road, Falkirk.

IMAGINE that the UK Government insisted that Seaborne Freight, the “no ferry/no experience” shipping line for the English Channel Brexit panic, purchase the Calmac fleet for the job.

To replace the fleet, a multi million pound contract will be handed to Ferguson`s yard in Port Glasgow to build as many Clyde Puffers as it can in the knowledge that, although the yard have problems with dual-fuel technology engines, coal-fired will be a doddle. To help avoid design changes all boats will come “as standard” and be any colour desired as long as it is black.

The puffers will have no problems with docking as any old beach at low tide will suffice. Para Handy is to be coaxed out of retirement to be Commodore of the Fleet and, likewise, Dan McPhail as Lead Engineer at Ferguson`s and any other yards that can be resurrected. Funding will be by unsecured, and sometimes undeclared, loans from the SNP Government as before.

George Dale,

21 Oakwood Drive, Beith.

I HAVE never understood why BBC interviews with a member of parliament should be held on College Green, a stretch of lawn just across the road from the Houses of Parliament, in full view of the public and with easy access for any passer-by or nutter who decides to interrupt and take part (“Police to step up security outside Parliament over “intimidation, violence and abuse of MPs”, The Herald, January 9).

Of course MPs are servants of the public and must be seen to be held to account publicly but surely a suitable room inside the building could be made available for that purpose? The farce when a complete stranger walked up to the BBC interviewer and started shouting into the live microphone should not have been allowed to happen. Will it take a physical attack on the interviewer or guest before more sensible arrangements are put in place?

Iain AD Mann, 7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

ON reading Monday’s Herald, I noticed mention of Sir Nick Clegg (Birthdays) and Sir Danny Alexander (“Vow to end ‘revolving door’ into Alexander’s bank job” ).

It made me wonder if politics is unique in rewarding abject failure with an honour.

Roy Gardiner,

3 Riverbank Place, Kilmarnock.