AS expected the EU has bent over backwards to accommodate the UK by offering a six-month “flexible” extension (with minimal conditions) before we have to decide to leave in the hope we may still somehow ratify the Withdrawal Agreement or just remain ("It's a deal: UK is given six-month extension over Brexit", The Herald, April 11). Clearly the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal is something it wishes to avoid at all costs as it knows it will be the loser in the long term and not the UK.

For example there is no doubt that if we left without a deal we would become much more internationally competitive, free to make our own trade deals and importantly the EU should know the US will not countenance the EU “punishing” Britain for daring to leave. One just needs to look at the latest tweet by President Trump when he ominously criticised the “so tough” Brexit negotiations with the UK and declared the EU “is like a brutal trading partner with the US, which will change”.

Meanwhile during all the uncertainty with Brexit the UK's February GDP grew by 0.2 per cent and the industrial output grew by 0.6 per cent compared to the 0.0 per cent and 0.1 per cent forecast by Reuters. Germany, on the other hand, currently flirts with recession (dieselgate and US-China trade disputes) and where its bond markets are showing equal signs of stress with the yield on 10-year German government debt recently dropped below zero. Furthermore, France and Italy are more akin to basket cases with their national debt as a percentage of GDP much higher than the UK.

It is a nonsense to suggest it would be “catastrophic” if we leave without a deal – after all we came out stronger in the 1970s after suffering the three-day week, miners' and lorry drivers' strikes, power outages and a pound that plunged to parity with the US dollar only to rebound to above two US dollars to the pound a few years later.

The EU's intransigence towards David Cameron's requests for sensible changes to movement of people and the drive for a political union caused Brexit and the same intransigence shown by the EU with the Withdrawal Agreement could cause us to leave without a deal. It is time for the EU to wake up to the fact that an unreformed EU without Britain (and US support) is a spent force and it is time for them to listen and act on our concerns before it is too late.

Ian Lakin,

PInelands, Murtle Den Road, Milltimber, Aberdeen.

DEAR, oh dear. After all the many months of boringly-repetitive EU Brexit debate in Parliament, in the media and throughout the country, and full negotiations with the European Union, the outcome finally agreed is – another six-month extension.

For what possible purpose? Another divisive referendum, possibly (probably?) no more clear and conclusive than the original one? A General Election, a change of government, a new prime minister? How will any of those help, when the basic problem is that the people throughout the UK are divided almost equally, and so is Parliament?

I have always believed that the United Kingdom gained much more than it lost by being a member of a pan-European alliance, politically, economically and socially. We were in a strong position to influence major decisions which directly or indirectly affected our own national welfare and interests, and also to generate greater influence in global issues. But the arrogance of little Englanders and a false sense of superiority has destroyed and sacrificed that position.

Let us hope that common sense will now prevail, and that we can find some way to remain within the European Union and continue to both benefit economically and socially, while playing a leading role in the wider world affairs.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

Read more: May – Agreeing a Brexit deal is a 'national duty'

I AM disappointed the EU has reneged on its promise not to agree an extension to Brexit with the UK unless there was a purpose. I can see no purpose. The discussions with the Labour Party will go nowhere, as Theresa May does not do comprise. More than half of the Conservative MPs in the House of Commons failed to vote for an extension. They want a no deal. This new delay will change the EU dynamic, however ,as the 27 are fearful of the results of the European elections in their own countries.

When the European elections are over, the EU 27 should insist on a UK general election or a second referendum as a price for any further extension. The only positive thing I can foresee is the destruction of the UK Conservative Party: the sooner the better.

Francis Buchan,

5 Drybrough Crescent, Edinburgh.

THERE are many positions along the Conservative Brexit spectrum, from the sinister to the loony Right. An example of the latter is Brexiter economist Andrew Lilico, who said that the Queen was wrong to give her Royal Assent to the Cooper-Letwin Bill, the purpose of which is to prevent the UK exiting the EU with no deal. He claimed that by doing so she had demonstrated that the Monarchy is “no longer fit for purpose". He demanded that Her Majesty explain herself.

What had she done? She had put into practice the central constitutional principle to the effect that Parliament is sovereign. After arguing that we should leave the EU in order to ensure that power be returned to Parliament, the Brexiters don’t like it when it exercises that power.

It is a pleasure to witness the Brexit camp losing the plot. Bring on Mark Francois, who thinks he is still fighting the Second World War. Does he remind anyone else of Captain Mainwaring, which character provides us with endless entertainment? The significant difference between them is that Arthur Lowe was paid to do so, whereas that is not the role of MPs.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.

A HALLOWEEN deadline – trick or treat? Well at least if this doesn’t work then a mere five days later the Guy Fawkes option might come to the rescue of all of us.

Alastair Patrick,

3 Pentland Crescent, Paisley.

THE pound in his pocket may be what matters most to Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, April 11), but not to me nor to the citizens of the many countries which have sought and won independence in the past. Working out what currency to eventually go over to has always been one of the decisions for after finishing the political negotiations. The UK Government changed its currency in 1971 with no fuss and may one day do so again. It only becomes the main issue if we let the Unionists and their friends in the media present it as one.

Mary McCabe,

25 Circus Drive, Glasgow.