TODAY I travel to Germany and I am bracing myself for the inevitable Brexit-related sarcastic jokes and comments I usually encounter during my visits.

In German mainstream opinion Brexit is sad and bad. The inability of British politicians to agree among themselves a way forward is seen as proof that "this is what you get when a country falls for nationalist, populist promises and propaganda". The prevailing view is that being a "good" European means to condemn Brexit, otherwise one belongs on the far-right scrap heap.

Yet there is a grain of truth in the perception that the British "don't know what they want" and that some arch Brexiters are uncomfortably close to hard-right EU sceptics elsewhere in Europe and beyond. Nigel Farage's re-emergence will reinforce and give validity to that position.

For the sake of our reputation I wish our leaders would for once ignore the shrill voices from the fringes and the tribalism in their own ranks. Coalition is needed in the national interest, not continuous threats of Cabinet walk-outs and the carry-on of unproductive votes in parliament which, to the outsider, do look ridiculous.

Is a grand coalition on the issue of Brexit really asked too much? If other countries can do it, why can't we?

Regina Erich,


NEXT week we have the European Parliament elections (traditionally one of low turnout, and one that we did not expect). Typically I hear the reasons for not voting in the EU elections being “I don’t know much about the EU” or “It’s too distant to seem relevant” and yet we as a nation are avid supporters of the European Union if you follow Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP rhetoric.

Of course, that rhetoric from Ms Sturgeon overlooks the one million people in Scotland who voted for Brexit in 2016 (including a sizeable amount of her own SNP voters).

I voted for Britain to have the freedom and flexibility to make its way in the world. To be an ally of Europe without being tied to such a convoluted political structure as the EU. I also hope that with the flexibility to shape our international trade deals, Britain can become a true champion of fair trade throughout the world (setting up fair partnerships with the developing world, as well as with the most innovative international markets). Hopefully we can further strengthen our friendship and cooperation with the English-speaking Commonwealth nations.

Something that I also feel can be further developed is a fair and sustainable immigration system that does not, by design, favour EU citizens over people from the rest of the world (it really should be a system that is fair to all).

Democracy, and fairness, is always a worthy cause.

Peter Campbell, Dundee.