THESE are divided and worrying times. Many of us are anxious about the future of our countries and how this will affect our families and communities. One thing most of us are agreed on is the importance of democracy – of government of the people and for the people.

An important opportunity for us to have our say about the UK’s vital relationship with Europe comes next Thursday in elections to the European Parliament. I believe, however, that this relationship is not the only issue at stake.

It looks as if an organisation calling itself the Brexit Party may get the most votes in the UK (though nowhere near a majority) and win one seat out of six in Scotland. This organisation, which is in fact a private company controlled by Nigel Farage, is a profound threat to our democracy. It has no members and has issued no manifesto. It lives only by propagating the lie that our democratically-elected Parliament has stopped Brexit whereas this was done by extreme Brexiters like Mr Farage. It wants to import the corrupt and divisive politics of Trumpism to Britain. It intends to use its seats in the European Parliament to start an economic war against the EU which will cost many jobs and cut living standards in Scotland.

This grouping has not campaigned in Scotland. Its only sign of interest in our country has been the call of one of its candidates for the abolition of the Scottish Parliament. Yet polling shows it has a good chance of winning one of our seats in the European Parliament. If it does Mr Farage will claim that his poisonous and dishonest politics have some support here.

Many people will want to use their vote to thwart him. There are several parties offering positive and constructive policies on our future including the chance for us to have a final say on our relationship with Europe.

The voting system means that the votes for parties that get less than about 13 per cent are lost. Currently polls say the Greens, LibDems and Change UK are on about six per cent each so their combined vote would defeat Mr Farage but individually will not. The Liberal Democrats are rising in national polls so may have the best chance of taking the “Brexit Party” seat and they are solidly in favour of the democratic necessity of a proper vote on any Brexit deal. They are worth considering.

The only way to defeat extremists like Mr Farage is to show the vitality of our democratic system. Please vote on the 23rd.

Keith Macdonald,

Glasgow G53.

PROFESSOR Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, has stated that the SNP is on course to win three and possibly four seats out of six at next week's European elections. This will come as no surprise to those who have been talking to voters on the doorsteps, and would have sent a chill running up the spines of the Unionist parties if they'd possessed any. The Conservative Party in particular is looking down the barrel of one opinion poll which suggests that its support is at a risible 10 per cent.

They have all brought it on their own heads and far be it from me to offer succour to the Unionist parties, but I would suggest that one way of improving their prospects would be to demand that the overwhelming Remain vote in Scotland at the EU referendum be honoured; and as the SNP looks set to win more than 40 per cent of the vote on May 23, clearly independence within the EU is a more attractive prospect to the electorate than going down with the Westminster ship. However, if the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties really cannot bring themselves to support putting Scotland's future into Scotland's hands, they should stop sticking "Scottish" in front of their parties' names; they are embarrassing themselves, and they are certainly an embarrassment to Scotland.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Read more: Prof John Curtice: SNP heading for 'all-time record' in EU elections

THERE is a particularly sharp focus on the upcoming EU elections for voters in Scotland. It has been generated by the relentlessly exclusive manner in which the UK government at Westminster has conducted Brexit negotiations.

Scotland is comparable to Austria in area, to Denmark in population and few now argue it could not be an independent European country. Objective comparisons show independence can open a path to enhanced prosperity while moving towards a more equitable society – potentially beneficial to neighbouring countries too.

There is an opportunity in the EU elections on May 23 for voters in Scotland to give a decisive signal about their aspirations: subservience or independence – the choice is in sharp focus.

Bruce Crichton,


HAVING received election leaflets from all political parties, today’s from the Conservative Party takes the biscuit. The SNP and Nicola Sturgeon feature so many times I have lost count. When I looked for their policies, again: one, Nicola Sturgeon, then two, respect the EU election result, although Scotland voted to remain in every constituency, in total more than 60 per cent, and three, help secure a sensible Brexit that works for Scotland?

I also wonder what John Dunlop (Letters, May 13) is trying to convey, is he under the impression the SNP is the only party spending money on election leaflets?

By the way, I am not a member of any political party.

Rosemarie Lang,


IN James Robb’s letter today (May 15), he has two Tory parties in Scotland, Unionist and Conservative. I would add a third: the Ruth Davidson Party, whose leaflet I received in the post today. In this “Davidson” Tory Party you can advocate any policy: anti-Brexit, pro-Brexit, pro-indyref2 then anti-indyref2 and like the Toon clock, you will eventually have a face to suit everyone. But a new, pro-Scotland political party on the right would seem to fill a void; not tax cuts for the rich, but grow our economy in a sustainable way to advantage both urban and rural Scotland.

Every poll for decades has shown Scots would prefer Devo Max: everything bar defence and foreign affairs to be controlled (that would mean sovereign control) by Holyrood. It would require an end to Barnett, perhaps over a decade, but then Scotland would be required to live entirely off its own revenues, and guaranteed consultation by, but no representation at, Westminster. If that were offered in a ballot I have no doubt it would sweep the board, but all we hear from the Tories is some laughable nonsense about a “Union Minister” in the Cabinet. Imagine you were trying to entice Ireland back into the UK. Would a “Union Minister” do the trick? Would it?

GR Weir,