ON Tuesday (May 21) Theresa May conceded on the principle of a second EU referendum (“May opens the door for MPs to vote on second referendum”, The Herald, May 22). Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard had conceded the same, in the preceding days. Vince Cable and William Rennie are more than keen over the principle of a second public vote on the EU.

How outrageous is it, and utterly unprincipled, for these same people to want to deny the people of Scotland (not the SNP), the same say on their constitutional future, if they want one (and our parliament has passed a bill to that effect already)? Hypocritical is the only term I can think of, and they seem to have forgotten another principle in relation to Scotland: consent of the governed.

GR Weir,


SINCE Theresa May’s revamped Withdrawal Bill is not going to be voted through, is it not high time for MPs to debate specifically what they believe to be the pros and cons of a No Deal Brexit?

All we have had so far is the rhetoric of generalised opinions, some that it would be a complete disaster, and others that it would open up huge opportunities. No doubt the truth lies somewhere in between these views, but the matter is of such importance that I for one would appreciate such a debate in the hope that it would bring some clarity.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

WITH the talks between the Tories and Labour having broken down, with the Government unwilling to compromise even on Labour’s demand for a customs union, and with the Conservative Party hopelessly divided and, at the time of writing, about to remove their leader, the country remains utterly split between Leavers who believe they have been betrayed and Remainers who believe they were lied to, and that promises have not been kept.

Nigel Farage suggests the UK simply walks away with no deal, but this has been repeatedly rejected by Parliament, as the immediate consequence would be a rise in inflation and in food prices, particularly meat and dairy, shortages of fresh produce, and a strong risk that the UK would be forced to accept dangerously-reduced food standards and quality. We would all end up worse off, except perhaps for the right-wingers in charge of the Brexit Party, who are rich enough not to have to worry.

Britain is divided and some politicians are doing their best to stoke divisions and widen this further. But the country needs to be brought together. The only party with a sensible alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit plan is Labour, which is trying to bring the country back together, its plan protects jobs, living standards and communities, invests in places left behind, and puts an end to austerity.

If the Government is confident that the deal it has negotiated is the best one, it should put that deal to the public: Theresa May’s deal or the status quo, we stay as we are.

Phil Tate, Edinburgh EH14.

Read more: Ruth Davidson says she will work with Boris Johnson if he becomes Prime Minister

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has made a speech in which he talks about plans to rebuild the EU with greater integration and more centralisation in Brussels and with Angela Merkel preoccupied with coalition, it seems that Mr Macron envisages himself as the biggest fish in Europe’s pool. Meanwhile where are Britain’s politicians in all this? It seems that Britain’s political class wants to turn their back on Europe and their responsibilities and watch Britain’s international influence slide downhill.

Meanwhile Europe has problems which will still be with us, Brexit or no Brexit. Migration from the Middle East and Africa, an economy which has great potential but needs a stimulus, the rise of ultra-right politics and the stifling effect of too much integration. One might have hoped that the UK would have led reform of the EU. Europe is still the biggest and best market for Scotland and rUK. It is a force for peace and can lead the world in fighting climate change. Scotland must lead the way to bring back the British Isles into the centre of Europe. There are several small nations of Scotland’s size and we must seek alliances with them for progress.

The next few years will not be easy, but the potential for success will be fantastic.

George Leslie, Fenwick.

THE outcome of the European Parliament election will effectively be another referendum on Europe and the split between those favouring being in and out of Europe will be reflected in the political support for parties accordingly. It would be folly for any political party to take the result as an indication of how the Scottish electorate will vote in a normal election.

Dennis Forbes Grattan,

Aberdeen AB21.

IN my work as an educational consultant, I have recently met with far too many people who said they would not be voting in the forthcoming EU elections. In some cases this is pure apathy, and it is quite unacceptable in a democracy that people are too lazy to give thought to issues that affect the whole country. However, it is more understandable that some claim they cannot bring themselves to vote because they regard all politicians as incompetent, venal and self-absorbed – frequently quoting the shambles of Brexit, created by the Conservatives at Westminster.

Here in Scotland, the First Minister is aware that many people feel their voices are not heard by decision makers, and to that end has proposed the idea of a citizens’ assembly, an idea already tried with some success in other European countries such as Ireland. A representative cross section of Scottish residents, with an independent chairperson, will come together to establish what sort of country we want to build here, and how we should achieve our aims.

The strength of citizens’ assemblies is that they help find consensus where people have begun to develop polarised views, and consequently find it difficult to understand where the opposing view is coming from. The First Minister’s proposal will ensure that a range of opinions is heard and that decision makers have the information they need from the Scottish people to act in the interests of the whole country.

Dr Mary Brown, Banchory.

QUESTION Time panels seem to me usually to be packed with Remoaners and perhaps one or at most two Brexiters getting a say. In Scotland BBC audiences for debates on independence appear always to have audiences stuffed with Nationalist supporters (Letters, May 21 & 22). The claimed BBC vetting of audiences is in my experience quite haphazard. Let us hope that the BBC is persuaded soon to make Question Time and other topical debate panels and audiences more representative, particularly to be reflecting of the UK majority which voted for Brexit .

Gus Logan York, North Berwick.