GR WEIR (Letters, May 23) inadvertently exposed a fundamental flaw in the argument for a second independence referendum now that Theresa May (soon to depart) made a heavily-caveated offer for another Brexit referendum. In the unlikely event there was to be another Brexit referendum surely the question on the ballot paper would be entirely different from getting another opportunity to ask the original offer of “in” or “out? In other words a second referendum would only be a form of confirmatory vote on the terms negotiated with the EU (with or without a deal) or to Remain.

Is Mr Weir seriously suggesting that if Scotland had voted to leave the UK and once the negotiations for leaving had been spelled out and the fanciful assumptions in the White Paper exposed, those who had voted for independence would have also agreed to a confirmatory vote? I think not. Indeed, all the crocodile tears shed by the SNP are ludicrous when on the one hand it complains about the impact of Brexit on the economy whilst ignoring the far greater impact (by a factor of four) of Scottish independence.

Furthermore, neverendums are a complete disaster as it satisfies no one when the vote is relatively close. All it does is create uncertainty and a demand for another vote by those who lost. For example, unlike Brexit, the vote for Scottish referendum was far more decisive yet we still have a sizeable minority inventing all sorts of excuses for another vote. Surely the time has come to agree that a 50 per cent plus one result is unacceptable for fundamental constitutional change and a minimum of 60 per cent would be required in the future with the onus on the party or group which wants the change to meet the new criteria. After all Norway (a country the SNP loves to quote) had around 99 per cent in favour of independence.

Rather than rip up the Edinburgh Agreement and argue for IndyRef2 Mr Weir and his ilk should explain how Scotland would operate outside the rUK and the EU (more than 80 per cent of exports) and handle three different currencies without a mass exodus of money, people and jobs. The “hypocrisy” he claims lies with the SNP and not the Union parties.

Ian Lakin,

Aberdeen AB13.

YOU report on the mail delays which have resulted in UK expats being denied a vote in the UK in the European elections (“Anger from expatriate Britons across the world as their postal votes arrive late or not at all", The Herald, May 23). One of my daughters has lived and worked at the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for many years, and she was told that she had forfeited this right to vote in the UK after 15 years' residence abroad. She was told also that the UK Government had promised to have that forfeit lifted, but had not done so, so she and others in the same position remain disenfranchised. Does this forfeit apply equally to Europeans living in the UK and wishing to vote in their home country?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Read more: The blocking of indyref2 reeks of hypocrisy

THE respected Labour MP for Berwick and East Lothian and keen “European”, Professor John Mackintosh, published The British Cabinet in 1968. It was soon renowned as a classic work on our constitution.

Sadly, as he died aged only 48 in 1978, he is unable to update it to include the salami-slice changes made since then towards a near-presidential system, in the relationship between Parliament, Cabinet and prime ministers.

His views on how, by similar salami-slices, the 1970s EEC morphed into the probable 2020s EU would also be interesting.

John Birkett,

St Andrews.

THE end and start of turmoil south of the Tweed is nigh. As Theresa May, the current UK figurehead, is about to go or be shown the exit, the Tories north of the Tweed are in a fix as Mrs May dangled a second referendum on the EU. The one-tick Unionists are in a fankle and in a mess.

If the Westminster establishment refuses a second referendum to call Indyref2, then we simply go for the Thatcher solution, namely, a majority of SNP MPs at a General Election.

Given the fact that this Union has ignored Holyrood, the Union is no longer a future for Scots. The duopoly, the upholders of the Union and the English domination within this Union, are in turmoil and likely to fall off the political Richter scale.

The Unionists in Holyrood say we “must move on from 2014”. That is right, but we can no longer stay in this torrid, Westminster-driven Union after voting to remain in the EU. The Vow was that we could only remain in the EU through the UK. That cannot be the case now. We must determine our own affairs untrammelled by Westminster.

John Edgar,


AS an Englishman living in the south-west of England, I wish to comment on a point or two raised in last week's BBC Question Time from Elgin.

I am a supporter of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom. I believe we are stronger together, which is why I also voted Remain, because the UK needs to be in Europe, the benefits of our connections with the EU are huge and vital for jobs in the UK, because under this Government we need the European rebate for investment purposes. Freedom of movement is essential in the 21st century world. And remaining part of the customs union is essential for continued cheaper imports from Europe.

I would ask any Scottish Brexiters, should we eventually fully leave Europe, where is the money for investment purposes coming from that used to be our European rebate that at present is used for investment purposes ?

The trouble for Scotland still being connected to the Westminster Parliament is that it continues under the heavy banner of the late PM, Margaret Thatcher's right-wing free-market agenda of a shrinking state Tories today call austerity. We are in fact witnessing the end of the post-war consensus where the state played a vital role in binding our society together with investment into our vital services. This is one reason why we need to be in Europe.

I have always been somewhat proud of the Scots, your culture, your politics, you voted Remain, and I believe you are largely Labour voters, I am convinced the 17.4 million English Brexit vote was immigration-driven.

The first referendum vote was based on lies and misinformation by the Leave campaigners.

Now that the effects of leaving the EU are more widely known and the consequences are better understood, and hopefully appreciated, it is essential that people are able to make an "informed" decision on the final deal about whether they want to remain part of Europe or not.

Michael Thompson,

Brixham, South Devon.