The week in Brexit

If Brexit goes ahead without a deal and indyref2 results in an independent Scotland, fast forward to when Scotland achieves its ambition to become a member of the EU.

Accepting the fact that opposition to freedom of movement/immigration was a major factor influencing the decision of the majority in England who voted for Brexit, it is quite possible that the English government will insist on a hard border between Scotland, which will have had to accept as a condition of membership, freedom of movement, and England, which will have banned freedom of movement.

If the border were to remain as it is, it would be an open door for immigrants who want to enter England illegally and it would not be long before the English people would demand that the border be policed to prevent this. It is possible that we may end up with a Trump-style border between Scotland and England and the old joke that we would need to show passports at the border could become a reality.

While this may suit some diehard members of the SNP, for the rest of the population it would be a complete disaster.

Alexander Irving


Brexit emotions have led to public myopia regarding certain simple realities. One elephant in the room concerns the practicalities of no border in Ireland.

Most conversations on this subject focus on vague methodologies for handling goods. What of the wish of Brexit supporters for halting the free movement of EC people?

What would prevent EC citizens flying to Dublin, then driving into NI? There will be no Border Force there, allegedly, according to those perpetuating fantasies of no hard border.

Is it possible to have have immigration control without border paraphernalia? Imagine removing immigration controls from our ports and airports. Immigration is a major issue for Brexiteers. Only by pretending that a solution to this issue will be found, can those in power continue their sleight of hand.

Brexiteers in power are no fools; they are well aware of this fact, so their claim that we can have Brexit, stop free movement and yet have no border in Ireland is the height of dis-ingenuity and deception.

We could consider chipping the whole population of the EC, like dogs, and track them by satellite. Maybe that is the magical technological solution we're promised?

The Good Friday Agreement has worked, mainly because the island of Ireland seems in many ways to be a single entity now, but put a border back, and do we go back to the bad old days again? God forbid.

Mike Masters

West Linton

It’s a terrible insult both to girls and their blouses, getting likened to Jeremy Corbyn. But what is the Prime Minister? Putin’s Jockstrap?

Tim Cox

Bern, Switzerland

Sturgeon and the 'i' word

I can see why Nicola Sturgeon wants to bet the croft on a general election manifesto dominated by the pledge that if the SNP win a majority of seats they will claim that as a mandate for Indyref2.

In doing so she has made the Scottish campaign all about independence, and voting will be polarised on that issue, so she needs to say how many seats represent a mandate for that: all of them, the 50 being forecast, or just retaining the current 35?

Referendums are decided on percentages of total votes, not seats, so while outwardly she might claim a mandate she knows she will need a lot more than the one million votes and 37% share she got in the 2106 Scottish and 2017 general elections, perhaps even the 1.5million we got in 2015 which is in touching distance of the 1.8m required to win Indyref2

Nicola Sturgeon might publicly claim a mandate for Indyref2 based on seats, but secretly hope that, if it's a very very sub-50% vote a British Prime MInister will refuse and let her off the hook, enabling her to claim "foul" and get another crack at Holyrood 2021.

Allan Sutherland


So Nicola Sturgeon demands Holyrood be given the power to hold a referendum before the next Holyrood election in 2021. So far so predictable from the nationalist leader who invariably puts the constitution before her official role of running Scotland's hard-pressed public services.

Yet why is she bothering since the Tories long since and now Labour have repeatedly made clear there won't be another 'once in a lifetime' vote any time soon? Presumably to keep the separatist extremists in her party at bay and generate another grievance to be faux outraged about?

I think the polite term to express what Ms Sturgeon is doing is 'whistling in the wind'.

Martin Redfern


A wonder of creation

It was so refreshing to turn away from the two B's (no offence intended) currently headlining most of the news and in the quiet of Victoria Weldon's column (The Herald, Wednesday) be reminded of one of Scotland's and the world's finest scientists, James Clerk Maxwell, whose work has again been the basis of "new light" shed on the marvelous complexity of this created cosmos.

Yes, that's what Maxwell firmly believed he was researching. In distinction and contradiction to the theories of his contemporary Darwin, he marvelled at the creation of the God of the bible.

Since this is a Sunday publication perhaps this is the appropriate time to point this out, although I confess it may involve breaking the fourth commandment to do so.



Climate emergency – why us?

Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that new legislation she intends to introduce next year will be targeted at drivers to force them out of their cars to tackle the "climate emergency" by reducing transport emissions. As always she adds "Scotland has to continue to lead by example" ignoring Scotland's miniscule 0.13 per cent of global emissions.

With only 38.4 million petrol/diesel vehicles against a global total of 1.2 billion, the UK is a vanishingly small part of the problem – in Scotland our contribution is by comparison almost non-existent. For her "green dream" our taxes rise and rise. Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon and her ministerial team make unnecessary foreign trips and unnecessary helicopter and limousine journeys. What's wrong with public transport?

The climate emergency is being ignored by the rest of the world which continues to burn fossil fuels, build coal-fired power plants, drive 1.2 billion vehicles and eat meat.

Clark Cross


We are not England

I am writing in exasperation to highlight the problem of television in the south of Scotland whereby we receive Border, England, news in the West and Tyne Tees, England, news in the East. I’m English and this has bugged me ever since I came here some 31 years ago.

I have written to various Scottish governments about this but am fobbed off with "it’s because of licensing arrangements". Can folk see, like me, that there is probably some correlation between not having Scottish news in our region and the election of Tory MP’s and MSP’s? We are not North England, we live in another country and deserve to be recognised for it.

Another issue I have is our Head Post office is in Carlisle, England. Post your letter in Dumfries and the postmark will read, Cumbria, Dumfries & Galloway. What on earth is that about? And when England gets a public holiday, we don’t get any post!

This whole situation makes one wonder if the Scottish government (of all flavours) have any interest in our region at all. I’m sure if the folk of Perth, Peterhead and Paisley were treated in this way, there would be an uproar.

Doreen Moran

Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway

When is a U-turn not a U-turn?

Your correspondent Jim Lynch (Letters, September 1) claims that my assertion in a previous letter – that the SNP had made a gigantic U-turn on the monarchy – left him "baffled’’.

Perhaps I can pass on my own recollections of the summer conference of the SNP in 1997, at, as I recall, Rothesay. Prior to this conference the aptly named "Republican Rosie’’ Cunningham – then as now a leading SNP figure – made strong claims that the SNP should at the every least question the monarchy's existence in a broken-off Scotland and the whole matter should be put to a referendum of SNP members. This was agreed by the conference.

At this point Alex Salmond, then leader, made a stirring speech, claiming with some force that it was pointless to do these things as many who were attracted to the SNP were actually pro-Royal and these vital votes could be lost for no real reason.

At this point the whole subject of royalty seemed to have been lost or swept under the carpet. Despite the conference accepting Ms Cunningham’s post break-off referendum plan and it being accepted, I do not think or have heard anything concerning it ever since. It lies deeply embedded in the long grass.

I think this more than qualifies as a major U-turn in SNP policy. As always, winning votes supersedes principle with the nationalists

Alexander McKay