DESPERATE to jump on the comments of a former president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, as a signal that an independent Scotland would now have an easier time rejoining the EU, key figures in the SNP leadership perhaps inadvertently reveal their underlying anxieties about just how difficult the EU could prove to be ("SNP: Path open for independent Scotland to join EU", The Herald, September 16). Being interviewed on the subject, Mike Russell, the SNP’s Constitutional Affairs Secretary, brushed aside concerns over the commitments required of new members to the EU, implying for example that the terms of the Common Fisheries Policy, would be renegotiated to suit Scotland’s requirements.

Mr Russell knows full well there will be no scope for a special case being made for Scotland on any of the sensitive core policies including fishing, agriculture, fiscal alignment and eventual use of the euro. In the original interview, Mr Van Rompuy made clear no special case would be made for Scotland, even if attitudes are warmer now than they were before. Nevertheless, the SNP approach seems to be to try to simply mislead people to get their way. Indyref2 is the SNP leadership’s current main objective, putting off to another day the likely backlash from the fishing and rural communities and others who will eventually realise their own Government has knowingly betrayed their interests in pursuit of the SNP’s independence at any cost ambitions.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

IT is completely unedifying to read unsubstantiated accusations of lying against the Prime Minister by Sir Ed Davey (“'PM Johnson lies so often, he almost lies to himself'”, The Herald, September 14). This blatant denigration for purely political (in this case anti-Brexit) ends is the sort of thing which gives politicians such a bad name with the voting public. By all means let Sir Ed attack the PM, and as strongly as he is able, on verified or verifiable policy failures and intentions. This sort of playground name-calling seems now, however, to be the new politics in these politically febrile times.

And the blatant irony of it, coming from the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Has Sir Ed forgotten so soon the self-confessed “pants on fire” Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland?

Darrell Desbrow, Dalbeattie.

AT the risk of oversimplification I suggest that on the Brexit spectrum there are a minimum of three categories: the old-fashioned Eurosceptics who have morphed into outright English nationalists, although many were probably never anything else; turbocharged free-marketeers who see our departure from the EU as an opportunity to become an economy free from the civilising influence of our joint regulatory framework, becoming in the process an American vassal state; and thirdly those, whatever their motives, whose actions will lead to the dismantling of our parliamentary democracy and its foundation in the rule of law and replace it with something nastily authoritarian. The division into these categories is not as clear-cut as I seem to imply and history suggests that they can readily morph into each other moving along the spectrum in the wrong direction.

Boris Johnson’s position on the spectrum is practically impossible to locate, he being a chancer who exploits any opportunity to further his own ends – these being retention of personal power, the creation of an executive “in his own image careless about truth and reckless about consequences” and a debilitated Parliament.

The Brexit fanatics (including the extreme far right represented by the likes of Tommy Robinson who chant during their demonstrations “We love you Boris we do”) use Mr Johnson, he uses them and we the people will pay the price. All we can be sure of is that the Leave elites won’t be sharing any of the consequences of a cliff-edge Brexit, managing to escape it thanks to their wealth and influence. Quite the reverse. Some things never change.

John Milne, Uddingston.