JACKSON Carlaw’s wholehearted support for Boris Johnson’s Brexit stance is being widely criticised, but the reality is he is merely following a long tradition of Scottish Tory leaders; namely, to do exactly what the Tory Westminster leader commands them to do.

Stay silent while Scotland’s industries are being decimated and while the hated poll tax is inflicted on Scotland a year before the rest of the UK ? No problem.

Campaign for a No/No vote at the 1997 Devolution referendum, and try to scare the electorate by claiming that if there was a Scottish Parliament, Scotland would be” left isolated in the UK”? No problem.

Ignore Scotland’s strong Remain vote at the EU referendum and stand back while Scotland is not only hauled out of the EU, but dragged over Johnson’s hard Brexit cliff? No problem.

The tragedy is that before she left to spend more time with her family, Ruth Davidson actually demonstrated a glimmer of light, declaring she would not put up with a no-deal Brexit, and she had a private meeting with Mr Johnson to put forward that position. It would be interesting to know whether on the return journey to Scotland it dawned on her that he held all the cards and she had lost the game; what is certain is that a week later, she was gone.

What it boils down to is Tories believe Scotland is nothing more than a region of the UK, and that Scottish Tory leaders are merely facilitators to carry out the wishes of the real boss in London; and while they may be allowed to do some itsy-bitsy tinkering around the edges, the Westminster leader holds all the power and will always insist on having the last word.

Ruth Marr,


IT has been obvious for some time that Boris Johnson is determined to stampede the UK into leaving the EU, right reason or none.

The figure of 17.4 million Leave voters is played as the trump card, but I would submit the Westminster first-past-the-post system is not appropriate for such a decision.

In Parliamentary elections there is a maximum five-year period before we get a chance

to alter our choices, but there is no such safety net here.

It should be appreciated the figure of 17.4 million represents only 37 per cent of a total electorate of 46.5million and can hardly be hailed as “the settled will of the people” and taken to be binding and irrefutable.

It is pointless to speculate on reasons why some electors chose not to vote on the day, but in the face of a blizzard of misinformation, obfuscation and downright lies, it would be unsurprising if a certain proportion felt they could not honestly commit without having a more thorough grasp of the facts. I know of at least one such.

John Roxburgh,


NICOLA Sturgeon is underestimating Boris Johnson

by her constant bleating and rubbishing his actions in getting us out of Europe, which in the longer term will cause serious damage Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the UK.

Johnson has managed to get

the upper hand in the Brexit negotiations and Europe is now getting very nervous that it may be held responsible if it does not strike a deal with the UK as its losses in a “no-deal” situation are considerable. Ms Sturgeon needs

to think of the longer term relationships with Mr Johnson and Donald Trump instead of scoring cheap political points to keep the dream of Scottish independence alive after losing the 2014 referendum so badly.

Dennis Forbes Grattan,


AS someone who campaigned for Remain, I find the comments of

Ms Sturgeon’s economic advisers both state the obvious and omit

an important part of the equation for Scotland.

They tell us a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous. I don’t doubt that. But they cannot – or will not

– tell us why it would make sense to impose the upheaval of leaving the UK on top of leaving the EU. Anyone who has seen the tortuous lack of progress on Brexit should have pause before wishing another such exercise on long-suffering Scots.

Ms Sturgeon’s response is,

as usual, one of hypocrisy and humbug. She rails against “this Tory Brexit” while failing to admit that her project in 2014 to separate Scotland from the UK would have resulted in Scotland leaving the

EU as well as the UK. We know that would have been the case because the EU Commission confirmed it, in writing.

Once again, she raises her favourite spectre, that of another referendum – as if referendums haven’t done enough damage during this decade.

Ms Sturgeon can see clearly the problems of leaving the EU. Why does she not see the problems of Scotland leaving the UK? Why

has she not been able to produce the kind of costed prospectus

for leaving the UK that she produced months ago for leaving the EU? But would we be able to trust its accuracy if she did?

One thing is clear: a separate Scotland would not be qualified

to apply to the EU on grounds of currency, central bank and deficit. Anyone who denies that is a fool

or a knave.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.