YOUR sub-headline on today's front page lead item (“Johnson to focus on domestic links after Brexit done, say Tory insiders”, The Herald, January 20) neatly encapsulates the confidence trick played by the Tories in the last election, and sounds an awful warning for the future. By implying that leaving Europe was just a one-off event like repainting the living room, the Tories managed to convince enough voters that with them in power, January 31 would see the whole sorry saga completed. Far from it; it just marks the beginning of a process of negotiation that will almost certainly continue for years to come. The details of trading agreements and of other linkages diligently set up over the last 40 years cannot be maintained, rebuilt or replaced just by the stroke of a pen on legislation, or even more fatuously, by sounding Big Ben. Implying that this can be done is just lying, a skill Boris Johnson has demonstrated time and again. The reality is also that in these future negotiations, the UK will have almost no power, and will have to accept whatever terms Donald Trump and his ilk wish to impose.

Those who put Mr Johnson into power with his fatuous slogan “get Brexit done” are now dragging the rest of us into their fantasy world.

We had never lost any independence through EU membership, but we did gain many freedoms and advantages that are now to be squandered, just to forestall any examination of the financial spivvery of the Tory-supporting billionaires.

The other aspect of the headline, Johnson focusing on domestic links, is equally depressing. We can all imagine the sorts of exploitative links that he will wish to impose on Scotland, given freedom to do so. What a mess.

Dr RM Morris, Ellon.

WHAT on earth is this all about? Whitehall to be lit up, a ticking clock projected onto Downing Street, Union Flags adorning Parliament Square ("Whitehall to be 'lit up' for final-hour countdown to Brexit on January 31", The Herald, January 18). At least we are spared the gong from Big Ben.

Is this to celebrate a "victory"? It certainly feels like it, we "regain our independence" after all. I wasn’t aware we had lost it. All we need now is Mark Francois to lead the choir in Rule Britannia, although I’m sure he’d rather it was Land of Hope and Glory.

This is a gross insult to "our European friends" (quote Boris Johnson/Dominic Cummings ad nauseum) and it certainly isn’t going to "heal divisions and re-unite communities" as suggested in your article.

My late dad did his duty in the Second World War for this?

Willie Towers, Alford.

INSTEAD of the bongs of Big Ben to commemorate Brexit Night on January 31, it would be more appropriate to have two minutes silence.

Richard McLellan, Lochgilphead.

AFTER every election, the truth eventually pokes its head through the clouds of waffle, promises and downright lies that proceed the ballot. So with Brexit. Frictionless trade, anyone? Regulatory alignment? Sajid Javid once claimed leaving the EU would lead to a decade of “stagnation and doubt”. I agreed with him then (and now), but the pronouncement that the UK is sailing off, leaving the single market and customs union we share with our largest trading partner, is an economic catastrophe for much of the agriculture, victuals and manufacturing sectors.

Mr Javid makes specific claims: “companies have known since 2016 we are leaving the EU”; nope, maybe they believed Theresa May, when she negotiated for “close alignment with the EU”. Mr Javid claims “we will not be a rule taker” – yes we will; no economy the size of the UK has the leverage required to set the terms of trade when dealing with the EU, the United States or China. Tories have a large majority with many new MPs (some asserting blue collar credentials). It will be interesting to see how united they stay when the redundancy letters are posted out to their constituents, and the shiny bonhomie wears off from the “Boris” phenomenon. Because it has in every other job he has held.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.