LEO Varadkar has urged the Johnson Government to tone down its “nationalist rhetoric”. Dominic Raab gets upset by Donald Tusk stating that empathy exists in the EU for Scotland ("Tusk: Great empathy for Scotland across EU", The Herald, February 3). Mr Raab complains Mr Tusk's words are “irresponsible, given the secessionist separatist tendencies in Spain, France and Italy”.

He somehow forgot to mention the “secessionist separatist tendencies” for Brexit in England, which like Anglo-British nationalism – aka “Unionism”, which started life a century ago in Ireland, but is now UK mainstream – gets airbrushed out of polite discourse by the commentariat. “Ourselves alone” is the motto of Sinn Fein, but given its increasing international exceptionalism, it should also be that of this Tory Government.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

FROM time to time, we visit Huntly and have noticed with sadness the closure of town centre businesses. Today we saw that a very elegant conversion of the old Clydesdale Bank into a coffee-bar had lasted barely a year and a well-respected baker of long standing has also gone since our last visit. Ironically, the front page of today's Huntly local paper reported that the same group that had been trying to revitalise the town had spent time and effort planting a tree to celebrate leaving the EU. They seemed blissfully unaware of the potential for further economic damage and loss of access to development funding that leaving will cause.

Equally ironic that the local paper also included an article on a Dutch couple who had been attracted to the town recently by its purchase of electric bicycles. How many such tourists from Europe will bring custom to the town in future, given the distaste for things European shown by the tree-planting?

Your report of the event ("I just want to let Boris Johnson know the insane thing he has done", The Herald February 1) did, thankfully, suggest this celebration was a relatively isolated action. We have come to expect this sort of short-sighted stupidity from English advocates of leaving the EU, but expected more sense from our compatriots in Scotland.

Dr RM Morris, Ellon.

JUST look where the SNP has put Scotland. Donald Tusk is using Scotland). He did not promise any fast-track membership of the EU. He did not promise anything. He is, however, using the perceived split between Scotland and England to attack Boris Johnson.

Empathy is all very well but it does not pay the bills. Mr Tusk would welcome Scotland's cheque book to boost the EU's coffers. Trouble is that Scotland is overdrawn and the credit card almost maxed out. Warm words are all the SNP/nationalists are going to get. Scotland will only get EU membership when it suits Brussels. The time is not right.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow G77.

FOR those of us who have given 20-plus years of our lives campaigning to leave the European Union it is mildly irritating when people like Ann Widdecombe take credit for Brexit.

She was a member of pro-EU Conservative governments and never opened her mouth. We stood in elections, delivered leaflets, arranged meetings and put our hands in our wallets to finance the cause we believed in

We should not be forgotten.

Janice MacKày, Lanark.

IF your Letters Page headline "'Let's try to hang on to EU values of respect and compassion" (The Herald, February 1) reflects your and writers' beliefs, how wrong you are, because that EU described doesn't exist. It was the EU that is that created the troika which went on to pulverise the economies of Greece and Portugal, tearing up long-fought-for workers' rights, ruining businesses, enforcing the privatisation of ports and airports, creating poverty where none existed previously, and in the case of Greece mocking and ignoring the referendum against austerity. All done, not for the benefit of the peoples, but to save the French and German banks from the consequences of their foolish lending policies. We are well out of it.

Jim Sillars, Edinburgh EH9.

AS the strains of Auld Lang Syne (yet another Scottish world legacy) sadly died away in Europe last week, I heard a quote from an English Brexiteer: "Brussels is a corrupt institution telling us what to do". Well, the very same could be said about London with respect to the Scottish people.

However the difference between the unions of the EU and the UK are very different. While the EU is a coming together of independent nations in a free trade partnership, with equal rights and votes (tiny Ireland being on a par with mighty Germany), the members of the UK are overshadowed and governed by the city of London.

Perhaps in any future democratic discussions on Scottish independence a new unity will be established, creating a partnership of independent nations in the British Isles, inter-dependent on each other and cooperating within Europe and the world.

Grant Frazer, Newtonmore.