THE UK is heading for a no-deal departure from the European Union in December this year. This has very little to do with the needs of the British economy and everything to do with the needs of the Tory Party. The first reason for this is that Boris Johnson has told so many lies or connived at the lies of other such as Dominic Cummings, that he needs – to retain any credibility whatsoever – to "Get Brexit Done". He won an election last year on that promise and will need to keep his Brexiter base onside, especially as he has alienated so much of the rest of the country. His problem is that he signed up to a number of undertakings in the interim agreement that the EU side, from Michel Barnier to the heads of state, see him trying to wriggle out of. They want and need concrete assurances to maintain a level playing field in the single market, given the PM’s track record of mendacity. Mr Johnson is reluctant to tie himself down and is dependent for a negotiating strategy on the wiles of Mr Cummings, hence the reason he fought so hard to keep him when he should have sacked him.

The second reason is that Mr Johnson purged the Tory Party of moderate or even independent thinking in the run-up to the December election. The party itself is cast in the Brexiter mindset and not minded to compromise to secure a deal. Talented free-thinkers like Philip Hammond and Rory Stewart are no longer even on the back benches after the Tory Party version of the Night of the Long Knives. There is an appetite there for No Deal – which a compromise might not whet.

Thirdly, the Tory Party has no wish to be outflanked on the Right again by a Ukip or a Brexit Party. Although Ukip only ever won one Westminster seat in an election, its baleful influence produced a fear of a split vote in a series of elections that might see Labour win (in England) by default. The current leadership is unchallenged (so far) in or out of Parliament and has no wish to see a return of that electoral complication.

Lastly, an early No-Deal exit, rather than a delayed one via another extension, will give the UK economy some chance of recovering from the carnage of Brexit before the next election is due in four years. This cynical calculation hopes that the electorate will start to see some economy recovery by then, and that the "plan is working". Any sooner and the economic damage will be even greater. With serendipitous timing, the unemployment and misery of Brexit may even be able to be passed off as an after-effect of the coronavirus – it’s an ill wind that blows no good. In the slump that will surely follow No-Deal, disaster capitalists will make fortunes. Many of them are donors to the Tory Party. Some, like Jacob-Rees Mogg are even members of the Tory Government.

Larry Cheyne, Bishopbriggs.

THIS is a crucial month with regards to Brexit; June represents the last chance to decide to extend our (previously) comfortable EU transition period.

In December 2019, Boris Johnson promised that a deal with the EU would be the "easiest deal ever", but it currently feels like we are so far from a settled deal, and the lack of transparency from the UK side just adds to this feeling. No-one voted for a No Deal Brexit yet that's where we appear to be heading.

Why are we pursuing this reckless course, in the midst of added problems of a global pandemic? Should we not just hit the pause button?

Jennifer Wilson, Milngavie.