THE news that Brexit border controls coming into force later this month will cost UK businesses £2 billion and lead to higher inflation and food prices ("EU border controls to send price of UK food rocketing", The Herald, April 12) is hardly a surprise.

The insurer Allianz Trade has said that new controls, which were agreed in the UK’s deal with the EU, could add 10 per cent to import costs over the first year, with businesses charged up to £145 for each imported consignment.

While the UK Government has been pledging to cut inflation, this will clearly only serve to add to it, with dairy, meat and fish products most affected. It should be noted that food prices are still 30 per cent higher than three years ago, and this will only exacerbate that problem.

Coupled with this, it is becoming increasingly evident that despite Brexit, the UK will have to follow new EU standards currently being pushed through the European Parliament. As it is our chief export market the UK has little choice, but the difference from pre-Brexit days is that without a seat at the table we now have no means of influencing these trade policies.

I consistently challenge supporters of Brexit, which has clearly been an unmitigated disaster, to outline what the benefits are, but am sadly still waiting.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

We need serious discussion

CORRESPONDENTS to The Herald are always eager to demonstrate the truth of Rule No 9 in the respected Manifesto of Non-Hostile Communication - namely, an insult is not an argument - and Alexander McKay (Letters, April 11) was especially keen with his contribution. He is not happy with the woodburner issue. His list of insults includes "incompetence", "hypocrisy", "cussedness", "dogma", "over-control" and "Big Brother" tendencies on the part of the Government.

Our man doesn’t score well in Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement either, where the two bottom rungs are occupied by Name Calling and Ad Hominem Attacks: namely, attacks on the characteristics of the opponent without addressing the substance of the argument. His targets are accused of merely "virtue signalling and going through the motions of caring for the environment".

So is there anything to support all this name-calling? Oh here we go: we are told that the new rules on woodburners will apply "even in the most rural areas... where there is no environmental damage". With this bald assertion the writer has climbed to the middle rung of the Hierarchy - "Contradiction: States the opposing case with little or no supporting evidence" - and decided he’s done enough.

As many have said before, Scotland would benefit hugely from serious discussion and proper debate on all these issues of policy but sadly name-calling and insults are important to those seeking to suppress that endeavour. But we see you.

Frances Roberts, Ardrishaig.

Ignore actor's rewilding call

YOU report that an American actor has joined with others to urge ministers to declare Scotland a rewilding nation...whatever that means. Further, the plea does not stop there but rather goes on to suggest that in this respect Scotland should in fact be the "world leader" ("Hollywood star DiCaprio urges Scotland to be a ‘world leader’ over rewilding efforts", The Herald, April 12).

Given the back catalogue of meaningless and unachievable lost causes which this SNP/Green Government has aligned itself with over the years, it would come as no surprise to many if this latest folly were to be endorsed by our hapless First Minister.

Rather than grandiose schemes, areas in which the public would really like to see Scotland become "world leaders", or at least be competent in, are education, housing, transport, public amenities and policing.

Perhaps Mr DiCaprio could use his influence closer to home and lobby his President to divert some of the funds currently being used to arm Israel as it continues to brutalise Gaza and its population by indiscriminate bombing... just a thought.

James Martin, Bearsden.

READ MORE: If only we had 'reasonable persons' in the Scottish Government

READ MORE: We're sick of Big Brother Harvie's endless virtue signalling

Grasp the Games

FOR Glasgow to host a slimmed-down Commonwealth Games, and for it to cost Scotland nothing to stage would be an absolute coup ("Glasgow could host 'scaled-back' 2026 Commonwealth Games", heraldscotland, April 12). £100 million from the Games Federation, ticket sales and broadcasting would pay for the lot, and Glasgow and Scotland would reap a huge reward in visitors and tourism. Well done them.

Of course the usual political moaners and media “Dismal Jimmies” will be out in force to gaslight and rubbish anything and everything Scottish.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Make Wyndford process public

OUR campaign to save our community centre and 600 social homes has been widely covered in the press. A recent referendum, a People's Vote for the Wyndford, was held with an independent election agent on the question of whether government regeneration money might not be better spent retaining our community centre and social housing, renovating both, and retaining millions of pounds more for greater investment in our community, rather than spending more money on demolition of both.

As you reported, more than 75% of respondents in this referendum voted to retain the social housing and community centre ("Campaigners claim milestone win in row over Wyndford flats demolition", The Herald, March 30). Our opponents, Glasgow City Council and Wheatley Homes, who lost the vote despite a high-profile campaign, have now conceded that they cannot sell off the land beneath our community centre to private developers, and that they must increase the amount of social housing they aim to rebuild.

They have however done so begrudgingly and they continue to operate under a veil of secrecy, despite the far-reaching implications both for our community and for public policy around regeneration, housing and community planning more generally. Not content with only talking to a small group of hand-picked individuals and refusing to allow discussions on the community's future to be attended by the community, they have begun quietly issuing planning applications.

It is clear from the supermajority of our community who opposed their plans in a local referendum that Wheatley and the council do not enjoy any kind of mandate for their demolition agenda. It is also clear that their high-handed actions (which would initially have seen us lose our community centre, half of the community's social housing, and facing a wave of gentrification with a massive private housing development) have generated substantial trust issues. Critical to the long-term success of any development is that the people who live there should be part of the process. That has not been so until now and we must address this given the local and national implications of the largest regeneration scheme in Scotland.

We are therefore calling on all those who read this letter to make representations to Wheatley and Glasgow City Council to open up this process, to begin open public hearings on the regeneration plans. This is the only way to ensure true democratic oversight.

Secondly, in order to facilitate this process we call on Wheatley and the council to meet with a delegation from the Wyndford Residents Union to discuss how to best facilitate this public hearing process.

Both agencies are of course acutely aware that they are now facing a second legal challenge in the Court of Session. With no mandate and court action imminent, now is the time to give way to embrace democracy and accountability.

Sean O'Neill, William Doolan, Caz Rae, Angelic Thomson, Ellenor Hutson, Nick Durie, The Wyndford Residents Union, Glasgow.

The Herald: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has urged the Government to declare Scotland a rewilding nationActor Leonardo DiCaprio has urged the Government to declare Scotland a rewilding nation (Image: PA)

Hate Crime precedent

I WOULD like to offer a different slant on the ludicrous Hate Crime Act. I need not reiterate the issues, but it always disappoints me when our leaders fail to learn from history and ignore precedent in pursuit of individual agendas. They would not have had to look back too far to get an indication of the likely problems which this Act will present, specifically definition/detection and enforcement.

I refer to the attempted introduction by the newly-elected Blair government of the Sexual Offences Bill, which would have ensured that Laurie and his beloved Rosie would end up in the nick for making love in a public place.

Like the Hate Crime Act the issues of definition, detection and enforcement arose immediately and with comedic effect. It was not just the cornfields and parks that were out of bounds but you wouldn’t have been able to make love in your own garden. So couples would have to confine themselves to weeding in a sexy way or mowing the lawn with covert eroticism (the neighbours being encouraged to call in the polis if things got out of hand). Similarly, sex in cars, the subject of many happy teenage memories, was to be added to the ever-growing list of New Labour crimes (sounds depressingly familiar doesn’t it?).

Proving the crime was almost impossible, the only real evidence being upside-down footprints on the dashboard of a Ford Mondeo parked in a Barnton or Giffnock suburb. Sex in any place that could be described as public was a crime.

The Mile High Club presented intricate issues of international private law, but participants might have been held to be committing a private act. Similarly, sex in lavatories was OK if the door was closed. Car parks and lay-bys in which some vehicle gently rocked would have been subject to police raids.

So, at a time when, like today, prisons were so overcrowded that there was no room for burglars, the courts were overworked and the prosecution services including the police near to break down, and any lover and his lass arrested in the cornfield would have been sent to jail The bill provoked such hostility and derision that it was dropped.

Sadly, the Hate Crime Act made it on to the statute books, but it can always be repealed when the SNP recedes into the backwaters of Scottish politics.

In the meantime let's go into the garden, Maud?

Keith Swinley, Ayr.

Walk of life

SIR Brian Donohoe (Letters, April 12) kills his own argument in his first sentence about shopping in Edinburgh city centre.

He complains about "car parking charges, pedestrianisation and 'anti-car operations'". He found this out by, would you believe, walking.

He should do it more often. Isn't it simply the best way to experience Edinburgh for whatever reason?

The Princes Street retail issue is different altogether. Building owners sticking out for outrageous rents on a prime location has caused problems in many a high street.

A car is the last thing you want anyway in our capital city. Its beauty is it's a walkable city.

For areas outside the Old and New Towns there are trains, trams, buses, and taxis if you need them.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.