I was alarmed to read that Germany’s Council of Economic Experts has advised Angela Merkel that “Brexit should be prevented” due to the far reaching impact it would have.
The EU will begin talks on Wednesday when the 27 member countries will discuss the Brexit transitional bill.
The Council of Experts advise that there is still a risk of uncontrolled exit. Conversely, the possibility of the UK staying in the EU can’t be completely excluded.
Donald Tusk last month revived the idea of the UK remaining in the EU. He stated that germany and france have indicated that Britain would be welcomed back if it decided to reverse the Brexit process.
To do so it would likely have to hold another referendum or elect a government led by a party which has campaigned on a promise to stay in the EU.
This was a most illuminating communication from Germany’ s economic experts because it shows what Brexiteers have been saying is true: that the EU has as much to lose as Britain if there is no agreement on a Brexit deal, despite their bluster.
It also reveals why their negotiators are being so inflexible and dogmatic. They will do everything they can to prevent Brexit.
The question we should be asking ourselves is this: do people in the UK have the right to vote against the EU or not, and if the answer is in the negative, what kind of union do the remainers want us to stay in? It can’t be called a democracy.
LOVINA ROE Glasgow Road, Perth, Adam Tomkins wrote in The Scotsman (8 November) “Scottish Ministers cannot develop a policy of industrial subsidy at odds with that of the UK Government, because both governments are bound alike by the voluminous EU law of state aids and public procurement.
“Depending on the exit deal the UK eventually negotiates with the EU27, Brexit may well mean that the devolved administrations will no longer be bound by EU laws such as these.”
The world has moved on since the UK joined the EEC in 1973. Obligations under the World Trade Organisation’s Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement (SCM) and Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) are more comprehensive now than then.
At present, for EU states, WTO membership is through the EU. That is why the WTO’S state aid and procurement rules come to all parts of the UK by implementation of EU directives, rather than by direct enactment to embody the UK’S obligations as a WTO member.
The most likely post-brexit future would be for the UK to be bound by international state aid and procurement rules not very different from today’s and for devolved administrations to continue to need to ensure that their own initiatives were compatible with WTO bounds.
JAMES MCLEAN Blinkbonny Terrace, Edinburgh Conservative MSP Prof Adam Tompkins is quite wrong and perhaps more than a little naïve to advocate the Westminster government doing more to reach a compromise agreement with the SNP Scottish Government over Brexit, (Avoiding a Brexit “power grab” crisis, Scottish Perspective, 8 November). The 111 EU powers identified by the Scottish Government as having a devolved interest currently lie with the EU for a reason, namely that they are best deployed on a cross boundary international basis because their implementation in one country has the potential to affect neighbouring countries.
If this is necessary at EU level, it may well be necessary at a UK level. If you look at the full list of 111 powers, and those of us interested in these things have done so, then you come to a simple and relatively obvious conclusion.
There are some areas of legislation that could be easily devolved in their entirety. There are other areas which must have some element of UK co-ordination, issues surrounding movement of data or genetically modified organisms, for example.
For by far the greatest number of areas of legislation, it is not obvious exactly what they are or how they might best be delegated. The obvious conclusion from this is therefore that it will take many, many years to complete this exercise, and the negotiations associated with that must take place in our two parliaments if they are to be properly transparent. It would be completely undemocratic to do anything else.
To return the powers to Holyrood without question is a power grab by the Scottish parliament, or, rather, by the SNP. The SNP need to be seen to be having this current ongoing argument because they have no other contribution to make. The priority is to get the powers repatriated, and the delegation can be done afterwards.
We must not have any unnecessary distractions to the Brexit process. Prof Tompkins says the SNP do not want to disrupt the internal UK market, but their every inclination is to do precisely that.
All of us who support the UK want Mrs May to face down the SNP like she did earlier this year with considerable success, not to appease them.
There is no need for an “honest broker” in all this. There is simply a need for effective leadership that does not allow unnecessary distractions from those with their own, very different, objectives. VICTOR CLEMENTS Aberfeldy, Perthshire