Let’s have the Brexit bor­der at Gretna in­stead of the Ir­ish Sea

The Herald - - OPINION -

ONCE again, ab­sur­dity breaks out over Brexit with Do­minic Raab, the Brexit Tsar, be­ing sur­prised that Bri­tain as an is­land, needs trad­ing ports linked to the con­ti­nent (“Raab branded ‘clue­less’ over Dover’s role in trade”, The Her­ald, Novem­ber 9). Then a new griev­ance breaks out within the spe­cious al­liance be­tween the Tories and DUP over a “bor­der in the Ir­ish sea”. Could I sug­gest a so­lu­tion of sorts? What about the “in­vis­i­ble bor­der” be­ing sited at Gretna? If Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land could stay in the cus­toms union and sin­gle mar­ket, would not the SNP back such a deal with its 35 MPS, rel­e­gat­ing the DUP (the Scot­tish Tories have no real cred­i­bil­ity as a block ) as suit­ably ir­rel­e­vant.

This would not only be a rea­son­able com­pro­mise, but would give ev­ery con­stituent coun­try some of what they voted for. Eng­land/ Wales out: Scot­land/north­ern Ire­land as above: Gi­bral­tar with its own Pro­to­col.

Re­mem­ber, Labour don’t want a Peo­ple’s Vote: it wants a Gen­eral Elec­tion, by which time the UK would be out with a dis­as­trous no deal.

GR Weir,

17 Mill Street,


IF ev­i­dence were re­quired to show that Scot­land’s voice has been ig­nored in the Brexit de­bate then look no fur­ther than to the lack of cov­er­age by the BBC and other UK broad­cast­ers of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s over­whelm­ing sup­port for a “Peo­ple’s Vote”, when

Labour’s MSPS were whipped to ab­stain and Tory MSPS op­posed (“Scot­tish Par­lia­ment first in the UK to back a Peo­ple’s Vote on Brexit”, The Her­ald, Novem­ber 8), or on the news that Scot­land’s high­est court, has re­fused the UK Gov­ern­ment’s re­quest to ap­peal to the UK Supreme Court on whether the UK can uni­lat­er­ally halt Brexit by re­vok­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 with­out the ap­proval of the other 27 EU states which will now be de­cided by the Eu­ro­pean Court of Jus­tice (“Cross­party bid to halt Brexit takes case to court of Eu­rope”, The Her­ald, Novem­ber 9).

The main rea­son Scot­land’s over­whelm­ing sup­port for re­main­ing in the EU is be­ing ig­nored in Lon­don is down to Labour MPS back­ing Jeremy Cor­byn’s pro-brexit stance while the Scot­tish Tory Brexit MPS put their un­ques­tion­ing Union­ism ahead of Scot­land’s eco­nomic in­ter­ests even when the agri­cul­tural and fish­ing sec­tors are be­ing con­sid­ered ex­pend­able by Theresa May.

There is some good news, as Man­fred We­ber who pre­vi­ously stated that Scot­land would be a wel­come mem­ber state of the EU, is favourite to be­come the next EU pres­i­dent and he con­firmed that the UK ig­nored both Ire­land and Scot­land’s in­ter­ests dur­ing Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Fraser Grant,

Warrender Park Road,


BY help­ing in the pass­ing of a mo­tion at Holy­rood call­ing for a “Peo­ple’s Vote” on the Brexit ref­er­en­dum, the SNP has, in­deed, cre­ated a dan­ger­ous prece­dent. SNP MP Pete Wishart warned of this, but Nicola Stur­geon chose to ig­nore him.

The cur­rent po­lit­i­cal trend of ques­tion­ing or over­turn­ing all votes that do not suit your party has got out of con­trol. If demo­cratic ma­jor­ity votes can be so eas­ily chal­lenged, noth­ing will ever get done. The SNP, in par­tic­u­lar, has ben­e­fited from the 1997 de­vo­lu­tion ref­er­en­dum (in which the turnout was only 60 per cent) which was the spring­board for it to ul­ti­mately achieve ab­so­lute power. As this sit­u­a­tion was never meant to hap­pen in the de­volved sys­tem is it not there­fore time to re­visit this ref­er­en­dum vote too, par­tic­u­larly as it also gave Holy­rood tax rais­ing pow­ers which, as we are all aware, is a very con­tentious is­sue now?

Rather than de­mands for in­dyref 2 or Brex­itref 2, how about Devoref 2 in­stead?

Dr Ger­ald Ed­wards,

Broom Road,


EV­ERY­ONE knows the dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing Nicola Stur­geon and her party, the NHS fore­most among them. In the midst of this her ad­min­is­tra­tion has been handed an un­likely get out of jail free card by, of all peo­ple, the Tory Chan­cel­lor, “Spread­sheet Phil’’ Ham­mond. His ex­tra £550 mil­lion will pro­vide a few stick­ing plas­ters. Ms Stur­geon re­fuses to say how this ex­tra wind­fall will be used.

Can any­one be in any doubt the rea­son for not ex­plain­ing in de­tail where the ex­tra cash will go has noth­ing to do with de­cid­ing pri­or­i­ties and ev­ery­thing to do with the petty and nar­row na­tion­al­ist pol­i­tics of ac­knowl­edg­ing the source of her bounty?

Is the NHS safe in the hands of such petty-minded peo­ple? Alexan­der Mckay,

8/7 New Cut Rigg,


IT would be help­ful in dis­cus­sions about in­come tax (Let­ters, Novem­ber 6, 7 & 8) if ev­ery­one, politi­cians, the me­dia and oth­ers, made sure that when in­come tax is the sub­ject, the word “in­come” al­ways pre­cedes the word “tax”.

I am aware that some peo­ple in Scot­land pay more in­come tax than peo­ple in the rest of the UK who have the same in­come. I am not con­vinced that the Scot­tish tax­pay­ers in this group pay more tax in to­tal than those in the rest of the UK in the same in­come group. Alis­tair Dun­lop,

8 Pipers Road,


Lochgilp­head, Ar­gyll.

● Have your say:

The Ed­i­tor, The Her­ald, 200 Ren­field Street, Glas­gow G2 3QB; e-mail: let­ters@the­herald.co.uk

ALAN Cum­ming should have re­gard to the id­iom that peo­ple who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (“Cum­ming: I played the king in hon­our of my loathing of Rifkind and Forsyth”, The Her­ald, Novem­ber 6). To say that you loathe some­one be­cause of their ac­cent is strong stuff. I am sure that the two for­mer UK cab­i­net min­is­ters can man­age (maybe with a shrug of the shoul­ders) to cope with be­ing hated by Mr Cum­ming and oc­ca­sion­ing him to feel dis­gust. If he is con­sis­tent in his think­ing, he should also be loathing the thou­sands of Scots who speak with an an­gli­fied ac­cent. Maybe he does. He also needs to have re­gard to the fact that his own ac­cent is far from be­ing un­re­con­structed Perthshire.

More­over, he is prob­a­bly aware that there are Scots who are not pre­pared to lend a lis­ten­ing ear to those who are ac­tivists for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence while res­i­dent abroad. Those Scots tend to favour the po­si­tion orig­i­nally adopted by David Ten­nant, once of Dr Who, who de­cided to stay silent at the time of the ref­er­en­dum in 2014, while say­ing he had no right to share his opin­ion be­cause he no longer lived there.

Ian W Thom­son,

38 Kirk­in­til­loch Road,


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