Oh, how I wish our coun­try could just get back to busi­ness

The Herald - - OPINION -

UN­LIKELY as it may seem to­day, Theresa May could yet turn out to be recog­nised as one of the most re­mark­able prime min­is­ters our coun­try has ever had (“Down­ing Street: Brexit vote will go ahead next week as planned”, The Her­ald, De­cem­ber 7).

By ne­go­ti­at­ing an agree­ment that sat­is­fies nei­ther side in the Brexit de­bate the pub­lic has fi­nally been al­lowed to learn the true facts of the mat­ter: those the pub­lic ought to have been told prior to cast­ing our vote. Here are three ex­am­ples:

The fore­cast that, in the event of our leav­ing the EU with no deal, GDP will shrink by 9 per cent traded in against growth of 0.5% from new trade agree­ments world­wide.

The threat of Brexit has re­duced im­mi­gra­tion from the EU where all cit­i­zens, at least in prin­ci­ple, share a cul­ture based on 1,000 years of Chris­tian­ity. Against this there has been a rise in im­mi­gra­tion from coun­tries out­with the EU where some cul­tures can be very dif­fer­ent. Was this re­ally what those who voted Leave wished for?

The Scot­tish Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion has con­vinced many, in­clud­ing some Con­ser­va­tive politi­cians with seats and in­comes to de­fend, that control of “our” wa­ters must not be re­garded as a bar­gain­ing chip to be cashed in against trade deals else­where. Yet the vast ma­jor­ity of fish­er­men prefer the present sit­u­a­tion that al­lows them to trans­port and sell their catches into Europe with­out de­lay or penalty; as Mrs May’s deal also would. SNP, take note.

As a fi­nal piece of clar­i­fi­ca­tion, would some­body please ex­plain pre­cisely what the Euro­pean Re­search Group is all about? The pub­lic ought to be al­lowed to see a list of par­tic­i­pants; are there no Labour politi­cians in it?

Be­fore the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, it was thought that an un-whipped vote in the House of Com­mons would re­sult in a ma­jor­ity of more than 100 MPS in favour of Re­main. With­out the facts, the pub­lic voted Leave. Re­cent events at West­min­ster of­fer some hope of a re­turn to a sit­u­a­tion that might al­low our coun­try to get back to busi­ness.

Ian HC Stein,

8 Ochlochy Park,


I NOTE that Heidi Nordby Lunde, a Nor­we­gian Con­ser­va­tive politi­cian, has ruled out the Nor­way Op­tion for the UK; that it would not suit it, the Euro­pean Eco­nomic

Area or the Euro­pean Free Trade As­so­ci­a­tion; my pref­er­ence gone. She spoke in the con­text of the UK hav­ing a “grown up de­bate”. This, to me, is the prob­lem. We have, and have had, a lot of pos­tur­ing round Bri­tish na­tion­al­ism and sep­a­ratism, but very lit­tle co­her­ent pol­icy that would main­tain our pros­per­ity, or bet­ter it.

A prime ex­am­ple are the state­ments of David Mun­dell, a Minister of the Crown sup­pos­edly rep­re­sent­ing the Scot­tish in­ter­est in Cab­i­net. He has done noth­ing of the sort, given Scot­land voted over­whelm­ingly to re­main in the EU. He pro­claims that the pro­posed May deal to be his choice, even though it will slow our rate of growth, have an un­known out­come for fish­ing and ren­der Scot­land to be less at­trac­tive for in­vest­ment and trade than North­ern Ire­land.

Mr Mun­dell has pre­vi­ously threat­ened res­ig­na­tion over these is­sues but has gone back on his word, pre­fer­ring a scat­ter-gun at­tack on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment for try­ing to se­cure a bet­ter out­come for Scot­land (and the UK); some­thing that should be his job.

I have no idea of our des­ti­na­tion on Brexit. The mi­nor­ity rul­ing party in the UK is split, as is the op­po­si­tion whose leader seems clue­less. For­tu­nately we won’t now have a mean­ing­less TV de­bate over empty slo­gans. An elec­tion (an­other one!) won’t hap­pen, but some want a new ref­er­en­dum (while hyp­o­crit­i­cally deny­ing Scot­land one), though that in it­self will be highly di­vi­sive un­less it is won by a sub­stan­tial ma­jor­ity; not a given.

Where is Mys­tic meg when you need her?

GR Weir,

17 Mill Street,


WITH the dam­age lim­i­ta­tion and head­less chicken an­tics of the be­sieged Prime Minister and her sup­port­ers more in­dica­tive of “not wav­ing but drown­ing” than mea­sured de­bate, and those call­ing from the Brexit morass for a now in­formed sec­ond EU ref­er­en­dum chal­lenged as un­demo­cratic, it is per­haps timely to re­mind, again, the demo­cratic-when-it suits-them bri­gade that we got into this mess with a 37% vote to Leave from the to­tal elec­torate of 46,500,001 el­i­gi­ble to vote in the EU ref­er­en­dum in 2016.

LOL. ( Lies, ob­fus­ca­tion, Lem­mings ).

R Rus­sell Smith,

96 Mil­ton Road, Kil­birnie.

ALEX Gal­lagher (Let­ters, De­cem­ber 4) sees enor­mous dif­fi­cul­ties in the sep­a­ra­tion of Scot­land and Eng­land. He is mis­taken. The for­mal re­la­tion­ship is much sim­pler than that which ex­ists be­tween an EU coun­try and the

EU. He seems to be un­aware of the smooth and suc­cess­ful sep­a­ra­tion of our neigh­bours in unions such as the Swe­den-nor­way and Slo­vaki­aczech repub­lic unions.

He sees dif­fi­cul­ties for an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land. Yes, there would be dif­fi­cul­ties if the econ­omy did not change. It would be our task to change the econ­omy by cre­at­ing new in­dus­tries which gen­er­ate new wealth and em­ploy peo­ple. The Danes, the Nor­we­gians, the Swedes and the French have shown us the way. Mr Gal­lagher’s Labour party has done noth­ing along these lines. He seems to want to coorie doon’ in the sta­tus quo; not for me.

John Flem­ing,

34 Kess­ing­ton Drive, Glas­gow.

● Have your say:

The Ed­i­tor, The Her­ald, 200 Ren­field Street, Glas­gow G2 3QB; e-mail: let­[email protected]­herald.co.uk

IN Jan­uary 2017, then Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis said he would ne­go­ti­ate an agree­ment de­liv­er­ing” the same ben­e­fits as we have” while leav­ing the sin­gle mar­ket and al­low­ing the UK to sign trade deals with the rest of the world.

This was quite the most crass and ridicu­lous state­ment made by a Bri­tish par­lia­men­tar­ian since Gor­don Brown claimed in 2007 that he had con­quered “boom and bust”.

There are good rea­sons to dis­like the deal Mrs May has brought back but surely those who do so should be able to come up with prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tives or have the hon­esty to say they sup­port ei­ther “no deal” or “no Brexit”.

Rev Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place,st An­drews.

CAN we suppose that, if the SNP won an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, Ni­cola Stur­geon would be happy to see a group ap­peal to the UK Par­lia­ment to have the right to stop the pro­ceed­ings and re­tain the sta­tus quo?

James Wat­son,

20, Ran­dolph Cres­cent,

Dun­bar, East Loth­ian.

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