Brexit borders

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During the 2014 Referendum any mention of border issues between an independent Scotland and the UK were dismissed as ‘scare mongering’.

The Scottish Government claimed that there would be no problems with a border between two EU counties. I expect that Nicola Sturgeon will say that the 10-hour delays at Dover due to actions by French officials working at the port (as UK officers work at Calais) are just something invented by the nasty UK Government to scare Scots. The UK and France are both still EU members, how much worse would it be if one were not?

France has acted in its national interest and to protect its citizens after horrific attacks on its soil. Most of Scotland’s exports pass through England; to reach the continent or indeed relatives etc in England, Scots have to cross the border.

A consequence of independence especially for a border with a non-EU UK will be that the UK can and should, if circumstances dictate, do what France has done and Scots can have no complaint as it is what we will have voted for.

However, provided we don’t go via the UK we would be able to enter any other EU country freely - what a pity that the First Minister has forgotten that we don’t have a land border with any other EU country.

If we want to work in the UK, of course we may need a certain number of points and to join the queue behind other potential migrants, but never mind we can always go and work in Germany, France etc, provided our education system has equipped us with all the necessary languages.

Are we really better off leaving the UK where we can move, live and work freely for an EU most of us would have to reach via the UK anyway and whose main aim at the moment is anti-nationalist in that its leaders want a political union?

Dr Roger I Cartwright

Crieff, ­Perthshire

As one European country after another rejects Nicola Sturgeon’s protestations that Scotland should remain in the EU when the UK leaves, it seems SNP politicking is proceeding perfectly to plan.

European leaders unsurprisingly tell Sturgeon Scotland must first become an independent country and then reapply to join the EU. Music to the nationalist leader’s ears.

Next Sturgeon will, with an inevitable combination of faux-regret and grievance politics, find Westminster’s Brexit terms unfavourable to Scotland.

Indeed, expect her to maintain they’re biased against Scotland. This will be despite, as a minimum, agriculture and fisheries’ responsibility being devolved from Brussels, via Westminster, to Holyrood.

Then finally Sturgeon will demand indyref2 from Westminster, claiming she has done everything to avoid another divisive referendum and maintaining Westminster’s actions leave her with no option.

In rapidly changing political world, at least the SNP is reassuringly predictable.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus, Edinburgh

Whilst I agree with the general gist of what Colin McKay says (Letters, July 23), he could have made his case even stronger by using correct statistics for the EU referendum voting.

It is not correct to say that in Scotland “two-thirds of the electorate voted to remain in Europe.” Based on the relatively low turnout here, only some 42 per cent of the electorate voted to remain. The rest either voted to leave or didn’t care either way.

Mr McKay might also question, as many do, why Ms Sturgeon and the SNP are so exercised about this 42 per cent of the voters when they are so utterly and contemptuously dismissive of the 62 per cent of the Scottish electorate who did not vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.

As Mr McKay correctly says, it is a matter of proper representation of the people, something dangerously lacking in Scotland today.

David K Allan

Haddington, East Lothian

Keith Howell (Letters, July 23) seems to forget that following Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon was given an unopposed multi party mandate from the Scottish Parliament to seek the best deal for Scotland to remain within Europe.

Labour’s First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones is right to say that any UK Brexit deal should be approved by each of the four national legislatures.

If Scotland is an equal partner in this United Kingdom, then it is only right that our views are given due weight and our First Minister should ignore the increasingly strident calls from those who think we should just get to the back of the queue and shut up.

We are in uncharted territory and given the high esteem that Scotland is now held within Europe, it is very likely that EU governments would welcome a special arrangement whereby Scotland is allowed to remain in Europe while the rest of the UK goes on its isolationist way.

Fraser Grant

Warrender Park Road , Edinburgh

Why does Colin McKay (Letters, July 23) assume a debate on Brexit has any locus in the Scottish Parliament?

Moreover, it’s an unworkable proposition that the third who voted Leave should get parliamentary proportional representation.

Seemingly a ‘tyranny of the majority’ is something we have to live with in a liberal democracy.

Noticeably former Glasgow University law professor Alistair Bonnington (Perspective July 22) unsuccessfully tries to deal with the same problem.

One-party rule has been the norm for Britain’s political system of liberal democracy for many years. However, it is expected an effective opposition party is an established part of a liberal democracy.

This is how a majority government’s bills are ‘challenged and given proper scrutiny’ by opposition MPs and MSPs.

Arguably liberal democracy can only work when we constantly guard against ‘the tyranny of the majority.’

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk, Inverurie

Scotland struggles

The SNP motto of ‘Stronger for Scotland’ is somewhat misleading if you consider the following:

• You now have to wait over two weeks to get a doctor’s appointment

• Doctors surgeries are closing all over Scotland

• Hospital performance targets are failing

• Teacher recruitment is in chaos

• Class numbers are rising

• Schools are poorly maintained

• Scottish economy in dire state

• Unemployment higher than in England

• Family poverty and foodbank queues increasing

• Longer housing waiting lists

Perhaps the SNP motto should be changed to ‘Struggle for Scotland’

Dennis Forbes-Grattan

Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen

Thick-skinned

I recently wrote about ‘generation snowflake’ - students so thin-skinned they cannot cope with any criticism and armed with such a belligerent sense of entitlement they assume their emotional suffering takes precedence so that anyone expressing an opinion with which they disagree must be made to apologise and recant.

A friend replied to say I was mistaken to believe this ‘tyranny of the aggrieved’ was restricted to the groves of academe because we live in an umbrage-happy age, and though we may fancy ourselves above the paranoia of the right-wing McCarthy era, in the 21st century the left has fashioned a mirror image.

In hospitals, offices and even clubs hypersensitivity has become a weapon and the hounding of geriatric celebrities for “historical sexual abuse” to no end but the destruction of reputation differs little from the rooting out of communist sympathisers no matter how saintly the contemporary crusade may seem.

(Rev Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place, St Andrews

Clean image

Those responsible in the City of Edinburgh Council appear to be oblivious to the widespread sights of overflowing rubbish bins, roadside weeds and the overall grindingly filthy state of our beautiful

city.

As a microcosm of a bigger picture, at Newhaven harbour there is a landing jetty for cruise ship passengers who are en-route to visit the town. A large poster on the harbour wall proclaims ‘Welcome to Edinburgh’. Within a few feet of the arrival steps, there is a litter bin burst to overflowing – some welcome!

Our council appears to be unashamed or incapable of keeping our house in good order, but as an absolute minimum it should keep our doorsteps clean.

Robbie McDougal

Avon Road, Edinburgh



Floored by words

Harry Watson is not the only one to be irritated by the growing tendency for reporters to use the word ‘floor’ instead of ‘ground’ (Letters, July 23).

It’s another Americanism which has crept into popular use, and I admit to having loudly ‘corrected’ television news reporters for inappropriate usage.

The word ‘ground’ comes from the Old English ‘grund’, meaning the surface of the earth. It’s thought that the original definition was ‘dust and gravel’, which you wouldn’t expect to find on the floor of a house - unless the householder’s a sculptor.

Just to confuse the issue, however, ‘floor’ comes from the Old English ‘flor’, whose meanings include pavement, bottom of the ocean, cave-bottom - and ground.

Modern Americans are descended from the waves of Spanish and English speaking settlers, amongst others, who established colonies throughout North America from the 15th century onwards. The Spanish word ‘suelo’ means both ground and floor. Could it be that this is the basis for the difference in usage on each side of the Atlantic?

Knowledge doesn’t always lead to tolerance, however, so I’ll no doubt continue to shout at the television when a reporter refers to someone falling to the floor, outside.

Carolyn Taylor

Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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