Pit of negativity

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IT WAS puzzling to read Baroness Jay’s comments about the role of Scottish MPs after a Yes vote and before a formal declaration of independence (your report, 16 May).

Why does the chair of the House of Lords’ constitution committee feel they would have a conflict of interest in scrutinising the negotiations in the lead-up to autonomy?

Surely the proper role of a Member of Parliament is do something to hold the government of the day to account?

They should be able to ask questions about the pace of the negotiations, the commitment of those involved and, indeed, the position of the Westminster government after they withdraw from the House of Commons (in March 2016 if the Scottish Government has its way).

A situation where there are two classes of MPs cannot be tolerated. Leaving aside the complexities of the so-called West Lothian Question, there is a simple principle involved. If someone is elected to parliament, he or she is entitled to vote on, speak about, and ask questions about any matter that comes before that parliament.

That should be the case for Scottish MPs right up to the point when independence comes about.

Whether they should be involved in the actual negotiation itself is a matter for the respective political parties to judge. Whoever both sides agree to represent them in those discussions, it will still be the case that the Westminster and Holyrood cabinets will have the final say on whether the outcome is acceptable to both sides.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes, Fife

JOURNALISTS seem obsessed with thinking Scottish voters are so scared of a Conservative win in the next election that they will vote Yes in the referendum, but I think the chattering classes underestimate the electorate, especially Labour voters.

We haven’t had a real Left, socialist Labour party since about Harold Wilson’s time – they have been moving to the centre, particularly under Tony Blair’s tenure as leader.

As for the Conservative Party, thank goodness it is no way as right-wing as Margaret Thatcher was and has also moved to the centre.

I am among the many voters who realise this is not the right time for Scotland to make such a big decision as leaving the rest of the United Kingdom, and certainly not out of fear of a Conservative win at the next general election.

Mae Mitchell

Lockharton Avenue

Edinburgh

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