Readers' letters: Brexit brings a dismal first anniversary

On Saturday Brexit was one year old and it is clear to anyone that it has no good outcomes for any of us ordinary GB inhabitants (Note: NI inhabitants benefit from remaining in the single EU market).

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 30, 2020 UK chief trade negotiator, David Frost (L) looks on as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson signs the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU, the Brexit trade deal, at 10 Downing Street in central London. - The UK government on July 21, 2021 demanded the EU re-negotiate post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland after rioting and business disruption hit the restive province. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 30, 2020 UK chief trade negotiator, David Frost (L) looks on as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson signs the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU, the Brexit trade deal, at 10 Downing Street in central London. - The UK government on July 21, 2021 demanded the EU re-negotiate post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland after rioting and business disruption hit the restive province. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

And it is worth noting that the UK government is only just about to implement the full Brexit Agreement conditions, including border checks and customs controls on incoming EU goods.

This will pile more economic misery on us, to add to the rising interest rates, soaring energy costs and the struggling post-Brexit GB economy.

The supposed job of governments and politicians in a democracy is to look after their citizens, not inflict misery on them.

But here in Scotland, ordinary businesses and families now face a cost of living catastrophe in 2022, along with numerous EU exclusions (restricted travel / insurance, bare supermarket shelves, no access to EU programmes like Erasmus etc etc) inflicted on us by the hard Brexit pursued by Westminster and Johnson.

Lord Frost knows this and has already disappeared, and the hapless Liz Truss and her threadbare trade deals with distant countries like New Zealand won’t help us.

Instead we are left to contemplate the long-term consequences of Scotland’s forced isolation from our nearest neighbours and trading partners in Europe. And of course nothing from Scotland’s community of north Britons other than best just suck it up, we’re ‘better together’.

Fortunately for thinking Scots, Brexit is not irreversible and the UK is not permanent; there is a positive alternative for Scotland to the ‘full UK’ post-Brexit horror show that has just now fully landed.

Mr D Jamieson, Dunbar

Towering mistake

The SNP's decision to give the five 1960s tower blocks in Aberdeen City "A" listed status, putting them on the same rating as Edinburgh Castle, is absolutely ridiculous.

Aberdeen city council have lost their appeal against this and have great concerns as to how they can possibly maintain them with "A"-rated status.

These eyesore buildings have been a blot on the Aberdeen landscape with a huge range of damp and maintenance problems, leaving individual flats failing to gain mortgage status for purchase loans.

This underlines the SNP as out of touch with local communities and failing to listen to local authorities who have to maintain such buildings.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen

Public health first

While ‘experts’ in disease control around the world continue to debate the advisability of reducing coronavirus self-isolation periods to less than 10 days, it is interesting to note that Dr Bruce Halliday (Letters, 31 December) is convinced that five days is sufficient, apparently without the concern of others for the added risks to the health of those most susceptible to this pernicious disease.

Achieving an optimum balance of all pertinent considerations, including economic factors, is not straightforward, especially with critical data changing day-by-day; but it can be misleading, if not irresponsible on matters of public health, and may not assist objective assessment, when personal opinion is expressed with only partial information.

A reduction in the USA from 10 days to five days must be followed by strict mask use for an additional five days, and a reduction in England from 10 days to seven days only applies to those who receive negative lateral flow test (LFT) results for both Covid-19 tests taken on days six and seven of coronavirus-free isolation.

This, of course, assumes that LFTs are available for tests to be taken on days six and seven, which is not guaranteed, as has been witnessed, particularly in England recently.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry

Expert shortage

Thank you Frances Scott (Letters, 1 January) for the oft-repeated "It's time for Scotland to go" message. Results of the 2014 referendum and most recent opinion polls suggest people think otherwise.

This correspondent's attempt to compare our position in the Union to that of an abused partner in an unequal relationship is unconvincing.

The enormous benefits of free trade and shared resources are ignored. Instead, we hear about Scotland not being able to borrow and that "ritual financial humiliation is a definition of coercive control."

Is the humiliation of crawling to international financiers and servicing a vast foreign debt preferable?

Then again, who would lend money to a country with a bloated public sector (employing nearly a quarter of the workforce) running a nine per cent annual budget deficit? Given the set-up costs of a new state, this figure is likely to be much higher.

Apparently, "the expert advice is to leave an abusive union before the damage cannot be repaired."

Since there are few business leaders, industrialists or distinguished economists who publicly support Scottish separatism, to which "expert" is Frances Scott referring?

Martin O’Gorman, Edinburgh

Drugs not working

I was stunned when I read the front page lead-in article headed "Scotland's drug death task force chiefs quit" (Scotsman, December 31).

The article began highlighting that "a demand for speed" from government ministers led to the decision to quit. Were the ministers pulling rank and trying to jump the supply queue?

Maybe they should try something else, as the stimulant is obviously not working, given the Scottish Government's performance in key areas.

Perhaps they should leave the experts to find a solution or solutions which will provide a longer term benefit.

Perhaps the government should provide funding to meet the needs of the unfortunate so they no longer see drugs as a panacea for their perceived insoluble problems. Maybe we just need a change of government.

Fraser MacGregor, Edinburgh

Dishonours list

After ten years of a Premiership which took the UK into a disastrous Middle Eastern war on top of 20 years of his family making over £300m, Tony Blair is given a knighthood.After 37 years of feeding, clothing and doing all he can for the homeless, John Tempest of the Bradford Soup Run once again gets utterly hee-haw - proof, to paraphrase Mr Bumble, that the Queen's Honours system is an ass.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone

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