Readers' Letters: It’s far too soon to insist that Brexit has failed

Among others, Fraser Grant persists in warning of “the dire economic consequences of Brexit” to justify a new Indyref (Letters, 30 June). But just as experts like Hugh Pennington rebutted correspondents’ premature comparisons of Scotland’s Covid “performance” versus England’s, it is surely too early to assume that Brexit’s effects will inevitably be negative.

The whole period since Brexit has been dominated by Covid’s disruption, now exacerbated by Putin’s rape of Ukraine; and even had neither occurred, surely at least four years’ actual data would be needed to give any valid comparison. Forecasts and estimates by various experts on many topics often prove inaccurate. Nor are economics the only rationale for Brexiteers any more than they are for SNP enthusiasts.

Both SNP and UK supporters, rather than always selecting their favourite “betes-noires” for condemnation, should accept that both governments spend vast taxpayers’ sums unwisely.

Also, anent “Scotland’s democratic right to choose our own future”, I trust Mr Grant acknowledges that, while the UK remains a single nation-state, it too has that right – as it exercised by voting for Brexit (including more than one million Scots), albeit narrowly, due to the EU’s “thin gruel” offerings to David Cameron and Angela Merkel’s unilateral invitation to a million refugees and economic migrants.

Priti Patel, Penny Mordaunt and the Brexit bus helped persuade a majority of voters that the UK should leave the EU - was their optimism justified? (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Finally, as The Scotsman reported on October 19, 2015, the SNP set a test of polls consistently showing at least 60 per cent support for independence, even with the then increasing possibility of the UK voting for Brexit, needed to justify another Indyref.

John Birkett, St Andrews, Fife

Travel trouble

The First Minister’s constant refrain about democracy seems to be based on a belief that an independent Scotland can impose its will on the rest of the UK.

Given that she wants more refugees, free movement and to rejoin the EU, why on earth would any UK Government agree to a Common Travel Area? The CTA with Eire was in the context of the 1920s-30s, it would never be repeated today. The UK would have every right to know what was entering and leaving its territory, and the same goes for goods. Checks on legitimate travellers might not be too onerous but the new requirements of the EU on UK travellers would be repeated. For once, FM, tell us the truth and PM – spell it out now, not to frighten Scots but to reassure the rest of the UK.

Roger I Cartwright, Crieff, Perthshire


The Scottish Government has used the predictable furore of Nicola Sturgeon's proposed second independence referendum to obscure from sight the announcement that all its staff must now undergo compulsory indoctrination called the Trans Language Primer, and anyone refusing to do so can look for another job.This includes such rubbish as the new catch-all term for those who fall under the ever expanding LBGTQ+ umbrella – “quiltbags”. Yes, really.

Still, it's better blowing millions on brainwashing pen-pushers with pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo than on silly old ferries, isn't it? Pack up your troubles in your old quiltbag and scream, scream, scream...

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire


It’s astounding that the First Minister should equate the future election of a block of SNP MPs with a mandate for independence. Evidently she doesn’t understand the difference between an expression of the electorate’s disaffection for the Westminster government and a desire to see Scotland independent. Even accepting her ridiculous assertion, the SNP coalition’s abysmal performance in a number of areas hardly recommends them as the guiding force for a very vulnerable new entity. The general electorate is more sensible and pragmatic than SNP diehards would care to admit.

R A Wallace, Kincardine, Fife

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Dangerous move

As the world watches on in horror, the atrocities in Ukraine are forcibly focusing attentions on national security. At a time of huge increase in desire to join Nato and to strengthen countries defensive alliances we have a First Minister who is determined to do the opposite. The pursuit of independence will completely undermine our defensive capability at a time when it's so critical.

Please can we focus on the outcome of such a move to improve awareness around this issue. We don't have to look far to see the devastating and far-reaching effects of complacency.

Timothy Flett, Perth

What’s more?

Who in their right mind would rush to give more power to someone who had made an absolute hash of things with the powers already to hand? When asked “why Indy?” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's only response is “To make Scotland a better place”. Well, forgive my being overcome by such jawdropping vision. The question is how to make it “a better place”?

We are already proud Scots. We already make our own decisions in life; which career path to follow; how to raise our family. W e can pursu e our own dreams, our sports, our ambitions. We can holiday where we please; socialise with whom and where we like… what else does a person need? Lots more money, perhaps? Can she promise that? Beware of politicians bearing gifts.

Thanks but no thanks.

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

Latin lovers

I didn’t study Latin so will have to look up the meaning of “de facto” as employed by the First Minister in her ludicrous wheeze to approach the next general election as a referendum. While I’m at it, I may as well check for any translation for “lost her marbles” or “aff her heid”Also, given John Swinney’s shambolic flip flopping over over whether this faux referendum will be decided by a majority of seats or votes, what would Latin be for “havering” or “blethering mince”?

Andrew Kemp, Rosyth, Fife

Sheer madness

As groundbreaking announcements go, the latest from the First Minister, with her plans for a second break-up-the-UK referendum, will not threaten any records.

It is at the damp squib end of the spectrum. Will Free by ‘23 now join that other slogan, Free by ’93, in the annals of SNP history? What’s a generation among friends?

So we must continue with unwinnable court battles, tiresome and endless posturing, countless millions spent on civil servants for preparation for a non-event, more rancour, more division, put on for no other reason than to keep her clique in luxury and power and appease her lunatic fringe.

And, of course, create more grievance and unrest while not getting Nicola Sturgeon or her party an inch nearer the Holy Grail that the majority of Scots do not want. Any non-legally binding referendum should be ignored by any democratic-minded Scot and given the contempt it warrants.

Has no-one mentioned to these obsessed people that there is a world-wide cost of living crisis in full swing, a drug death crisis at home, or a war in Ukraine that is threatening to get out of hand? This is madness.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh


How can the supposedly responsible leader of any country, at this point in time with monumental domestic and global situations to be negotiated through, saddle their population for at least the next year and a bit with the continual distraction of the constitutional question which will inevitably dominate everything? This, remember, is from the leader of a party that has now had an almost unprecedented, uninterrupted 15-year period in government that has only resulted in a litany of disastrous policies.

Nicola Sturgeon is now effectively saying that, with independence, all of a sudden, she can get everything spot on, guide us through the aforementioned current domestic and global problems as well as setting up a new, independent country that is going to see us into the promised land.

Come on. Get real, please.

Ian G Hogg, Melrose, Scottish Borders

Debt to society

A new Scottish Government initiative aims to attract more general practitioners to Scotland from other parts of the UK and elsewhere (your report, 30 June). If “elsewhere” means poaching them from the Commonwealth and countries that need them more then this is unethical.

The shortage of doctors and dentists could have been easily avoided with a bit of Scottish Government foresight.

For many years students who have lived in Scotland for three years have been entitled to have their university fees paid by the Scottish Government, aka the taxpayer. Students from England pay £9,250 per year. Thus Scottish-based students get the benefit of £37,000 or more of free education. There should have been a condition that those, including student doctors and dentists, getting this free education would have to work in Scotland for five years, or longer, to repay taxpayers' generosity.

Thus there would not be the present shortage of doctors, nurses and, dare I say it, NHS dentists who are scarcer than hen's teeth.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Toddle to polls

I see the content of the baby boxes has been modified to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their launch. Well, that’s fine, but these desperate and blatant attempts by the SNP to bribe babies (or should that be “emerging voters”) in time for their next proposed Indyref2 in 2038 are getting ridiculous.

David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire

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