Readers' Letters: Johnson deluded if he thinks Brexit worked

As Boris Johnson finds his misdemeanours catch up with him, he claims that his greatest achievement is that he got Brexit done. As we celebrate the sixth anniversary, this is another example of how divorced he is from the truth.

The agreement he signed in the Northern Ireland Protocol, he now wants to tear up. Scientific research will also suffer as a result of this as the UK will no longer be part of the £82 billion Horizon programme, cutting links with academics across Europe.

The promised economic benefits also seem to have been exaggerated, with the Office for Budget Responsibility stating that the long-term impact of Brexit will be worse than Covid, reducing GDP by 4 per cent.

Farming and the seafood industry have also suffered, with lost trade to their main markets and a shortage of labour meaning 10 per cent of soft food production going to waste.

Has the UK taken a hammering post-Boris Johnson 'getting Brexit Done'? (Picture: Ben Stansall/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Who could possibly have foreseen this? The majority of the Scottish electorate, perhaps.

Alastair Hunt, Longniddry, East Lothian

Naked truth?

In a scene from one of The Naked Gun films, a criminal being pursued by Detective Frank Drebin crashes into a firework store causing the building to explode into a raging inferno and the sky is illuminated by rockets and cascading colours. As a crowd gathers, Drebin moves to the front and tells it, “Please move on, there’s nothing to see here”.

I am reminded of this scene whenever a member of Boris Johnson’s over-promoted sycophantic Cabinet attempts, yet again, to defend the indefensible after another Tory scandal, outrage or disaster.The government’s latest disaster is the loss of one of the safest Tory seats in the country in Tiverton and Homerton. Attorney General Suella Braverman bemoaned the unsportsmanlike behaviour of many thousands of constituents who voted tactically to keep the Tories out. It just wasn’t cricket. She was conveniently forgetting that a great many of those votes came from people who would normally vote Conservative.And now Johnson takes delusion to new stratospheric heights by not only claiming he has never lied in his political career but that he expects to be Prime Minister for not one, not two but three terms of office.With the most corrupt, mendacious and incompetent government of modern times, responsible for scandal after scandal, we are still being told by Johnson’s fanatical devotees to “Move on. Nothing to see here”.In terms of leadership skills, political awareness and judgement, I’ll trust Frank Drebin over Boris Johnson any day.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh

Freedom fight

Kenny MacAskill writes that “Biden has been pushing a proxy war in which Ukraine fights and dies, all to bleed Russia” (“Ukraine being sacrificed for US interests”, Perspective, 23 June).

No! It was clear from the initial massive assault on the capital, Kyiv, that the very existence of Ukraine was at stake. Like the Scots in 1320, this is a fight for freedom, which no true man gives up but with his life.

And in any case, if it is a US proxy war, why not also an EU proxy war?

Instead of blaming all our ills on Boris Johnson and Brexit, could the SNP and Alba please commend the firm stance our UK Prime Minister is taking on Ukraine, and also acknowledge the serious economic impact, in terms of inflation and austerity, resulting from the quite disastrous EU energy policy over many years, as well as condemn the encouragement given to President Putin by this policy.

George Watson, Edinburgh

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No joke

On 24 June 2022 the Prime Minister was on the end of not one, but two, by-election defeats in different parts of England, one to the Labour Party and the other, even bigger and potentially more damaging defeat, to the Liberal Democrats.

As an independence voter of 2014 who delivers groceries for a living on £11.50 an hour, it does not particularly concern me who the Tories decide to have as their leader. Still, a Unionist Party persisting with someone who arguably is the biggest recruiting sergeant for Scottish independence seems crazy to me.

As a constituent of David Duguid MP, if you need cheered up the Caledonia Bank sketch by the Flying Pigs on YouTube is a good one for pronouncing his surname correctly; if only the current situation with the Prime Minister was as funny or led to union reform, I could see the point in having confidence in Prime Minister but sadly I don't think it is or will lead to a fully federal UK. It would have been good if Mr Duguid, on 6 June 2022, along with 210 other Conservative MPs, had decided not to have confidence in the Prime Minister, but sadly he did not, and that is far from being funny, in my opinion.

Peter Ovenstone, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

World problem

Nicola Sturgeon tells us that “independence” is essential to resolving the cost of living crisis. No surprise there. We are all by now used to her saying “The answer is independence. Now, what was the question?”

Ms Sturgeon demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of past and current economic circumstances. The problems, she says are due to “Tory austerity” and Brexit. Where has she been these last few years? Has amnesia set in? I distinctly remember her invading our TV sets day after day to give gloom and doom reports about, er, now what was it? Oh, yes, Covid. A pandemic that affected pretty much all the countries of the world, leaving massive economic damage in its wake. We in the UK were fortunate in having the means to provide furloughing and business support, as well as the commissioning, payment and distribution of a series of life-saving vaccines. We had the means because HM Government had the ability and creditworthiness to borrow substantially. A separate Scotland would have sunk in the attempt to do these things.

Now we have Russian aggression in Europe and a worldwide energy crisis. Yes, it is worldwide, not the invention of “Tories” or “Westminster”. Our inflation rate may be slightly higher than some others, but in both the USA (8.6 per cent) and the EU (8.3 per cent) the rate is not far behind. The cost of living crisis is a world problem, not one to be solved by Scexit.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Let's all vote

Nicola Sturgeon's clarion call for independence is odd, given that Scots already enjoy your own laws, language, education and local government system, culture etc. Surely the answer is simply to create a Federal system so that only UK wide issues such as defence are considered by a UK Parliament?

On the other hand, as an Englishman, I'd be glad to be independent of Scotland. No more Scottish kings, prime ministers, chancellors or Scottish Nationalists speaking at Westminster in a Parliament they don't support. No more subsidies from us. A much smaller English Parliament too. I can visualise the new Socialist Republic of Scotland. Let all in the UK have a vote so all the Scots living here can be heard. Let's also vote on reuniting Ireland and giving Wales more freedoms. Bring it on, you may be surprised by the results. (PS I love Scotland).

Rod Giddins, Birchington, Kent

Lemming leap

Pol Yates (Letters, 27 June) claims Scotland is “well capable, rich enough and big enough” (presumably to be a successfully independent nation). Where is the evidence, the SNP’s credible business plan for an indy Scotland? It’s had 15 years to produce one. Only blinkered zealots will support a lemming leap over the cliff of ignorance into a totally uncertain future such as the SNP currently demands. Pol Yates claims that Brexit drives inflation, yet what nation in the world is not also facing serious inflation? Have they all experienced a Brexit?

The inability of indy supporters to deal with the facts is exceeded only by their ability to generate false ones. Inconvenient truth has indeed been the first casualty in SNP’s uncivil war of independence.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

Undemocratic

The Bill of Rights Bill referred to in Pol Yates’ letter (27 June) uses in its Introduction at Clause (1)(2)(c) the phrase “Parliamentary democracy”. But as the House of Lords is not elected, the UK is not a full Parliamentary democracy.

Parliament’s website answers the question “How do you become a Member of the House of Lords?” by setting out various routes to membership, all run by a tiny minority of presumably politicians, civil servants and appointees. The website does not ask “How do you as a voter in the UK choose a member of the UK’s second chamber?”

The UK government lawyers who draft legislation have to go along with the fiction that the UK is a full Parliamentary democracy, but I have never believed the myth. An independent Scotland would be free of the House of Lords, and would have, as Pol Yates says, “checks and balances for responsible and safe democratic governance”.

E Campbell, Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire

Mobilisation

Today we expect a Holyrood plan for Indyref2. However much we think national self determination should be inevitable it will only happen when we mobilise the active support for an alternative independent Scotland. It is not good enough to make some easy contrast to Johnson's policies. We need an active statement of support for public sector workers such as rail, health and local government who are struggling to restore wages to pre-pandemic levels. Westminster may set the rules but imposing an insignificant alternative here is not going to inspire the mobilisation needed for an active social, environmental and economically different Scotland.

Norman Lockhart, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

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