What I object to is the continual talking down of this great country, the UK, the notion that when entering into negotiations with the EU, that we are at a disadvantage. We are a significant economy in our own right, the Europeans need us, probably more than we need them, in terms of trade. Why then can we not have a UK model that suits the needs of both sides?
Academics say that free movement of people is essential for scientific research to continue and that withdrawal from the single market will prevent this. Arrant nonsense! As an independent country we can make our own arrangements as to how we manage these issues. I know people who have worked as researchers in the USA, the lack of a single market there did not prevent that. A visa was required, so what is wrong with that?
As for funds drying up for research, agricultural subsidies and the like, where do these people think the money comes from? It does not come from a benign European Government who have money to share out, it comes from our hard-earned taxes. By exiting the EU we can decide where our money goes.
Doomsayers speaking in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result said the fall in exchange rates and the stock markets was evidence that their warnings of economic catastrophe were correct. But stock markets rise and fall all the time, as does the exchange rate. Our decision to leave the EU is for the long term, short term market fluctuations should not overly concern us.
We have held a referendum and the people have spoken. We are no less part of the European continent, able to enjoy all that it has to offer. We travelled visa free to European countries before the EU, why would that not be the case now? We should be proud that we are an open society, welcoming to all. That we wish to exert some control over our borders and who comes into our country is not unreasonable.
The decision has been made, the die is cast and we should all be working to ensure that the will of the majority is addressed.
The hyperbole in the build-up to a second independence referendum has already started. To say that Scotland voted “overwhelmingly” to stay a part of the European Union is to overstate the case.
Scots care so much about the EU that one in three people did not even bother to vote. The turnout in Scotland was 67 per cent, significantly below the UK average. It was particularly apathetic in Glasgow and Dundee, at 52 and 62 per cent. It is possibly just coincidence that these were the areas that voted most strongly Yes in 2014.
If we consider the 62 per cent Remain figure for Scotland in terms of all those registered to vote it drops to 41.5 per cent. Overwhelming? Hardly. Nicola Sturgeon has so far acted with probity and restraint in the current EU crisis. She must continue to do so or we might just begin to suspect that she is more concerned with her party’s own parochial agenda than with the welfare of the country she was elected to lead.
Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh
Who will buy?
S Brown categorically states: “Scotland relies more heavily on trading with Europe than the rest of Britain” (Letters, 30 June). This statement may suit the SNP and the Remain voters who want to stay in the EU but it is wrong.
S Brown should study Scotland’s export figures which are readily available on Google. It shows that of the total exports of £75.3 billion, £11.6bn goes to the EU, £15.2bn to the rest of the world and the largest slice, £48.5billion, to the rest of the UK. Therefore Scotland’s best customers, at 64 per cent, live in the rest of the UK.
This government need to sort out the numerous existing problems Scotland has including child poverty, high unemployment, failing education, lack of social housing and an NHS in crisis.
Politicians must stop their relentless divisive rhetoric over the EU and independence and sort out these more pressing problems.
Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Take the hint
Obviously, emotions are still very high in both the institutional EU and the UK’s political leadership, but doesn’t the outpouring of warnings and threats from individual country ministers and EU officials give those who still wish to remain pause for thought?
As far as I’m aware, there hasn’t been a single mutually agreed EU response from an organisation supposedly dedicated to mutual co-operation and shared values. Are we really sure that this particular organisation is critically important to our future?
Elderslie Gardens , Largs
Glimmer of light
“If the UK leaves, Scotland leaves”, the words of the Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy as Nicola Sturgeon has negotiations with EU leaders in an attempt to protect Scotland’s place in the EU. But those sentiments should come as no surprise considering Spain’s relationship with the Basque Regions, a similar scenario to Scotland’s relationship with Westminster.
In visiting Brussels, Ms Sturgeon is rightly attempting to protect Scotland’s relationship in Europe and has been a glimmer of light in what has been a dark week for our country and I fear many more dark days are to follow as UK politicians have hung the country out to dry and are making no attempt to engage in this crisis. But, then I forgot, they are too busy engaging in their party crisis!
Catriona C Clark
Hawthorn Drive, Banknock, Falkirk
Many people will have been confused yesterday by headlines declaring that the doors in Europe have either been opened for Nicola Sturgeon or slammed in her face. Given the First Minister has decided to adopt a leadership role in this crisis, and has cross party support in the Scottish Parliament, can she please clarify what the situation actually is, and whether there is actually any scope for exploration of ideas going forwards? Saying she was “listened to” doesn’t tell us a great deal.
There seem to be a number of commentators putting a lot of faith in this “inverse Greenland” option, suggesting that this might be appropriate for Scotland. The difference is that both Greenland and the Faroe Islands have a whopping great ocean between them and their mother country, Denmark. We may have Hadrian’s Wall, but unless we employ an army of Polish bricklayers to build it up a bit, it cannot be expected to perform a similar function.
What we need to know, and quickly, is whether there is any substance to any of this. If there isn’t, then Scotland’s interests can be best served by getting 100 per cent behind a UK-wide negotiating effort to get us the strongest possible deal out of all this.
Taybridge Terrace, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
Teachers accused by a pupil rightly have anonymity before any charge to protect them from the devastating consequences of malicious accusations. After the irresponsibility shown by both the police and the BBC in the “great celebrity witchhunt” the time has clearly come for a statutory ban on the naming of suspects.
It is not fair to the likes of Cliff Richards, Paul Gambaccini, Leon Brittan and Lord Bramall when police investigations drag on for years and prosecutors faff around.
I believe suspects should remain anonymous before they are charged unless a judge can be persuaded there is a compelling reason for their names to be published.
This would strike a balance between the right of innocent people not to have their reputations irreparably tarnished and our right to be informed about police investigations.
(Rev Dr) John Cameron
Howard Place, St Andrews
Who knows best?
The Scottish Government is no doubt sincere in its promises to those who have suffered from child abuse in Scotland that the inquiry they have set up will uncover the truth.
How sad, then, to see that the SNP’s controlling instincts nevertheless cannot be held in check on this matter (“Expert quits ‘doomed’ child abuse inquiry in protest over independence”, 29 June).
It must be deeply troubling for all concerned to hear that Professor Michael Lamb has felt he has no choice but to resign from the inquiry because of interference and micro-management from the Scottish Government that is causing delays and undermining the inquiry’s proper pursuit of the truth.
The SNP government deny everything, of course, but then they would. For the SNP it is second nature to seek to manage all good or bad news about anything in Scotland. They simply do not understand how a proper inquiry, consultation or analysis of any aspect of Scottish life can proceed without their heavy hand on the tiller. For a subject as sensitive as historical child abuse it is simply unforgivable for the Scottish government to try to influence the operation of this public inquiry through the SNP’s usual we-know-best approach.
West Linton, Peeblesshire