Trade is sweet

On your letters page of 23 January, Bill McLean suggests (regarding the Cadbury takeover) that "Birmingham's crime, like Scotland's, was in not being London", and George McMillan says we should protect British jobs and "should defy the EU". Then comes a real chuckle when Jim Carson complains about "how little power we (have] in Scotland to decide our own destiny".

All that was missing was the motto: "Xenophobians of the north, unite!"

The fact is that the Scottish people are fully represented, some say over-represented, in Westminster and Brussels, and with an amount of local government unequalled anywhere in the world.

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It may be difficult to understand but Scotland is part of a British community which is, in turn, part of a wider European community which has to trade in one big, wide world. We take their cheap goods and they take our expensive ones. Or, to make it even simpler, we give them our jobs and they give us their jobs. And if allowed to do its work properly, this system permits every single consumer on earth to live as cheaply as possible.

That's why all responsible governments, short of drawing up the portcullis, are powerless to act. If we declare our independence from each other, as every xenophobe wants us to do, then the end of our modern economy is definitely nigh.


Paisley Drive