Well, so much for Nicola Sturgeon’s “positive” campaigning. The European Union referendum is now a choice, we are told, between remaining in the EU and an extreme right-wing Conservative government (Your report, 15 June).
Not surprisingly, this has been dubbed “Project MacFear” by Leave campaigners. I think they are only partly right, however, in claiming that Ms Sturgeon’s motive is to scaremonger, despite her earlier complaints that such tactics should not be adopted. Her refrain is only too familiar to us up here in Scotland who endured years of being told that our choice was between an independent Scotland and a “Tory-led” England.
Her attempts to characterise the issue as a choice between the EU and Boris Johnson may well strike a resonant note north of the Border. But it is clear – for example from the ITV debate – that such tactics would be likely to fall flat south of the Border and do nothing to support a “positive” case.
It sounds more to me as if Ms Sturgeon foresees a Brexit and is inflating the pipes in readiness for a second performance on a more familiar front. If we do leave the EU, I wonder if we will see then what we were promised and should be seeing now: Nicola Sturgeon “passionately” extolling the advantages of being a member of the EU and presenting a genuinely “positive” case?
Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh
The media constantly bemoan the tedium of the EU referendum – spare a thought for those of us in Scotland who have suffered this nonsense for years.
The Vote Leave side will lose, of course (unless the bookies are very much mistaken), since people will go for the status quo. But David Cameron has a lot to answer for, along with Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and John Swinney, in fondness for endless referendums. People just want to get on and enjoy life!
Clifford Road, North Berwick
I have been working, on a voluntary, unpaid basis, with EU migrants ever since the EU enlargement – long, long years. I am in daily contact with the migrants on the firing line, so to speak – not from high up offices of Messrs Gove, Johnson and Farage who use the migration as their principal bogey in their vastly exaggerated claims.
Please ask the farmers who gathers their crops in the fields of Lincolnshire and in the polytunnels of Perthshire and Angus, for rewards and under living conditions which are of no interest to the locals. Please ask the owners of small businesses who are happy to employ skilled workers with apprenticeship years behind their skills. Please ask the hospitality and tourism sector who is prepared to work for long hours for rewards which, again, are of no interest to the local population. Please ask the NHS why do they employ Czech doctors and nurses, and Polish dentists, for example.
Boris Johnson claims that the migrants from other EU countries take places which could be offered to, in his words, “engineers from India and China”. Can anybody fall for such ludicrous claims and trust this man who is interested only in his own career and would love to get another official residence, preferably in Downing Street?
Riselaw Crescent, Edinburgh
Many Unionists, fearful of the break-up of the UK in the event of a Leave vote, will be tempted to vote Remain. What is best for Scotland is what is best for the UK. Whether we are in the UK or not, the UK will be our largest trading partner and we will still be a satellite of the UK.
Our vote in the forthcoming referendum should be guided by what is best for the UK as a whole for decades to come; not just for speculators and corporations for next few years – what will make the UK a more dynamic, free and democratic global player in the long run.
The greatest threat to the Union is the economic stagnation and political instability probable in the eventuality that we remain part of an increasingly dysfunctional and authoritarian EU.
Oxford St, Edinburgh
Like many across the UK, I have already voted in the EU referendum, for Remain.
I trust Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond peruse The Scotsman letters pages; I’m sure their spin doctors do.
Therefore I’d like to make very clear here, doubtless in common with many who voted No in 2014 and vote Remain now, that I do not grant the SNP permission to use my EU vote to justify Indyref2.
The 23 June is about the UK’s EU membership. Nothing more. So, SNP hierarchy, read my lips: not in my name.
Royal Circus, Edinburgh
Alex Salmond again sets out his thinking on why a second Scottish independence referendum will follow a Brexit vote. He says it would logically happen in time to allow Scotland to stay in the EU as the rest of the UK negotiates the terms of its exit.
Claiming the SNP’s manifesto in the Scottish election gave them a mandate for this, he goes on to emphasise his point, saying: “There will be a Scottish referendum if and when the Scottish Parliament decides there should be one and there is nothing that David Cameron, Boris Johnson, or any combination of the two can do about that – that is just what will happen.”
Well, to clarify Mr Salmond, the Scottish Government has no mandate to hold a second independence referendum. The EU’s members would insist on Scotland re-applying for membership after departing from the rest of the UK, involving meeting the same criteria and agreeing the same commitments as other new entrant. Finally, any referendum called in Scotland without the prior agreement of the UK government would have no legal basis. Dream on Alex.
West Linton, Peeblesshire