HENRY McLeish says it all about a Tory Britain losing its way (What is the point of a Britain which has simply lost its way?, The National, January 6), yet he championed British Labour under Jeremy Corbyn to reverse Brexit and keep the country in the single market and customs union.

A day later McLeish, half in-half out old Labourite, got his answer. Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend a meeting of the opposition parties at Westminster to coordinate tactics. McLeish deflated again by his own Labourites!

Perhaps he will now realise that it is not a Tory UK that had lost its way but the UK per se as represented by Tory and Labour. He must know that the proposal to keep the country at least in the single market and the customs union to assist Scotland’s economy came over a year ago from the SNP government!

Labour is a hopeless case. Its present leader personifies this – a mumbling phrase-maker, a spouter of one-liners who orders his party to abstain on key issues in Westminster. He is a non-strategist on Brexit, in other words clueless.

John Edgar

IN his article in Saturday’s edition, Henry McLeish outlined his frustrations over Tory Britain and his aspirations for 2018.

He hopes that Jeremy Corbyn and UK Labour adopt a strongly pro-EU agenda – rather unlikely as Corbyn’s tactic of being vague on the issue of Brexit has been successful so far. McLeish then postulates that a significant Commons defeat for the Tories could be followed by a General Election which a pro-EU Corbyn will win and save Britain by adopting policies compatible with the Scottish electorate!

It is all, I am afraid, a pie built by Mr McLeish in the sky. Corbyn will not run an election campaign on the basis of staying in the single market unless core English and Welsh voters change their minds on freedom of movement. This is most unlikely. However, if a coalition government keeps out the Tories after the next election, the minority partners, probably SNP and LibDems, could force another referendum to try to keep us in the single market. That must be our best hope. Sadly, a Tory win is more likely.

As for a future Westminster government adopting policies which suit Scotland, again I believe Mr McLeish is guilty of thinking wishfully rather than analysing in a logical way. When Labour does buck the trend and get in, the phrase “Tory Light” usually describes their approach. And any policies which suit Scotland are liable to reversal when the Tories return to power.

David Crines