NOT only are Labour still playing with the fantasy that they can please the half of the party who voted to leave because they wanted to stop EU immigrants AND the half that wanted to remain – they are now extending that fantasy to include a non-specific customs union which can be sold to Europe in the next 12 months.

Presumably – along with all the other things that need sorting before March 2019 – Jeremy will outline a brand new customs union that gives all the benefits of the one we are leaving – the one he did NOT campaign for during the referendum – and explain how he will ensure closed borders for the xenophobes.

I think not.

Amanda Baker

LIAM Fox attacks businesses for supporting Labour’s approach to a customs union with the EU, whilst the Foreign Secretary blames the EU for the drop in the volume exports to Europe. Clearly, he is unaware of the imbalance between manufacturing and services in the UK economy which his government chooses to ignore. Meanwhile Mr Johnson, when asked by a BBC reporter for an indication of the new trade deals planned by the government which will supersede the 30 free-trade and 22 low-tariff deals we have at the moment, could only mention the USA, and waffled for two minutes after that.

A majority in Westminster now favours a customs union with the EU, leaving the far-right-wing European Research Group isolated. The government is on the back foot and it’s time they told the truth to the electorate: that leaving the EU without a free-trade deal (even if it means conceding some sovereignty) will damage business and bring significant hardship to the general population.

Mike Underwood

IT is disturbing that Jamie Mackie (Letters, February 27) accuses Frank Rodgers (Letters, February 26) of promulgating “conspiracy-theory nonsense”, without reflecting that he may well be guilty of believing his own preferred propaganda! The facts in Syria may be quite different from those Mr Mackie is deluged with by the Western media. Which country does he know of that would tolerate an armed rebellion without reacting?

The horrors of Ghouta continue on all sides but Mr Mackie should reflect on the fact that the Russians were invited to help by the Syrian Government while the Western-backed “moderate” terrorists are being used in an attempt to bring about illegal regime change. He must remember the last two Western-inspired Middle-East regime changes and the ongoing disasters they caused!

I’ll remind those who may take a more nuanced view of the disaster in Syria of the words of the Reverend Andrew Ashworth during the siege of Aleppo: “As long as the Western-backed al Qaeda terrorists are able to operate, there can and will be no peace in the city or country. Believe me, most Syrians are cheering their army on”. Would Mr Mackie rather Syria was run by al-Qaeda, al-Nusra front and Isis or Mr Assad, who is hated by the “freedom-loving and democratic” West, but did win the last popular election.

Bill McLean

IT is understandable and natural that we recognise the horrific events taking place in Syria; the loss of life has been appalling and tragic. But we should not be blinded to some basic facts about the nature of the conflict there, as I fear your recent correspondent Jamie Mackie has. I find it hard to believe that he, or anyone else, can be unaware of the regime-change agenda of the US (followed obediently by the UK and other Western powers).

The pattern of US intervention across the globe is quite clear: pick a country (preferably oil-bearing) that does not kowtow to “The Exceptional Nation” (Iraq and Libya are already destroyed, Syria partially, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea certainly in the sights), use any existing opposition groups and pour in some funding, arms, and CIA expertise (this latter has been well-documented in various countries for decades) to create violence and chaos.

It worked pretty well for them in Ukraine, where for a cost of only $5 billion the elected government fell, and US-friendly neo-Nazis took over. If only it had gone so well in Syria! After all the money, the weapons, the support for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, destruction of the country was well in hand, and what happens? The Russians spoil the whole thing. And Bashar al-Assad (fairly elected by the way), even more firmly in power than ever. But the US can still mess up this country, and at least partition it; it has essentially occupied the north-eastern 25 per cent of Syria (containing – what a surprise – most of the oil wells); and meanwhile the terrorists in East Ghouta and elsewhere are still well supported by us in the West.

In the media recently we hear lots about the attacks on civilians and infrastructure by the Syrian army and Russia, but almost nothing about the constant terrorist missiles launched from East Ghouta hitting Damascus and killing people daily. Our outrage is selective – the bombing of Mosul and Raqqa, though it entailed vast slaughter of civilians, did not make such a splash in the media, but then that was by US “precision” bombing. When it comes to foreign policy of any kind, just as in the independence case closer to home, media content in general is destitute of plausibility. It is time people learned to look beyond the main media sources in our country, for otherwise we will remain woefully, and dangerously, ill-informed.

Gordon Gallacher

I READ many letters from those opposed to EU membership and are quite vociferous in their opinion. My main concern is would they vote against Scottish independence if for one reason or another membership of the EU was part of the deal?

It may not be the kind of independence they may argue for, but surely getting out of the current union and being part of the EU is a whole sight better than being treated as an English shire?

Bryan Auchterlonie