SO Prime Minister May has now made it crystal clear that the choice she seeks is a bad deal or no deal, with the UK Parliament having no say on any other options and the Scottish Parliament having no say at all.

The bad-deal option results in no change to our net payments to the EU over the next decade, but with little or no say in the rules and regulations. Global markets are fractionally opened to the UK, but all deregulation to grow exports incurs friction barriers on exports to the EU, resulting in no net gain.

The no-deal option does, however, further open global markets to the UK, but automatically applies higher friction barriers to exports to the EU, as well as a ban on any new contracts between UK and EU until UK/EU accounts are settled, so like no deal, no net financial savings to the EU for a decade. All essential regulation would be made law by Westminster alone, with massive deregulation required across the UK to try and get a low net financial loss for this Brexit scenario, taking the UK back to the standards of the 1970s, with similar democratic deficits.

First Minister Sturgeon fortunately has made it clear that the timing of indyref2 will have to consider the threats of Prime Minister May either to put the UK economy on hold in the parlous state it’s already in, or to massively roll back regulation and democracy to the 1970s.

With 62% wishing to hold coherent ties with the EU and only 55% wishing to remain as an equal partner of the UK within the EU, it is not clear how many would now vote to remain dominated by UK whim, and out of the EU, with massive deregulation and the subsequent poverty/deaths.

As I listen to the many No voters, and voters who voted Tory (or LibDem) to “stop the SNP” at the last General Election, I reluctantly would put the number willing to accept UK diktat with no parliamentary control across the UK at 30% to 35%. As this group controls most of the mainstream media, it will likely remain firm, no matter what May does.

What matters, therefore, is what First Minister Sturgeon does. So, there is a need to diverge Scotland from the rest of the UK, so that this generally ageing pro-UK rump will have to vote for being worse off in an English-dominant UK.

One big issue amongst many is the funding of care homes dealing with dementia, other mental health problems, and other age-related problems, for the people of Scotland. Perhaps dealing with this human problem now is the best way to deal with Tory rule without parliamentary control, and to lay another piece of foundation for self-determination.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

THE absence of a written constitution has determined that the UK Government will rely on conventions and on precedent for resolution of matters involving differences of opinion or interpretation. Both of these are vitally to be respected.

Referring to the recent altercation in the House, the basic issue related to the convention established as was known and (hitherto) accepted by the House that any decision of government affecting any of the areas of responsibility devolved to Holyrood could not be effected without the clear consent of the devolved Scottish Government. That convention was deliberately to be ignored as irrelevant in relation to the Withdrawal Bill’s proceeding. Clearly this is to be done to facilitate the escape of the Conservative government from a mess or dilemma of its own making. Equally clear was the reliance of the Speaker on parliamentary convention in dictating the action he took. In other words, the policy of Westminster is to abide by conventions only when such action suits its particular purpose. Not for the first time has the Scottish position been deliberately disregarded.

The Conservatives by that behaviour have created a precedent which it is increasingly likely they will regret. The fact is that Westminster is now unfit for purpose, and this is being recognised by a daily increase in the numbers of those supporting Scottish freedom from that unwanted, distrusted system which, if it ever did, has certainly ceased now to act in the best interest of Scotland.

J Hamilton

CLAIMS by Theresa May that a co-called “Brexit dividend” will help pay for a boost to NHS spending in England worth £20 billion a year within five years are highly disingenuous. The Tory chair of the health committee, Sarah Wollaston MP, is absolutely right in calling this claim “tosh”.

The UK will continue to pay into the EU through the transition until the end of 2020 , and will pay £20bn of the “divorce bill” through to 2028. In addition, the UK Government has committed to keep EU funding for agricultural subsidies, research and development and other key areas at the same level in the short-term.

These are set figures so it will be at least 10 years before any so-called “Brexit dividend”, if it were ever to materialise, is to be realised. Add to that, if the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts are accurate, the public finances are set to be £15bn a year worse off by 2021, equivalent to £300m a week.

Ms May must come clean over whether she intends to finance this increased spend through increased taxes, increased borrowing, or a combination of the two. Interestingly, if taxes are set to rise, which they will clearly have to, it is staggering hypocrisy for the Tories to have attacked the Scottish Government’s boosting of the NHS in Scotland through progressive tax changes, and then look to hike taxes themselves.

Alex Orr

IT is noticeable that the £350 million a week touted by the Leave Campaign has suddenly become £175 million a week. Even this figure is wrong because the true number is £120m to £135m per week. Even these numbers take no account of the benefits of the single market and the customs union or the inward investment because of our membership. Isn’t it time the Leave campaign apologised for all the lies they told?

Mike Underwood