GEORGE Kerevan, as always, presents us with an informed, logical and robustly argued piece of opinion (June 11), but I have to say this week that his core argument – that “May is smarter than you think” – ignores the elephant in that particular room, that the EU is not as stupid as would be necessary to allow George’s prognosis to come about.

He argues that May “and Philip Hammond are manoeuvring the UK by stealth into as close a Remain position as possible”, toward a “soft Brexit [taking] the form of a semi-permanent transition period, during which the UK goes on negotiating a final trade pact with the EU” while the “European Commission and Court of Justice will still set the rules but vital frictionless trade flows continue”.

I am certain there is no-one who would have difficulties with the principle of frictionless trade, not even Jacob Rees-Mogg, even to the point, it is reported today, to ending customs checks on at least EU goods. However, he and his fellow travellers in the European Research Group, or such as Aaron Banks and Nigel Farage (with or without Ukip) are unlikely to accept the European Commission setting the rules. For sure this group does not have a majority in the House of Commons, but it would be an instance where they could protest that the “political elite” have shown contempt for the opinion of the people in the EU referendum. That result might not have been as clear as we would like, but no matter, the decision was to leave, they will protest.

As for the Court of Justice, that is a red line for even the Prime Minister, and it is hard to see how she could backtrack on securing again control over our laws (as she would see it).

But what of the EU? First, it is a rule-driven organisation, so how much slack will it give the UK to ignore its rules or find a way round them without losing the privileges of membership? The whole essence of the single market is, after all, that all member states produce their goods and services under the same regulatory regime. How far can they allow one country to slip away from that without its exclusion?

Then there is Kerevan’s suggestion of a “semi-permanent transition period”. Perhaps he has forgotten that the UK wanted a transition of two years and got one year and nine months? Will the EU really be content to be “negotiating a final trade pact” with the UK on a “semi-permanent” basis, during which time the UK is not subject to freedom of movement, something other member states would like to see at least modified if not scrapped altogether? Has Michel Barnier nothing more valuable to do with his time than attempt to negotiate with David Davis, which must be like nailing jelly to a wall?

Certainly, political uncertainty is maximised just now, and no-one and nothing should be underestimated: neither May nor the EU.

Alasdair Galloway

GEORGE Kerevan will be telling us next that Bozo, the Fox, weasel Gove and Dracula Rees-Mogg are political geniuses who will run rings round the EU negotiators and will get an incredible deal AND set up Empire2.

Joe Wallace
Address supplied

AFTER reading your recent article on the proposed development by Flamingo Land, Scottish Enterprise and Iconic Leisure I was very disappointed in Mr Andy Miller’s view of the areas under threat.

I walk in Drumkinnon woods nearly every day and it’s one of the most peaceful places to enjoy any time of the year. In spring it’s a sea of bluebells and is enjoyed so much by locals and has been for years. I have never seen discarded household items etc anywhere in this area, and I have never felt unsafe walking here either.

Recently a beautiful video was made by the Friends of Drumkinnon Woods page on Facebook and you can see the beauty it holds. Drumkinnon Bay is also a gorgeous place and has been used for generations by families from here and further afield who like nothing better than a day in the beach with a picnic and a bucket and spade.

The riverbank is also a lovely walkway and I’m afraid to say I do not recognise the area as Mr Miller sees it at all. I’m sure thousands of others will agree with me. Free access for all to enjoy any time of the year.

Emma Mckerry

GREAT comment from Alf Baird (Website comments, June 11). He gives many examples of important and essential “hows”.

Despite the rise to nurses’ pay, which is well deserved (and sorry, felt this was a bit of a smokescreen), I am disappointed that yet again the elephant in the room got scant attention. The front-page headline of Monday’s National: “Sturgeon: There will be a vote on independence while I am FM” prompts the question how long will she be FM?

Let me reiterate, the SNP has been good for Scotland, but are you listening?

Grace Dunn