THE Supreme Court in London will deliberate over the Scottish Parliament’s Continuity Bill on July 24 or 25. The purpose of this is to decide whether or not Holyrood has the competency to legislate on devolved matters after Brexit which would potentially override, or at least be in conflict with, the terms of the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

David Mundell is reported to have said that the UK Government would act in accordance with the court’s decision. However, almost every statement he has ever made about how the UK Government would deal with Scotland in the Brexit context has evaporated in the reality of what actually happened.

The latest elephant to walk into the room is Section 35 of the Scotland Act. This is because, even if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the Scottish Government, this clause would allow the UK Government to intervene and overrule the Scottish Government. It is difficult to believe that this would turn out to be anything other than another example of the evaporation of David Mundell’s meaningless assurance.

At a hustings meeting in Peebles during the last General Election campaign, I asked Mr Mundell what were the top three contributions he had made on behalf of Scotland during his time in the Cabinet of the UK Government. He said number one was his contribution to the Scotland Act.

It now appears that he was thinking of Section 35 in particular.

Dennis White

REGARDING Lesley Riddoch’s column (Is it OK for Scots to hope Anyone But England wins the World Cup?, July 5), in terms of football the obvious answer would be to have a GB team, but it is inevitable that as the footballing establishment requires four footballing authorities there will be rivalry within the UK, at least in terms of football, which incidentally favours England as it has by far the largest population.

I was happy to see Alf Ramsey’s English team of 1966 win the World Cup but happier to see Scotland crowned unofficial world champions in 1967. We are British but we are also Scottish, although unofficially so when it comes to the passport. I do not think there is any other country in the world which imposes on its people the impossibility of having to adopt multiple national identities simultaneously.

I would also suggest that in the absence of widely available authentic Scottish news sources, the unavoidable English mainstream media – with its often tub-thumping perspective – plays a large part in provoking, perhaps intentionally, a quite natural “support anyone but England” response among non-England fans within the UK.

Peter Gorrie

IN most countries, organising a demonstration on Facebook might get you a fine or, if you’re unlucky, a short jail sentence. But there is one place where it can actually help get you the death penalty.

In Saudi Arabia today there are 14 pro-democracy demonstrators who face execution after being caught up in protests against the royal family which turned violent. One of them, Mujtaba al Sweikat, was on his way to take up a place at the University of Western Michigan when he was arrested at one of the country’s airports. On his charge sheet the teenager, who was just 17 at the time, was accused of “supervising” a group on Facebook and “photographing the demonstrations, which is punishable according to the cybercrime bill”.

Another death row juvenile, Ali al Nimr, was convicted of “setting up a page on his Blackberry with over 800 people ... with the goal of inciting demonstrations by way of sending pictures of the demonstrations, their time/locations and inviting people to participate.”

Not only were these children’s confessions of violence made after prolonged torture, but they were also denied access to lawyers and a fair trial. What’s even more disturbing is that British police helped arrest them. Human rights group Reprieve has warned that training from British officers is equipping Saudi police with skills that could be used to “identify individuals who later go on to be tortured or subjected to other human rights abuses”.

Britain’s secretive training of foreign regimes with dubious human rights records was heavily criticised in a parliamentary report last year. The Home Affairs Select Committee found that the College of Policing had generated more than £8.5 million in revenue through international work which included training in forensics, child abuse investigations and counter-terrorism. Those swept along by the Arab Spring who took to the streets of Saudi Arabia in 2011 may seem like democrats to us, but to the authorities there they are terrorists, pure and simple.

MPs were told that hundreds of Saudi Arabian police officers had been trained by the UK, but specific areas were not gone into so as not to identify Saudi “areas of weakness”. However, there were plans to widen the training from forensics to cybersecurity, mobile phone analysis and CCTV systems. Does this mean people like young Mujtaba are being spied on through social media with the help of British police? Go on to the Reprieve website to sign the petition against their beheading.

B McKenna

WHEN Arlene Foster was in Cowdenbeath with her disgusting politics she was quoted as saying that she was in favour of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. That is enough for me. If she is in favour it must be a bad idea for us.

Ronald Livingstone McNeill

WHY do so- called celebrities feel their opinion on political matters is worthy of note? Fame came their way by a different route. Perhaps, to avoid the Twitter opinion chatter which they instigate in the first place, JK Rowling in particular should stick to her trade ... FICTION!!!

E Ahern
East Kilbride