I SEE the Leavers are accusing the government of scaremongering by informing the public of their actions associated with the stockpiling of food, medicines and most other essentials to cope with the forthcoming national emergency. I guess what they really mean is why start telling the truth now!

But those of us brought up during the Second World War know what to expect. Then we relied heavily on the North Atlantic convoys with their atrocious loss of life and the generosity of allies to keep us supplied. You see, it is not only a one-off exercise because the supplies must keep coming to continually replenish the stockpile as we eat into it. And how do you make sure that the whole population gets a fare share? That is an easy one – rationing! The government is probably also commissioning the printing of ration books to have them ready. That is the best way to ensure that everyone gets their four ounces of butter etc every week. You see, this will probably go on for a long time – last time it lasted from 1939 into the 1950s.

This situation also can provide opportunities as well, of course. Enterprising individuals are probably even now setting up the black market in all forms of goods. It should be said there are two types of rationing. The bulk of the populace must rely on their ration books, but there will be no limit to what you can have – food, medicines or whatever – as long as you are well-heeled.

The foregoing is not intended as scaremongering. That is how it was. I am only surprised that it is Leave voters who are complaining, as we are often told that they knew what they were voting for.

Robert Johnston

IS the retention of the replacement for the EU Structural and Investment Funds not just par for the course, and as usual deliberately buried, sneaked out during the holidays (Fund to replace EU money will be in Westminster’s hands, July 28)? And does the intention to “engage the devolved administrations” mean the kind of engagement we have (NOT) had over Brexit?

Before the usual suspects start howling “manufactured grievance”, let us look at the recent record of trustworthiness. It must be more than two years now since farmers were enraged that a grant from the EU specifically to correct an imbalance in support for our Scottish hill farmers was mostly retained – and still is to this day – at Westminster, with the intended recipients receiving only 20% of it. Are we really expected to believe that under Westminster disbursement Scotland will still get the larger share we are currently eligible for from the EU – about 17% as opposed to England’s 10%?

Some specifics may help those who are still reluctant to accept its threat to Scotland and our parliament. Westminster is determined to grab power over food standards and protections, not just chlorinated chicken, GM crops etc. Every leader except David Cameron asked for his country’s geographical protections to be included when the now defunct TTIP agreement with USA was under consideration. Trump has already made clear that on a trade deal, there must be no restrictions. So he is demanding that Scotch whisky should be redesignated as any whisky matured in a cask anywhere for one year, instead of as now, three years in a cask in Scotland. What will that do to our international whisky trade, which is worth billions to our economy and employs so many? What else will no longer be geographically protected? Scottish smoked salmon, Stornoway black pudding etc?

They also want to control environmental issues. At the moment we can stop fracking through planning powers etc, but after the grab Westminster will be able to allow it whether we like it or not. How do all those hundreds, perhaps thousands, of folk with homes above the uncharted rabbit warren of old mines feel about that?

Already, Westminster has damaged our ability to lead the world in renewables by refusing support for carbon capture, reducing or even withdrawing support for wave and tidal research that saw some companies fail, and hitting small, local, retrospective solar installations on existing properties by making them virtually uneconomic. Perhaps it is time for someone to list in detail the effects of this grab on the lives of each and every Scot.

We are talking about powers that Holyrood exercised and shared with the EU, without any locus for Westminster. Surely there is no need for the case currently at the Supreme Court. In simplest terms, the Withdrawal Bill was passed ahead of being required, to ensure that all powers shared by Westminster and the EU would revert on day one of Brexit to Westminster, and the Continuity Bill was passed at Holyrood for exactly the same purpose, so that powers previously shared with the EU would revert to Holyrood on day one. Anything else reduces devolution and is therefore a power grab.

Besides, can the Supreme Court really reach a just conclusion when Lord Keen is so closely linked by his past as well as the present to the party in power who brought the case? Should he not have recused himself?

L McGregor

DOUGLAS Turner (Letters, July 28) is right to point out that the Liberals were also behind the no-confidence motion which brought down the Callaghan Government in 1979. Why they should escape the opprobrium heaped on the SNP by Labour people is a mystery, especially as they had an agreement to support Callaghan whereas the SNP had no such commitment.

Mr Turner is wrong, however, in describing Brian Wilson as the MP who co-ordinated the anti-devolution faction in the Labour party. The odious Wilson was not yet in Parliament because he was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1979 election here in Inverness (he came fourth). Tam Dalyell was the principal MP opponent but he and Wilson combined to lead the Labour No group in the devolution referendum campaign. Interestingly, Tam Dalyell claimed in his autobiography that John Smith, who was given the task of piloting the Devolution Bill through Parliament, did not really believe in it but did his duty as a good advocate.

Andrew M Fraser