I DON’T think Nicola Sturgeon should be persuaded to call for a second EU referendum either (FM is right not to back a second EUref – it sets a dangerous precedent, The National, August 7). In her article, Cat Boyd correctly identifies the trap doing so would set for independence supporters: “By signing up to a second referendum, Sturgeon would accept the principle that national independence requires not one vote, but two.”

Ms Boyd is also correct to point out that the EU is using every means at its disposal to prevent Brexit as it has “put the blocks on any trade deals, refuse to take anything seriously, ridicule the other team’s negotiators, and so on”. She reminds us of the bludgeoning effect of Project Fear being used against Brexit and I despair that EU supporters don’t recognise this tactic which only benefits the EU oligarchy and is intended to frustrate any challenge to its existence and its continued “ruthless, high-handed” control of its member countries.

I agree with Ms Boyd that the EU leadership represents “post-democracy” with imposed fiscal rules and technocratic governors taking over from (for all their flaws) elected politicians” and this overlordship was known to and accepted by those politicians who set up the project from its inception as.

This is the true danger of succumbing to pressure for a second EUref. If Theresa May were to allow Scotland to have a second indyref, if we won it and if we applied to join the EU as an independent county and were accepted, we would, in my opinion, have surrendered our democracy to bureaucrats.

We would become a member state of a federal Europe ruled by people we did not vote for, could not vote for and perhaps would not have voted for. It would make no difference and we would not be permitted to leave.
Lovina Roe

IT’S amazing how Tories like Liam Fox can now tell the state and those within it that we’re now looking at a 60/40 likelihood of a no-deal Brexit (Fox ridiculed for embarrassing Brexit U-turn, The National, August 8). It’s worse when the “official opposition” acquiesces.

Amazing because the minister in question takes the stance that this is all Europe’s fault, trying to project that Westminster has done nothing other than “negotiate”, which it really hasn’t, “in good faith”, which it rarely ever does (power grab anyone?).

The reality of the situation is simple: the EU was literally founded on the four freedoms, untrumpeted in large part for much of its history, noted in the Treaty of Rome (1957) and most recently affirmed in the Lisbon Treaty a decade ago.

That Liam Fox or any within the Westminster bubble might think these can be discarded or even “loosened” simply because London desires it have little grasp on reality. In fact it is easily arguable that they can only be described as deluded beyond the point of arrogant stupidity. Such a stance, and such a claim that the EU is then the obstacle in negotiations can only be founded in the comfort of supreme ignorance.

Even before Brexit was a thought, before the referendum, before the voting disaster of 2016, this was their declared stance; it was there for anyone to read who troubled themselves to do so. It is, literally, built into the EU charter.

For the European Union to soften on any of these four “essentials” would create its own demise, for why be in a “club” when others get the benefits without paying the membership. It’s a bit like Amazon Prime giving everybody next day shipping coupled to “deals” then wondering why its paying customer base drops off a cliff edge.

READ MORE: A former Scotsman editor blames Nicola Sturgeon for Brexit uncertainty

With that foreknowledge, the reality is simple – a Brexit which stays in the customs union, accepts regulatory alignment and moves forward, where essentially the best that might be hoped for would be no voice in Brussels, higher net payments, and just possibly removing the ECJ from the UK. Option two is plunging out, landing under WTO rules, and just hopefully avoiding a veto on any of our current trading arrangements on planet Earth, because we’ll really be starting again, from zero.

To put that in simple terms, essentially the UK will have to lay everything it does before the WTO, and anything it does can be objected to at anytime, by anyone. We are effectively looking at better than a hundred potential vetoes.

We can’t just just throw in the EU packet, we don’t produce Swiss cheese or Champagne, never mind what happens to our protected products status.

Those protected products, unless misread, that would be UK protection, which can be bartered as required, getting it recognised in any external market might take more negotiation.

As we’ve had little indication that the UK negotiating team have been working with the WTO to resolve these issues before the state crashes from the EU, we can only assume that the choices at present, for any rational individual, would seem to be either remaining in the EU or jumping from that Brexit cliff while hoping that the parachute (packed by a three-year-old) will actually open in time, knowing that even if it does, our best outcome will be two broken ankles.

Our worst outcome – splat?
Ashley MacGregor
via email

THERESA May, is on record as having said no to a second Scottish independence referendum. She is likely to repeat that refusal if our First Minister – with the all the authority of the democratically elected Scottish Government – proposes a indyref2 in the foreseeable future.

A court ruling has determined that a belief in Scottish independence is now protected in law.

It is bitterly ironic that the expression of such belief in a referendum is likely to be declared “illegal” by the United Kingdom government.
Billy Scobie