IT seems around 80 Tory MPs have declared they will vote against any implementation of the official Chequers plan for Brexit if that can be agreed with the EU. I listened carefully to Sunday’s news reports but did not hear any counter proposals.

As I understand it the Chequers plan takes us out of the EU but we will continue to conform to all the EU’s standards and rules, and as such will continue to be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. We may have access to the single market and be able to close our borders to EU migrants but in all else we will effectively remain within the EU. Maybe this is what the populations of England and Wales voted for but I suspect it is not. Scotland, of course voted decisively to remain.

In the meantime we press ahead with negotiations based on the Chequers plan in the knowledge that there are likely to be homegrown troubles for any final agreement. The Labour party are something of a mixture in what they say. I defy anyone to make sense of what their views are likely to be, but it seems that, if the Tory government can reach an agreement with the EU based on their present proposals, they will require to have 70 or 80 Labour MPs to go through the government lobby with them to get the deal approved. That might just be a bridge too far.

It does seem more and more likely that in March next year we will crash out of the EU without a deal and find ourselves in the cold world outside without any trading agreements with anybody. The Prime Minister has recently visited many of the old Commonwealth countries touting for trade agreements but as I understand it they do not appear to be biting our hand off to set them up. If we stick with the EU standards that will preclude the much prized deal with the USA, where their food standards will not be acceptable and our health service may not be open for their exploitation.

Of course it may be that we will have another referendum to see whether we should take the plunge on whatever can be agreed, or draw back and remain within the EU, but that will be in the teeth of rabid opposition from the most vociferous newspapers and many MPs. That may be just as difficult to get through as any other course of action.

The saying goes that we live in interesting times. In the meantime we, in Scotland, await the outcome. Regardless of what that might be, there will probably be another decision to be made. I think there are increasing numbers here that are fed up with these shenanigans in the House of Commons and are coming round to the idea that we might do better in another way.

DS Blackwood

I ALWAYS thought Michael Fry was a Tartan Tory, but his latest column exposes him as a Tartan Trumpist (At a time when everyone wants to put up taxes, who’ll speak for restraint?, September 11).

While most Scots who support independence do so to escape from Tory policies and unqualified capitalism, he says that the current Westminster government are too left-wing! This begs the question: why, then, does he support independence? Clearly not for a fairer society. His would be a Scotland where big business run the government, where the 18th-century ideas of Adam Smith are accepted, where some continue to live in castles while others sleep on the streets.

Personally, I would rather continue to live in a united Britain than an independent Scotland of the kind envisaged by Michael Fry. Fortunately, he is a lone ranter, bleating: “Is there nobody in Scotland ready to argue we must always take care with our tax and spend … nobody at all?” Certainly not I, and certainly not the greater independence movement, which is progressive and forward-looking.

Right vs left arguments are best left until after independence of course, so as not to divide the movement. But with friends like Michael Fry on our side, who needs enemies?

Jeff Fallow

READ MORE: When all want to put up taxes, who will speak for restraint?​

MICHAEL Fry’s advocating of flatter taxation is as outdated as a belief in a flat earth. Employees are taxed at source, no choice. Most self-employed use local accountants to minimise take; move up the wealth scale and the big bean-counters act both as auditors and consultants ensuring a very different rate, hence mega tax havens. Wealth creation and its usage by individuals, industry and governments cuts a wide swath across the planet. Taxation being one means of affecting our behaviour, unless tax systems bear a more enlightened relationship to the environmental damage we create they may soon become meaningless as a method of regulation.

Iain R Thomson

WHILE I’m sure that the Gin Cooperative is doing good work for the industry (Gin day will showcase Scottish distillers, September 10), it is in fact not a co-operative but a private company wholly owned by Natalie Reid.

Although use of the word “co-operative” in a company name is restricted to bona fide co-operatives by Companies House, a quirk in the regulations makes it possible for anyone simply to omit the hyphen and use “cooperative” in their name. It is hoped that this loophole will be closed sooner rather than later to avoid confusing the public as to what is and is not a genuine co-operative.

Martin Meteyard
Co-operative Business Consultants, Bonnyrigg

READ MORE: International Scottish Gin Day will reach 100 million people

IT’S an excellent idea to bring along an item for a food bank to any marches, rallies or meetings (Letters, September 10), and I hope that all organisers will now include this in their information – especially for the Edinburgh All Under One Banner rally on October 6, which we are all anticipating eagerly.

Jean Hall
Pensioners for Independence

READ MORE: Letters: Let's support food banks while marching for indy

I THINK that RJ Bulloch’s idea is brilliant. It would help share the load of buying items desperately needed by the unfortunate in over society over a large number, people rather than the few who tend to give on a regular basis.

George McKnight
West Calder