THE result of the Swedish election is yet another rejection of neoliberal economics and its proponents refusing to accept responsibility for the breakdown in consensus politics throughout Europe and the US.

Of course, the usual apologists are wringing their hands in dismay that they have been rumbled by the electorate and are adopting Claudius’s attitude to Hamlet’s lack of co-operation: “How is it that the clouds still hang on you?”

The god of free trade which is worshipped by European and UK politicians has provided benefits such as placing at risk hundreds of jobs at Dundee’s Michelin factory due to the fear of “mislabelled inferior Asian tyres from being dumped on the UK market” (Scots job fears as imports put brakes on Michelin orders, September 11). This joins many other benefits like the imposition of austerity and the Common Fisheries Policy which we are all grateful for.

READ MORE: No majority in Sweden means uncertainty and power struggles

Yes, the EU has introduced better working practices etc, but I question whether we need the EU’s wisdom and egalitarianism to think of them and introduce them for ourselves. As I said in a previous letter it’s a package deal which we, the electorate, must not challenge but accept in total or not at all.

Well, the time has come when many have weighed the pros and cons of neoliberalism and decided to reject it, leaving a vacuum in politics which is being fought over by far-right and far-left political ideals.

Only obdurate and short-sighted EU politicians can fail to understand this yet because their raison d’etre is self-preservation, they push blindly on, refusing to recognise that their neoliberal economics are endangering the post-World War Two co-operation between nations. So it is that politicians like Tony Blair, whose collaboration with George Bush led to the mass movement of refugees which is causing instability in Europe, is listened to when he criticises Jeremy Corbyn for damaging the Labour Party. Similarly, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnston and Jacob Rees-Mogg are successfully distorting the genuine concerns about EU policies held by many voters, to further their political ambitions.

The solution, in my view, is for the EU to revise or reject its adherence to neoliberal policies, accept its unpopularity and the dangers it is posing and negotiate a new way of running EU. We have reached a “to be or not to be” moment … aye, that’s the rub.

Lovina Roe

READ MORE: Swedish results confirm end of centrism, there's no way back

I FOUND the Sunday National informative and inspiring, especially page 15 (Purge the plastic, September 9).

I find all plastic for food wasteful. It harms the produce and the planet – plastic filmed trays for mushrooms! People who do not wish for any reason to buy plastic-clad kilos of potatoes or carrots have only plastic bags to select from when they choose from the “loose” produce section.

Whatever happened to paper … or jute? McGregor Balfour (Textiles) the Jute Company already supply bags, squares, nets for unstable earth, plant pots AND delivery packaging for online shopping.

I attended a talk on jute by the company’s Sandra Thomson on August 31. She said that at first supermarkets (Tesco) resisted the idea of sturdy jute shopping bags with their logo on them. Would they go farther under customer pressure? I am glad you have taken this step. Effective together.

Barbara Addison

READ MORE: Packets without plastic: why the Sunday National is joining the fight​

PETER Craigie (Letters, September 11) is correct to point towards the impressive infrastructure of our Nordic neighbours. As is often the case, there is much we can learn from them when discussing the possibility of a bridge to Ireland.

Indeed, Norway is at present embarking on the largest infrastructure project in the country’s history. Dubbed the “Coastal Highway”, it aims to eliminate the need for ferry services altogether along the fjords of the west coast. There are no fewer than seven ferry crossings across the current network, and with many of the fjords along the route too wide or deep for conventional infrastructure, innovative alternatives have had to be found instead. One such example is the construction of a 16-mile under-sea tunnel connecting Stavanger and Haugesund, reaching depths of more than 390 metres below sea level – making it both the deepest and longest under-sea road tunnel in the world. Another section of the route involves the proposal for a floating bridge, anchored to the shore at both ends.

By contrast, the North Channel between the Mull of Kintyre and Northern Ireland is 13 miles long and 200 metres deep. While such a crossing between Scotland and Ireland would not be without its challenges, it is by no means a “pipe dream”, as it has been described by some.

With political will and innovative thinking, there is no reason why we could not match the engineering strength demonstrated by our Scandinavian friends.

Euan Purchase

READ MORE: Letters, September 11

READ MORE: Letters: Bridge to Ireland is nothing but a pipe dream​