I’LL ‘fess up. I sat on Tuesday and watched a lot of the Westminster debates and the crucial votes, my excuse being I’ve got a nasty cold and wasn’t good for anything else. So, wrapped up, hot drink by my side, I saw a wee bit of history: the rUK government held in contempt. And I couldn’t help myself but savour a moment or two of schadenfreude.

After all, that government holds Scotland, our people, Holyrood and our elected representatives in contempt on virtually a daily basis. So the irony of our MPs being able to vote them down, not once but thrice, wasn’t lost on me. Our MPs excelled themselves from their planned speeches, invoking Winnie Ewing, reminding us of Scotland’s EU contributions and standing on the world stage, to interjections well placed and causing maximum discomfort.

But the greater discomfort must be for those constituents of the Missing 13 – those 13 Tory MPs who abandoned the chamber the moment the SNP leader stood up to speak. It was not merely disrespectful to fellow parliamentarians; it was a dereliction of duty to their constituents. It also demonstrated a lack of political understanding: the majority of voters here chose to Remain. Their actions then are the actions of a feeble few who continue to dance to London airs and graces, perhaps in the hopes of future grandees’ titles. They cannot have it both ways, ignoring their local and Scottish-wide voters for the greater good of whom? For those outwith Scotland in rUK? And when you add the fact that the Missing 13 had voted to keep the legal information secret and thus make their final decisions and cast their votes without seeing all the evidence,

it’s strange behaviour for public servants meant to serve their constituents.

Call me a cynic, but could it be something to do with the legal information now accessible that can see the potential for a pathway that “the GB element of the customs union should fall away, leaving only NI in the EU customs territory as the minimum necessary to achieve the objectives in Article 1”.

Now if that could apply to Northern Ireland, what of Scotland, independence, borders? Ah, happy days ahead, Unionexit, culminating in independence.

Selma Rahman

THE First Minister has again implicitly accepted that Westminster Tories have a “right” to stop Scotland from having an independence referendum

In 2017 Nicola Sturgeon, panicked by the Tories’ insignificant gains, rolled back on calling a second referendum. Ever since she has been playing into Tory hands and not met their cat-calling and repetitive banal statements of “grievance, grievance, grievance”. The Tories sound like half-crazed Daleks high on ecstasy.

Instead the First Minster seems to have decided to become the leading voice of the Blairite neoliberal interventionists. She has surrounded herself with sycophants and yes-men.

This course may be fatal for independence. Had an independence plebiscite been called just after the EU referendum for just before the Brexit date, momentum would have built up for Scotland to leave the UK and stay in the EU. By focusing on stopping a hard Brexit the First Minster had not exploited the turmoil of the last two years.

Far from adding to the Brexit turmoil, independence would provide certainty of remaining within the EU, taking advantage of the business opportunities that would bring. Instead Sturgeon has gone down the Dead Parrot route of a “people’s referendum”.

The Bank of England published an analysis warning that the UK could face economic collapse and chaos as the result of a “no-deal” Brexit. According to its “worst-case scenarios,” gross domestic product could fall as much as 10.5 percent over a five-year period, the official rate of unemployment could nearly double to 7.5 percent, inflation could rise to 6.5 percent, house prices could fall by 30 percent, commercial property prices could collapse by up to 48 percent, and the pound could fall to parity with the US dollar. There is no precedent for this in the post-war world.

The current SNP leadership seems more interested in process and not principle.

Alan Hinnrichs

THIS Tory Brexit now requires that EU and non-EU inward migration will be restricted or even reversed, to both the detriment of Society and the economy across the UK, and furthermore, it will now be fully dependent upon future bilateral trade agreements, effectively reducing humanity to a freely tradeable commodity. It is perhaps therefore of no surprise that the UK Government paper on migration will not be ready until the Brexit votes are over.

Scotland needs to move forward to the 2030s and not be hobbled by the UK Government with the mindsets of the 1830s, and with Scottish institutions acknowledging the legacy of slavery, perhaps the

UK Government can be convinced their inhuman Brexit path is not one to go down, even with a self-applied blindfold.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

NICOLA is right again about the Yes campaign sticking to the path of winning a referendum of the Scottish people on the independence issue. We can, and we will be successful in this as people see the Westminster mess fall apart is front of our eyes. However, we must insist that this time the rules are properly applied. So let us have another referendum, but let us insure it is run properly in accordance to electoral law.

Andy Anderson

A RADIO station in Cleveland, Ohio has decided to remove Baby it’s Cold Outside from its playlist.

It may no longer be politically correct, but it would certainly be politically appropriate as a Song for Brexit. Or would that be Swansong?

James Stevenson