WHY does the outcome an advisory referendum held two years ago under very different circumstances have to override the overwhelming rejection of the Brexit Agreement by the House of Commons ?

I have no sympathy for Theresa May in her humiliation last night when MPs overwhelmingly rejected her Brexit deal, but I am greatly concerned about what is happening to democracy in the country as a result of the legislation and attitude towards parliament of the present government.

After ruling out a second referendum on Brexit on the grounds that it is now an issue of domestic policy and no longer a constitutional issue, Theresa May went on to say that “this is a debate about our economy and security, the livelihoods of our constituents and the future for our children and the generations to come. It goes to the heart of our constitution, and no-one should forget that it is a democratic process that has got us to where we are today”.

Unfortunately the Mother of Parliaments does not have a written constitution setting out the fundamental structure of government and its relationship with its citizens, as exists in almost every country in the world.

Although the UK does not have a constitution it has a lot of the trappings as it is headed by a constitutional monarchy that awards honours on behalf of an empire that no longer exists.

This situation may be about to change: according to the Defence Secretary, after Brexit UK could once more become a true global player, extending its presence east of Suez and in the Caribbean with an important role for the armed forces.

He also predicted that Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Caribbean states and nations across Africa will soon look to the UK for moral, military and global leadership. Following reports that he has suggested firing paintballs to deter Spanish ships from trespassing in Gibraltar’s waters, we may have to wait some time for this to happen.

In the real world, after Brexit government ministers will be able to use statutory instruments to amend both primary and secondary legislation as the minister considers appropriate to prevent, remedy or mitigate any failure of retained EU law to operate effectively.

The Prime Minister is secure in post for at least a year and the government for more than three years with powers under the Brexit Act to virtually bypass our elected representatives in parliament, a sad reflection on the sorry state of democracy in the UK.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I WATCHED the BBC’s Andrew Neil programme to hear the comments on the Brexit vote and was, like Kevin McKenna, sorry to see that Ian Blackford’s response was ended before it began because of the BBC returning to the studio. Only by rapid channel-hopping was I able to catch some of what Ian Blackford had to say.

I have previously written to The National about the BBC’s disregard for Scotland and its people. Perhaps if we have any comments to make they should be directed to the BBC, BBC Newswatch or any other body that offends us.

Indeed, if we feel strongly about something, by all means send a letter to The National but also to other newspapers whose readers may be swayed and converted by our comments as long as the content is constructive and not just a bleat for the sake of it.

They may, or may not, run with any correspondence we send. It’s nevertheless worth a try.

Drew Hannah

PERHAPS with the benefit of hindsight, the two-year Brexit shenanigans resulting in Theresa May’s historical defeat in parliament on Tuesday evening should have been tackled differently. Even two years ago, a proper assessment or enquiry being made public and published could have resulted in a meaningful parliamentary vote by putting an informative exercise to the UK public with the pros and cons exposed. Then the public, politicians and the Prime Minister would have been fully aware of the details of resultant complications of the whole exercise.

But it now looks as though this scandalous scenario is not going to end soon. Further complications are looming on the horizon, mostly due to an intransigent Prime Minister ignoring emerging factors in her own party, along with others, resulting with an extraordinary defeat to then eventually allow her to be quoted as a historical legend, for the wrong reasons. Something comes to mind about holes being dug deeper.

Perhaps the unelected Lords could have made a useful but earlier contribution instead of leaving it to the last minute, too.

W D Mill Irving

SHERLOCK Holmes said, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” May will win the no-confidence vote simply because the DUP has to keep the golden goose on life support and therefore there is only one option left for Theresa May: prevaricate until we crash out of the EU.

She is still the Prime Minister, and all the wishful thinking about delaying or revoking Article 50 or having another EU referendum etc cannot happen without her agreement.

Businesses are already leaving. Tata are moving substantial Jaguar Landrover jobs abroad in a massive blow to the economy, and that’s just the beginning.

The secret letters giving goodness knows what kind of assurances post-Brexit to Nissan and Toyota must surely lie in tatters. The only question that remains now is whether leaving with no deal is sheer incompetence or planned.

Mike Herd