WITH a potential snap General Election to resolve Brexit, how should we vote if we have a left-leaning perspective yet live in a seat held by Conservatives, or in their grasp?

Whilst differing greatly on independence (and to some extent Brexit), SNP, Labour and LibDem manifestos would again share many similarities in their social and economic policies.

Of 13 seats currently held by Conservatives in Scotland, just one (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk) was gained on a vote share of more than 50%. If SNP and Labour had entered an electoral pact in 2017 (and assuming their votes combined, and LibDem votes stayed the same), they would have won 10 of the 12 other seats.

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If, say, Labour had stood down, allowing the SNP (which was a very clear second in all 13 seats) alone to contest all the seats, and even if this then resulted in half of Labour voters staying at home because they would not support the SNP, the SNP would still have retained eight of those 13 seats.

It is precisely because of this voting split in Scotland that we have a Conservative government at Westminster at all, and are facing Brexit against Scotland’s will.

Using these assumptions of voting shifts, with eight more seats retained by the SNP, the Conservatives would have been six seats short of being able to form a government in 2017, even with DUP support. Instead, Labour could have been leading a coalition including SNP, Plaid Cymru and LibDems. And, with all 13 Scottish Conservative MPs voting with the government, whereas SNP MPs would have opposed the government, that is exactly the margin by which this week’s Brady amendment went through.

How can we get these tactical considerations to be taken seriously by the parties opposing the Conservative government, rather than competing against each other? Otherwise, if we do get a snap election, we could well finish up with another Conservative government at Westminster, just because left-leaning votes in Scotland have been split.

Neil Brown

ON Tuesday night the UK Parliament saw supporters of “no deal” Brexit and “good deal” Brexit come together to progress PM May’s “bad deal” Brexit. Previously, supporters of “no deal” Brexit came together with those who supported a “good deal” Brexit, to stop any further progress of PM May’s “bad deal” Brexit. The singular and only thread of overwhelming unanimity demonstrated in the UK parliament is that the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland are to be shafted, to an extent yet to be determined.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

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IT is surely time that the criminally negligent behaviour of the Brexit extremists is addressed by our political system. In industry and commerce there are laws governing the principal of collective responsibility. This gross abuse of Parliament by leading Brexiteers must be stopped. When they threaten that government be shut down to further their own highly devious ideology then custodial sentences should be considered for treasonable activity. Even the Queen is becoming alarmed.

Terry Keegans
Beith, North Ayrshire

FROM a reading of the articles of the Treaty of Union it is quite clear that Scotland in no way relinquished her sovereignty and, ironic as it may seem, the articles actually protect Scotland’s sovereignty. The Union joined the two sovereign nations of Scotland and England together into a unitary state (the British state) for the purposes of governance, administration, trade, defence etc.

Let us set aside the fact that England’s transgressions upon Scottish sovereignty in themselves contravene the articles of union thereby nullifying the treaty. The treaty as we have said is a union between two sovereign nations. As a voluntary agreement between the two, either nation can choose to dissolve the Union and become independent, and it would be at their own discretion, because in no way would the sovereignty of the other be affected – each nation’s underlying sovereignty protected by the Treaty of Union. In other words, dissolution of the Union by either country would be a return to self-determination for both countries. I think a lot of the confusion arises because at the time of the signing of the treaty it was never envisaged that there would ever come a time when the Union would be dissolved.

One thing I don’t understand is the talk of a Section 30 order. The Union can be dissolved by either Scotland or England via a democratic plebiscite. A Section 30 order is an attempt at legal trickery to hold Scotland forever in bondage to Westminster, and in itself contravenes the Treaty of Union.

We are living in critical times when we need our leaders to be bold. I would suggest the Scottish Government simply sets a date for the referendum and then prepares to administer the referendum in the most open, democratic and transparent fashion possible, in co-operation with international observers. We cannot let the fear of being wronged prevent us from doing what is right. And with the Unionists fighting like ferrets in a sack over Brexit, this is a golden opportunity for the people of Scotland to take their destiny into their own hands.

Solomon Steinbett

MANY of your correspondents have highlighted the transparent trick played on Parliament by the Tory hard right. This amendment was designed not only to fool MPs into thinking they were softening on “no deal” Brexit but to send a clear message to the people who originally voted to leave, and may be reconsidering now that all the lies and false promises have been exposed, that it is all these nasty Europeans who are bent on punishing the UK.

Mike Underwood