IN response to your article in this week’s Sunday National (Greens grassroots mount challenge to Harvie’s role, June 20), I feel it is important to address some of the points raised about internal democracy within the party, and the Green Future Group’s views on how we should progress.

The Green Future Group, a group of grassroots activists, are not attempting to challenge the current party leadership, or support any candidates standing to lead the Scottish Greens. We are a collective of long-term party members who have vast experience of running campaigns, standing as candidates, and furthering the party internally through committees. As such, our focus will remain on these areas.

READ MORE: Greens grassroots mount challenge to Harvie's role

The group was born out of a disappointment with May’s European election results, with Scotland lacking any Green voices in Brussels despite our best ever vote share. As such, we have decided to use this summer’s internal party elections to influence the direction of the party, and bring three core principles back to the fore of our campaigning.

Ahead of the 2021 elections, it is imperative that the prospect of a Green New Deal for Scotland be put at the forefront of any campaign. Complemented by an unashamedly left-wing ecosocialist message and an unreserved embrace of our pro-independence stance, we feel this is a winning message to see more Green MSPs in Holyrood, to the benefit of both the Scottish people and the planet.

A lack of interest in internal democracy only breeds complacency from candidates, and we believe those of us standing for election can help deliver results through grassroots organising and smart investment of our comparatively small resources. We would encourage all members to vote in this month’s internal elections when voting opens on Wednesday.

A Green New Deal, a strong push for independence and a progressive approach to politics are what Scotland badly needs and deserves. This collective action from grassroots members is the first step to delivering this.

Emma McShane
Candidate for member of the Scottish Green Party Standing Orders Committee

THE European Union has just signed a massive free trade deal with Mercosur, which is essentially most of South America. There is alarm raised in Ireland about the impact on the beef industry because without tariffs in place, grass-fed beef from the Pampas will hammer the Irish beef sector at home and abroad. Given the level of concern over the Irish backstop and its impact on the dairy herd, it’s worth considering border checks are as nothing to massive tariff cuts on the impact of sales.

That Dublin waved this deal through is concerning, but crucially it was faced with a choice. It could have vetoed the whole deal, which would impact pharma exports and infuriate its EU partners. Instead it chose to put its chemical industries and the EU as a whole above its farming sector.

This is the reality of independence within Europe. There can be no special bespoke deals and for this reason we in Scotland continue to bleed our fish stocks to Danish, French and Dutch trawlers. This is not to argue for or against Scottish independence, but nationalists need to have a honest conversation with their voters about the reality of losing control of an independent trade policy and the impact it will have on the less lucrative and marginal parts of our own economy.

Ironically a hard Irish border and Brexit may end up becoming a firewall to protect livestock farming in these islands and the only Irish beef that remains competitive in the UK market coming from north of that border.

Jonathan Stanley
via email

I AM baffled. rUK wants to leave the EU, thus making it hugely more expensive and difficult for them to trade with the EU. When Scotland gets independence they say it’s going to be so harmful to our economy as we trade so much with rUK, but as reported in Seven Days this Sunday, it’s a two-way process; rUK trades hugely with Scotland. So is rUK going to pursue economic policies that makes it hugely more expensive for them the trade with the EU AND with Scotland (though we may be EU members then anyway), their two closest trading block and at present largest markets by far? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!!

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais
Dùn Eideann

MUIRFIELD Golf Club is set to admit its first women members after 275 years. The club has asked 12 ladies to take up membership. A victory for women? I think not.

How many women are members of Royal Troon and Royal Aberdeen? The membership fees for these three clubs are far far higher than the average club so only wealthy women would apply, so not much equality here. Two of the ladies joining Muirfield are from overseas so a lot air miles. I think that the numerous ladies-only golf clubs deserve to be just that, but how long before some male raises an objection in the interests of equality?

Clark Cross