WE are pleased to note that Fergus Ewing is to take up cudgels on behalf of Scottish Protected Geographical Indicators (PGIs), such as Scottish beef, Scottish lamb, Arbroath Smokies and many others (Scottish minister’s plea to protect key brands, August 1).

READ MORE: Fergus Ewing demands post-Brexit protection for Scots produce

It is at present unclear whether the protected status of these brands will be maintained when we leave the EU.

We wish Mr Ewing good luck in his quest, but past history does not give cause for optimism.

Unlike many of the other EU states the UK Government did not see fit to protect any of the UK PGIs during the negotiations for the recent trade deal with Canada (CETA).

In addition the US has long made it clear that it regards PGIs as a barrier to trade so protected status is very unlikely to be included in any future trade deal with the US.

Graham Kemp
St Andrews
TTIP Action Group

I AM very seldom inclined to react to statements purported to have been made by callers to radio talk-in programmes, taking them usually with a large pinch of salt.

That reported re Nicky Campbell’s 5 Live Your Call show however is an exception (Questions over BBC’s framing of anti-Yes call, August 2).

READ MORE: BBC radio show asks how much listeners 'cherish extraordinary Union'

Barbara from Wiltshire admits her soundbite was neither intellectually nor politically inspired, but nonetheless prompted her simply to “fly the flag for the United Kingdom” solely on the basis apparently that her father served in the Second World War.

I have several family histories relating to both World Wars, and did so myself in a particular terrorist-plagued “overseas territory”.

None of those associations confers on me any obligation to fly any flag, but does give me and others like me the right in complete freedom to choose how we should lead our lives, and be led.

On what basis does Barbara feel justified in denying Scotland’s First Minister the expressions of her and millions of Scots their aspiration for independence? I’m sure I read somewhere that that kind of freedom was what 1939-45 was about.

Wiltshire is a fine place to inhabit. Does it, I wonder, suffer from the incidence of bedroom tax, Universal Credit, food banks, drug troubles, falling population numbers, etc, which are included in the lot of Scotland as dictated by Westminster?

Do its inhabitants object to free education, elderly care, prescription charges, etc as introduced by Holyrood? Does Barbara approve of the behaviour of the non-Scottish MPs in the Parliament, more and more English year-on-year? Does she know about EVEL?

Before I leave and before I encourage myself to refute Nicky Campbell’s assertion of “this extraordinary and successful Union”, I would point out that I have English, Irish and Scottish grandparents.

Am I to feel any shame or guilt for judging his description as contrary to reality but consistent with the Westminster-inspired myth. I believe the acceptance of this latter to be required of those who earn their living by so- doing.

J Hamilton

I WAS interested but not surprised that the National Galleries have omitted any references to the Highland Clearances in their exhibition on Scottish migration (Clearances omitted from exhibition on Scottish migration, August 2).

READ MORE: National Galleries' exhibition on Scots migration omits Clearances

After all, in 1981 the then historiographer royal for Scotland, Gordon Donaldson, stated in an interview “I am 68 now and until recently hardly heard of the Highland Clearances. The thing has been blown out of all proportions” reflecting the establishment’s view of the subject.

Neil M Shaw Edinburgh YOU have to wonder at the motives behind the National Galleries of Scotland’s attempt to remove the Clearances from its major exhibition on migration in Scotland.

Apparently we are to believe that they couldn’t find relevant artwork to highlight the issue – what utter nonsense. This is about rewriting Scotland’s history, about trying to hide what happened in the Clearances and how this affected Scotland – and continues to influence the Scotland of today.

You really have to wonder why public money is spent supporting such an exhibition.

The National has done a great service in giving Scots back our history through Hamish MacPherson’s columns – often revealing parts of our past which haven’t been taught in our own schools.

The revisionism of the National Galleries of Scotland should be condemned and I hope at some stage the organisers can reflect on their poor decision to try to remove the clearances from our history.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren

I COULDN’T agree more strongly with Iain Bruce’s long letter (August 2). Be it Johnson’s “hard” or No-Deal Brexit, both represent significant danger to Scotland’s economy and governance.

READ MORE: We need to be clear on what will happen after October 31

This message has been repeated ad infinitum by the SNP and yet ... nothing. Just more words telling us that Scotland should have an opportunity to vote for a different future but no corresponding expeditious action to allow us to do it.

Iain absolutely pinpointed the question we all now should be asking. What are the SNP going to do on November 1, when the 20+ powers are lost and the protection of ECJ is gone?

Whinge from the sidelines? For sidelined they will surely be.

I Easton