THE letter in which Julia Pannell responds to a number of readers including myself (Letters, June 3) requires a reply.

In my previous response I tried to be as objective as I possibly could on the decision of an SNP supporter to vote for a Brexit outcome. I tried hard not personalise it, however Ms Pannell would seem to have done just that in her reply. Can all the responders be wrong?

I found her letter to be rather vague, lacking in real clarity, containing little substance and by the time I got to the last paragraph wondered if in fact this was a writer who supported the SNP at all. The issue is quite clear. Those supporting independence – whether an SNP supporter or not– are free to decide if they wish to remain in the EU or not in the EU. The stated policy of the SNP is to Remain, but we accept a number of SNP supporters wish to Leave and that is their right.

It is not, as Ms Pannell suggests, “why should I abstain rather than vote as you don’t want”? Voters who support the SNP of course have the democratic right to vote according to their conscience. Unfortunately I believe her response letter suggests that all the responders are trying to stop her doing this. Not so!

In relation to Remain or Leave, again, both in her first letter and this letter I have little idea what point she is trying to make. It is very vague. Ms Pannell fails in my view to make any valid case that the EU can only make Scotland’s position worse by Remaining. What I find a bit disturbing is

that Julia Pannell is not just a Leave supporter but a paid-up SNP activist.

I believe this must be a conflict of interest. The SNP policy is independence within the EU. Active members know this. If as an activist you wish not to operate within the EU, then in my opinion your action is to go with your conscience but at the same time protect your party. It does put you in a dilemma. What you do not do is give your vote to the Brexit Party, on two counts. Firstly it increases the vote of another party and, infinitely worse, it gives a vote to the most right wing of British politics!

If nothing else it raises the issue for the SNP that its supporters need a way out of this dilemma. As I have said many times, being in the EU may be an issue for after independence! Perhaps this should be examined more closely. It should be remembered the SNP has a spectrum of support, but to win independence it will require the wider support of the Yes movement. The SNP should not be vague in reaching out to those supporters who are sceptical of Scotland in the EU.

Finally I would ask Julia Pannell not to suggest that myself and the other responders, are in anyway forcing her to do anything against her wishes. In fact the exact opposite is the case. We have the right to challenge the underlying reasoning of anyone who puts a point of view to the public. In this case I feel such reasoning has failed on many counts.

Dan Wood


JULIA Pannell (Letters, June 3) makes a spirited if somewhat disjointed reply to the sustained criticism she received after deciding to vote for the Brexit Party. However, she ends with the usual erroneous assumption when listing the usual complaints about aspects of the EU, that those who broadly support membership are blind to its flaws. What I have read others ask is, how do we moderate these behaviours from the outside? Ms Pannell never addresses this point.

What I did find disappointing was the triumphalist way she ended by saying that enough people agreed with her to send a Brexit Party MEP to the EU. She of course is perfectly free to join the Brexit Party, but she seems blissfully unaware of the irony that this odious group of far-right ideologues will pursue policies which will make the EU’s flawed treatment she lists look like the work of Mother Theresa.

Douglas Turner