I HAVE sympathy with Councillor Fiona Dryburgh’s position and her defection from Labour to the Liberal Democrats, but as we near October 31 I can only foresee more problems for her.

She says she is vehemently opposed to independence but also believes Scotland would be better off in the EU. The Liberal Democrats, and others who share their position, have failed to demonstrate what they will do to achieve these objectives, which many feel are mutually incompatible. It is clear that an extremist government in Westminster will try its best to oppose these policies.

The UK economy is already suffering negative growth and the pound is reducing in value as we approach Boris Johnson’s “do or die” deadline for Brexit. It will only get worse.

Remaining the EU must be the highest priority for Scotland and at the moment I see independence as the only way to achieve this. Many more instinctively pro-Unionists are sharing this view, even in the pro-Union borders.

The best thing that both Labour and the LibDems could do to ramp up their diminishing support in Scotland would be to say that, if we leave the EU, especially if it is without a deal, they would endorse the calls for an independence referendum.

Pete Rowberry

IT was interesting that Kevin McKenna agreed with Kenny Farquharson – The Times’s political chief – that a “more consensual and less abrasive form of politics” is a route he would aspire to or certainly would like. Why then diminish the Green party (The Wings Party and Rev Campbell MSP have my vote – and here’s why, August 14)?

Kevin writes: “The Greens, though, aren’t really a political party.” This is a direct contradiction to his agreement with Kenny Farquharson that there should be “fewer enmities and more alliances”.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: Here's why Wings Over Scotland party has my vote

The Greens have stood by the SNP on independence and cooperated on other issues to ensure progressive issues have gone through in Holyrood. To demean an alliance which is already working is not helpful. Once Scotland has gained independence – and I don’t think that is too far away – my intention is to join the Green Party as that is going to have to be the next vitally important goal. Speaking to fellow members of the SNP, this appears to be their route also.

Come on Kevin – save vitriol and unhelpful reportage to the parties that deserve it.

Frieda Burns
via email

STUART Campbell’s Wings Party idea mixes up two different questions. Question 1: Would voting differently on the constituencies and the list help the overall Yes result at Holyrood?

Question 2: Which party should get these list votes? Even if Stuart Campbell is right about Question 1, it’s another step to say that his proposed new party is the correct answer to Question 2.

I don’t think there’s any convincing evidence that a split vote could realistically help the overall Yes result. But even if it could, why vote for a new Wings Party on the list when you can already vote for the Green Party on the list?

Sophie Grace Chappell
Professor of Philosophy, The Open University

THE arrival of the US national security adviser John Bolton in London, declaring the most isolationist US regime in living memory would “enthusiastically” support a No-Deal Brexit, should be a major cause of concern to many.

The UK is a weakened country, desperate for a trade deal and in no position to refuse Donald Trump’s demands not just to lower our stringent standards, but on our foreign policy too.

All trade negotiations naturally involve both sides trying to re-engineer things to their own advantage, of course. Risks, however, are heightened for small countries negotiating with bigger and more powerful ones – one reason EU countries banded together to do trade deals in the first place – and this time big foreign policy as well as economic principles are at stake.

It is highly unlikely that issues like the Iran nuclear deal (which the US would like us to follow them in walking away from) or contracts with the Chinese tech firm Huawei will be left until “after Brexit”. There is likely to be early pressure too to ditch practices that inconvenience American companies, such as the planned digital-services tax targeting tech giants.

It is no surprise that the White House actively favours a chaotic divorce between Britain and its European allies. So weakened is the UK that our foreign policy will soon be decided by diktat from Washington, even more so than it currently is.

Alex Orr

TASMINA Ahmed-Sheikh’s article (The world needs to fight Bannon’s dark vision, August 14) should have been published many years ago. Bannon and his ilk are not “dismantling world order” – they already control it. All they are doing is extending their control. As soon as Brexit happens under their pawn Johnson, Britain will descend into an American nightmare. Independence is all that can save Scotland !

East Lothian

THE National yesterday moved from constructive journalism towards sensationalism with the article “Supermarkets still plastering Scottish food with Union Jack” (August 14). Personally I have posted many times about the use of the Union Jack on supermarket products, but including the words “Butcher’s Apron” in the text is demeaning of a quality newspaper plus the whole article teeters on the brink of red-top tabloid journalism, not something I would expect from The National.

Christine Smith
via email