WHILST I agree wholeheartedly with R Fullerton (Letters, August 19) that relieving Scotland of Tory domination by gaining independence is indeed our SNP and government’s top priority, I suspect there are a number of perfectly valid, underlying reasons why the current efforts must be directed towards avoiding a No-Deal Brexit and even, if possible, any Brexit at all.

Let us look at the very substantial risks for Scotland if we do not work for this. If we leave on October 31 without a deal, Westminster will immediately assume control of all the returning powers which they have already decided to grab. They will be able to make such changes as they see fit, with no chance of either input or objection from our Scottish elected representatives. Consider how fast Boris Johnson has been to change so much already. On November 1 much more damaging changes will begin.

First on the agenda will be that wonderful trade deal with America. Maybe we will get the first couple of sectoral deals done fairly quickly: simple things, like keeping visa conditions as they are and guaranteeing defence cooperation such as lending us Trident.

Then will come things like bidding for NHS contracts, discarding food safety restrictions on US imports, changing the definition of Scotch to allow America to produce it and use the name – all the things the EU refused to allow in the failed TTIP negotiations.

With a couple of deals already signed in their favour, will they not hold all the cards? Can you not hear it? You refuse to give us this concession, fine, the previous deals are scrapped – back to square one. So what price the damage to Scotland’s worldwide reputation for our premier quality food and drink etc?

Meanwhile, Westminster will have the unrestricted power to change anything it likes in the status, powers and remit of Holyrood and hand control instead to the new UK Government Office in Scotland, under the control of the Secretary of State, in its wonderful new premises. With their Cabinet Rooms where the Westminster Cabinet can meet to make all these decisions, they will pretend that the powers have come back to Scotland. Then they can extend their reach to matters such as allowing fracking, introducing even stricter immigration conditions that prevent us from growing the population or sourcing the workforce we need, guaranteeing the retention of Trident – the list is endless. All this can happen very quickly, as soon as we are taken out of the EU and before we can even begin our progress towards independence. In fact, they could take such steps as would then make independence impossible.

It is the damage of this intervening period that we have to fear, however short it may be. So, while accepting that winning an anti-Brexit campaign may indeed weaken some of the arguments for independence, defeating Brexit, in my view, is critical to protecting our ability to continue the fight for independence thereafter.

P Davidson

A WEE diversion from Brexit. I noticed in the East Fife v Rangers match report, by Mathew Lindsay in Monday’s paper, a wee paragraph at the end headed “Who needs fans?”, saying the Fife Club played applause over the public address system as the East Fife players left the field.

Having been a supporter for over 60 years I have never heard the club play applause as the players leave the field, Sunday being no different. At the end of Sunday’s game the supporters gave our team a standing ovation and hearty applause, as was well deserved. As for stating a lack of paying spectators, how come the home end was full?

The next time you are at Bayview, Mathew, try sitting at the home end, and check your facts?

Bob Thomson