BORIS Johnson’s alleged decision to unilaterally vacate the Brexit withdrawal agreement shows just how desperate, untrustworthy and irresponsible the Tories are.

The Tories’ Brexit negotiating hand was always weak. It’s based upon an imperial fantasy. A return to the days of empire. While singing Rule Britannia at the Proms and whipping up hatred against refugees may play well with the Tories’ English nationalist base, it does nothing to settle post-Brexit trade arrangements.

In potentially putting up a hard border in Ireland, Boris Johnson is playing with fire. He risks restarting the conflict and all for partisan gain.

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Boris Johnson always intended for there to be a hard Brexit. He has, however, consistently lied on the issue, proclaiming that an “oven-ready Brexit deal” was near completion.

The consequences of No Deal will be savage austerity and state repression. This is not hyperbole or propaganda. These scenarios were set out in the Operation Yellowhammer papers Johnson was forced to release last year.

These were stark: they warned of a 40-60% drop in freight coming in. This would disrupt the supply of life-saving medicines, and food supplies would be adversely impacted. Warnings are given about the fuel supply. The document warns that those on the lowest incomes would be hardest hit.

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Yellowhammer papers warned of civil unrest due to the Tories’ self-inflicted ideological chaos. They stated that a minimum of 3500 troops would be on standby for riot control.

The Tories’ latest action should show Nicola Sturgeon there is no trustworthy negotiating partner at Westminster. Many of us have been saying this for years.

The First Minister needs a fresh approach. Either she can make the next Holyrood election into a de facto independence referendum, or she should state she will hold an advisory referendum then declare independence, as intentional law supersedes Westminster law.

This would mean the Tory ghouls would have to act. At the moment, under Sturgeon’s current plan, the Tories can simply say “no referendum” without a cost.

Alan Hinnrichs

REPORTS that UK Government ministers are planning new legislation that could override key parts of last year’s EU withdrawal agreement should come as no surprise to anyone who has scrutinised the cavalier, utterly haphazard and self-indulgent nature of this Westminster government.

Should there be no agreement between the EU and UK by mid- October we will be faced with the very real prospect of a No-Deal Brexit, which many political commentators believe has been the intention of Boris Johnson and his government all along.

A No Deal will undoubtedly be disastrous for the people of the UK, with the very real prospect of further deregulation of the economy to include healthcare, a depletion of human rights and workers’ rights and the incredibly perilous prospect of the ditching of the Northern Ireland protocol.

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Make no mistake, Mr Johnson and his svengali Dominic Cummings are political joyriders who will leave the mangled corpse of the British economy behind them and move on to nefarious pastures new after a No- Deal Brexit becomes a reality and their neo-liberal, disaster-capitalist supporters have rapaciously stripped the UK of its principal assets for a generation.

We have one foot over the precipice, and the appointment of right-wingers to key roles in negotiating with the EU, such as Tony Abbott and Daniel Hannan, is a further demonstration of the government’s uncompromising intent.

Whilst the billionaire owners of the right-wing media and party stooges like Douglas Ross may attempt to defend the unapologetically flippant and arrogant behaviour of Boris Johnson, it is clear that there is a groundswell of opinion in Scotland that will not tolerate his Trumpian falsehoods, championing of inequality and indolent conceit for much longer.

It is now transparently clear that Brexit is the constitutional dagger in the heart of the United Kingdom. Mr Johnson will no doubt act as an enabler to make his chums richer at the cost of poverty and misery for the remainder of the population. He will also be the Prime Minister who enables Scottish independence.

Owen Kelly

ONCE again The National has published a full page dedicated to an association with the UK Government. I am completely at a loss as to why this is so. I am very well aware that The National is our only independence-supporting newspaper, so where is the connection?

The whole page of this “All Together” UK Government information is not new news. We are all aware of the amount of money Rishi Sunak has injected into the Scottish economy in order to save jobs. Something our own government would have done anyway had we been independent.

His furlough scheme was very welcome for as long as it has lasted. But now it is coming to an end, unlike those of France and Germany, where those governments have extended furlough schemes for another two years.

Again, something Nicola Sturgeon has referred to had we been independent.

With all this in mind alongside the coronavirus, Brexit and its negative effect on Scotland’s economy, I still don’t understand why The National is publishing Westminster government information in this way, rather than a Scottish Government page of information on its economic input with the coronavirus in mind.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

(Editor – please note that the “All Together” pages are advertising content paid for by the UK Government)