IT’S December 1, and we will soon exit from the EU. The latest word from Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and PM Boris Johnson is the same as always from the beginning: “We require the EU to respect the UK’s absolute ‘sovereignty’ in our negotiations.”

That’s fine but there are always two sides (or 27 other sides in the EU), and the other sides have their own “sovereignty” to defend.

To me this is simple. The UK has decided to exit the EU. It isn’t what I would wish for, or what Scotland and Northern Ireland wished for either. But there will always be consequences, and these must be accepted by the UK – you can’t have the cake and eat it. The EU states, effectively, “we will respect your wish, but if you require access to our tariff-free internal market and customs union for free trade, the UK, just like any other third-party nation, must abide by our rules, enforced by the European Court”.

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The same principle would apply to any club, be they a golf club, a bowling club, even the London clubs such as Garrick, White’s, Carlton, Reform etc. There are rules to abide by if you wish to join and sanctions if you resign. You can’t leave and demand the same member’s rights you have renounced.

By the way, if the UK trades on World Trade Organisation rules, it will be bound by its rules. Is this a surrender of sovereignty or just an acceptance of the real world?

So, bye bye to the EU and off we go alone into the great world of boundless opportunity. It is a leap into the dark from a world of certainty. England is wilfully dislocating itself from the EU and taking its vassal nations – namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – with it.

Good luck with that. I am 78 and have enjoyed free travel and movement throughout Europe with the security of access to NHS equivalent treatment if required. My grandchildren and your children and grandchildren are going to be denied these opportunities and experiences. I am sad about this.

Michael Clarke

KEVIN McKenna’s article (Socialism doesn’t cause financial scandals, it’s pure greed that does, November 25) was the stimulator of the following views:

I have been a socialist all of my working life, and all my working-class activism has been from a left position. In fact one could say I was a socialist in my childhood, because I parroted all that I heard from my socialist father.

It is important to appreciate that despite the spectrum of political opinion – socialist, left, centre or right – the SNP is basically a social democratic party with a nationalist agenda. The Labour party throughout history was and still is the same, although with an internationalist view (now wearing a bit thin).

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Throughout my life I have never put any political leaders on a pedestal, despite any great abilities they had, but have always considered what they said and compared it to their actions and the effect on my class.

The brings me to my considerations of Nicola Sturgeon. To me she comes across as sincere and a very capable leader. Throughout this pandemic she has answered almost daily in her Covid-19 briefings all the questions put to her, which she had no prior knowledge of, in a truthful and factual way. On this issue alone she has increased her status as the leader of our nation throughout Europe and in so doing increased awareness and knowledge of our country’s aspirations and ambitions without even mentioning the constitutional issue. Those who believe in independence should be grateful to her for doing so.

I have no interest in learning whether Nicola Sturgeon is centre-left or left because the priority (after the pandemic) is the achievement of independence. The reality is that when self-determination is acquired, Scotland will start its beginning as a capitalist country with the constitutional right of all the political parties to propose and argue for the direction our country should take and the policies it should adopt, which our citizens will democratically vote on.

Bobby Brennan

IN yesterday’s long letter Maggie Mellon gave an excellent analysis on the GRA bill debate and discussion. Nice to hear a logical argument against the argument for gender change. Maggie asks for proof, not verbal waffle.

My own view, no doubt about to be attacked soon, is that gender is only biological. All heterosexual, lesbian and homosexual people know this. No disagreement here. To me transgender is illogical and nothing to do with physical gender. There must be a scientific explanation regarding body chemistry. I cannot understand it but I accept some people feel this need to change.

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What I do not and will not accept, however, is any legislation that changes the rights of women to fair protection offered in women-only spaces. Any government that passes such a bill to allow this will never get a vote of support from me. It would be regrettable if I had to stop supporting the SNP after many years because of what I see as this dangerous bill.

Robert Anderson