“LABOUR will back this underwhelming Brexit deal but it does not mean that we welcome it”, announced Rachel Reeves on Monday.

When one considers that Labour under the wobbling leadership of Sir Keir Starmer “backed” the Tory deal even before reading the small print and the myriad of implications arising from it, one wonders how Labour in Scotland can now survive.

Labour is now a Tory clone, it has merged its “identity” into that of the Tory party. It is ironically following the red wall areas into Torydom.

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What is revealing day by day are the many personal benefits individuals had from EU membership which are either gone or heavily restricted by “this deal”. The Brexiteers, who included Labour members and MPs, chanted about “taking back control”. What has happened is that the “posh boys” and the elite have taken back control and the ordinary citizen is now restricted, even penned in. That will become more apparent as the months pass.

Restrictions on time you can spend in the EU now that the UK is a “third country”. Limits on personal goods one can bring back through customs from the EU. VAT will now have to be paid on some goods. Ordering from the EU online will be subject to restrictions. Ironically, posting goods or presents to friends in Northern Ireland will need customs forms filled out detailing weight.

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So the elite have taken back control! The wealthy Etonian mob chumocracy are truly in charge now. These additional costs and restrictions won’t bother them or their wealthy hangers-on. The “oiks”, peasants, sans culottes and Lumpenproletariat, which they despise, have now been “penned in” and controlled more than they were while in the EU!

Labour is deeply implicated in this act now. The pusillanimous statement by Rachel Reeves must be the biggest surrender ever in Labour’s history.

Scotland is no longer Better Together hemmed in in this Union. An new curtain is being raised to restrict and deprive the population from benefits which will stop abruptly on December 31 at 11pm European time!

John Edgar

THE sentiments of Tony Gilbert’s letter (December 29) are very understandable, however we need to examine what position the “Brexit deal” puts the SNP MPs in at Westminster.

On considering this position, we must always remember that Scotland voted to remain in the EU, so deal or no–deal smacks in the face of democracy in Scotland, and deal or no-deal will be so damaging to our economy and much more.

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Expecting SNP MPs to vote in favour of: 1) The end of free movement, which will have a devastating impact on our care sector, our NHS and our agricultural sector and much more! 2) Increased tariffs for our food sector! 3) A bad deal for our fishing industry! 4) Being dragged out of the single market and the customs union, resulting in increased paperwork and costs for our hard-pressed businesses in a year like no other, puts jobs at risk, something SNP MPs simply could not support.

That is only the tip of the iceberg! What about our science and research sector, well supported in the past by the EU? What about future access to security information? It is inconceivable to think SNP MPs representing Scotland at Westminster would vote to endorse such measurers to be inflicted on Scotland, a country that voted to remain in the EU.

So on reflection, and considering the position our MPs are being put in, voting against is the only option and reflects democracy.

Catriona C Clark