NEWS that Keir Starmer is ruling out freedom of movement with the EU if Labour win the next General Election is clearly disappointing, but not unexpected.

Labour are now clearly just as bad as the Tories on Brexit, which is exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis, costing Scotland’s economy billions of pounds in lost trade and harming our NHS through increased costs and staffing shortages.

Free movement, alongside the wider benefits of EU membership, are essential to growing Scotland’s economy, boosting living standards and supporting the staffing of our public services. As a result of Brexit, it is clear that the UK is lagging behind other countries.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer slated as he moves to rule out freedom of movement

The irony was that Mr Starmer’s announcement was made at the same time as a report from the Resolution Foundation found that Brexit has damaged Britain’s competitiveness and will further reduce productivity It is also set to leave the average worker poorer than they otherwise would have been, with real pay set to be £470 per worker lower each year on average than it would otherwise have been.

Reinforcing these horrendous economic statistics, according to the OECD the UK is set to have the lowest economic growth of the G20 nations next year, except Russia.

We deserve better than this economic sabotage, and it is heart-breaking to see freedom of movement, one of the EU’s greatest achievements, stolen from Scotland despite our vote to remain.

Alex Orr

YOUR report argues that a firm border between independent Scotland and England is not a problem, rather an opportunity (Indy Scotland-England border is not a problem, June 23).

In the 2014 referendum I voted to remain in the UK union. I had many considerations, such as preserving our EU membership status, which I saw as acting as a brake on the wilder excess of right-wing Westminster government – clearly borne out by what has transpired since Brexit. I also considered my rationale to live within the same borders as my relatives domiciled in England. Hence my vote.

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However, our EU membership has been removed against our will. Government excesses are now so overbearing so as to assume the most important criterion, and I also realise I have friends and relatives from around the world who don’t share my borders and without any difficulty in maintaining relationships. So, why would a border be a problem? Fly south and ID has to be shown. Why not the same for road, boat or rail?

As for trade, borders exist all over the world and trade functions well – what would be the difference here?

For me, such a border would be psychological rather than actual, and the rewards of independence will be so bounteous, and relief from Westminster diktat so great, that this time I will be voting for independence and would happily help build that border.

If this becomes a problem that rUK seizes on, then its redress is to rejoin the EU and ease of crossing can be restored.

Jim Taylor

I DON’T know why Boris needs to bother when he has ill-informed commentators like English Scots for Yes spreading nonsense. I have said this before. Let me say it again. When Scotland votes to be independent we will still be part of the UK and the Common Travel Area (CTA) like different tax regimes in Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. There will then be a period of discussion to agree the split.

We will still be a member of the CTA. Scotland will probably have a democratic discussion on our relationship with the rest of Europe. This might include membership of EFTA, the EU or some sort of ad hoc arrangement. We will still be members of the CTA. At some time in the future there may be differing customs regulations on items crossing the border. These do not need to be checked at the border.

READ MORE: It’s time to bust some myths to help Scottish independence happen

Modern customs practice concentrates on compliance at the point of delivery. After all, you can’t stop an oil or a water pipeline while it fills in a customs form. England will continue to rely on Scotland for basic utilities. It would make no sense for them to start a trade war.

All of this will take time. This will give us the opportunity to arrange alternative supply chains. Scare stories like border posts the day after indy2 are straight out of the Tory play book.

Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway

EFTA membership is a trap. It implicitly means a bilateral treaty negotiation with the English government, who cannot be trusted to honour any commitment.

Full EU membership should be the objective. That means the odds are 28 to 1 and the English government can be forced to honour its commitments.

Jeans Jacques

THERE are nearly 200 countries in the world and the only ones Scotland has no trade border with are England and Wales. Leaving the EU adds two borders and removes 28, including the one with Northern Ireland. As is happening in NI trade will adjust.

Alan Thompson