NEWS that Labour’s Lord Foulkes and his Better Together allies in the UK Government want to use the UK Internal Market Act to stymie the Deposit Return Scheme should alarm everyone who supports devolution or independence and is a further erosion of our democracy through the use of Section 35.

It is worth reading the Scottish Government publication on the UK Internal Market Bill published on March 8 2021, which states: “In 2017, the four UK governments undertook to work together to agree common ways of working in relation to devolved matters then subject to EU law – the common frameworks process.

"It was agreed that common frameworks would be developed in respect of a range of factors, including ensuring the functioning of the UK internal market, while acknowledging policy divergence”.

The UK Internal Market Act did not represent a restoration or continuation of trading relationships across the UK before the EU single market. It was a new, unilaterally designed and imposed regime, which operates in a manner that does not allow for adequate consideration of the types of fundamental policy choices.

READ MORE: Asghar family address Humza Yousaf's role in man's release amid row

The Scottish Government withdrew from the UK Government's internal market project in March 2019 after it became clear that its concerns regarding the project and the implications for devolution, as well as for the common frameworks process, were being ignored.

The Welsh Government said: “It was agreed that this would be a joint piece of work and it is wholly unacceptable that we now seem to be faced with a solely UK Government-generated proposal”.

Like the Gender Recognition Reform Act, the Deposit Return Scheme may have its faults, but that is no excuse for the UK Government to trample over devolution and refuse our Scottish Parliament the responsibility to correct any possible mistakes.

Fraser Grant


I AM concerned that the media has yet again succeeded in dividing the SNP. There are three candidates for the leadership – each one capable in their own way – but the media have used religion as their divisive tactic. Religion and state are separate in Scotland. (Unlike England, which has unelected bishops in the House of Lords.)

A candidate’s view of society, however, is important as this may impact laws. I (and I am not the only one) have been feeling very hurt by some views recently expressed by a young woman who showed incredible naivety.

I want to see an FM who will put independence first and foremost (I believe a united independence movement will win) and who will challenge the Westminster government every time it tries to undermine our Parliament.

I want to see wellbeing at the heart of our economy; I want to see radical land reform; I want to see truly green policies in all businesses; I want to return to the EU; and I want the monstrosity of Trident gone from our country.

Speaking to many younger voters recently, I found these are the issues that are important to them, too.

Nicola and her government have done a wonderful job encouraging a fairer, greener and more progressive Scotland which is now more recognised and respected abroad.

She herself helped us through the pandemic by reassuring us and giving plain advice. That will always stand us in good stead. Thank you.

But we seem to be getting nowhere with independence in the face of a right-wing Tory government and nor will we with a right-of-centre Labour government. Now is the time for more radical action, unity of purpose and willingness to gather all those independence parties and groups to work for it under a non-political leader before it is too late.

Will the new SNP leader choose this path? I sincerely hope so.

Isabelle Gow


OH dear, oh dear, oh dear. Now Alex Salmond has backed up Alex Neil’s version of why Humza Yousaf missed the final vote on equal marriage. This is especially worrying given Mr Yousaf’s thinly veiled attack on Ms Forbes’s personal views on LGBT+ rights.

I rather think this line of attack should be dropped by you and your supporters, Mr Yousaf, don’t you? Because if it’s not, and further evidence such as meeting minutes emerges, you’re going to look like a hypocrite, aren’t you?

At no time whatsoever has Ms Forbes stated that she would roll back ANY women’s rights or LGBT+ rights. Quite frankly, these attacks should never have taken place. What should be debated is policy. How to build up the independence movement and how to provide a stable government in Holyrood which gets the bread-and-butter issues right.

And by the way, Mr Harvie, that’s what your party should be doing too.

Andrew Haddow

via email

ONE was shocked and dismayed to learn that the considerable wit and penetrating analyses of Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh will no longer be gracing the columns of one’s favourite newspaper. Can we really afford to dispense with such an undoubted talent? Why? Dare I hope our editor might reconsider?

James Stevenson


IN a long outdoor life, subject to the vagaries of the weather, I do not recall my barometer remaining so high for so long, it’s almost off the scale. Nor, amid a lifetime of suffering under a Westminster government, have

I noticed many politicians able to “tap the glass” and understand it’s the weather which dictates.

Luckily on Monday, amid the glory of the heavens, the Earth’s magnetic shield was able to fend off any even greater threat to the planet than the Tory Party, a major solar flare.

Iain R Thomson