AS the latest series of TV show The Traitors draws to a close – the theme being to try and fool your fellow players into believing one thing when another is in fact the case – it reminded me a little of the latest Brexit debacle.

The latest catastrophe following our leaving the EU has seen talks aimed at reaching a trade deal with Canada collapse in acrimony.

It had been previously proclaimed by the Tory government that a free trade agreement with the UK’s Commonwealth ally would have been the easiest to strike post-Brexit. Indeed, one of the great benefits promised by those who led the Brexit campaign was that Britain would be free to sign new economic pacts all over the world after quitting the EU.

READ MORE: UK and Canada trade talks hit stalemate over beef and cheese

Mr Johnson, when prime minister, pledged to sign a “bespoke” trade deal with Justin Trudeau’s government to boost the economy after agreeing to temporary rollover arrangements in 2020. This allowed the UK to continue to sell cars and cheese in the North American nation without Canada charging import tax.

The two nations have been negotiating for the last two years, launching formal talks while trade continued under the arrangements brokered when the UK was a member of the EU. However, the Sunak government has now called off negotiations with the Canadians due to a fall-out over beef and cheese quotas.

As with The Traitors, Brexiteer backers were led up the garden path, totally hoodwinked by a package of promises that turned out, as many warned, to be utter rubbish.

Alex Orr

GOOD on Nicola! She’s gone up so much in my estimation after seeing her speak so plainly about what we all think and know about Bozo Johnson.

I was listening to people talk about the TV show The Traitors last week and a speaker said it’s all built on lies and deception. Now let me think where they got the idea for that from ... Westminster per chance, where the culprits rejected a call to make lying in the Commons illegal?

Iain K

READ MORE: How to apply for The Traitors series three as BBC show continues

AS the disaster of Brexit deepens, causing real damage to the Scottish economy and indeed that of the UK, protecting public services and promoting prosperity is becoming increasingly difficult. The limited powers of Holyrood, which are constantly being attacked by Westminster even on devolved matters, are not enough. Only a fully independent Scotland, in control of all its economic assets and bountiful resources, will be able to tackle poverty and bring about a fair and equitable society.

READ MORE: Activists discuss European policy, future agreements and debate misinformation

On this 10th anniversary year of the 2014 referendum, Scotland has lost out by being part of this corrupt and dysfunctional Westminster system. In comparing the political culture of Westminster and Holyrood, very different values emerge in terms of compassion at home and abroad and in progressive change. Scotland has been held back by successive Tory governments it did not vote for, and indeed by a London-dominated Labour Party in tune with the Tories.

In truth Scotland is ignored and held in disdain by an increasingly isolated Westminster parliament, out of step with Europe and the world.

Grant Frazer

ENGLISH Labour say the UK economy is growing at the slowest rate for two centuries. Could it have to do with austerity, Brexit, chronic underinvestment, rampant corporate profiteering and high interest rates? And if so, what will a Labour government do?

Fresh from Davos, Rachel Reeves told a meeting in the City of London “every day, every month and every year of a Labour government, Labour will maintain its credibility with the markets and relationship with the City.” Labour have made clear they will coddle and appease financial markets, which means austerity, no public investment, increasing privatisation, no curbs on corporate profiteering and remaining outside the UK’s largest market.

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: Why Scotland must be wary of Labour's plans for NHS England

The UK is failing. The number of billionaires has more than tripled since 2010 from 54 to 171. A group of just 50 families possesses more wealth than half the UK population. This wealth concentration is the cancer eating away at the UK’s tattered social fabric. Politicians are increasingly reliant on money from wealthy and powerful vested interests and are obediently passing laws and policies that protect those interests.

Meanwhile, real wages have fallen to 2005 levels. The Bank of England is irrationally keeping interest rates high even as inflation cools. This punishes borrowers, hurts small businesses, raises rents and prices, and erodes the spending power of poor and middle-income families. The rich grow richer, corporate profiteering gallops ahead, inequality worsens and the downward cycle continues.

English Labour have forgotten what the post-war Attlee government achieved. In 1946 public debt was 270% of GDP yet the government created the NHS, built thousands of homes and schools, invested in the railways and the mining industry, nationalised public assets, maintained full employment and significantly grew the economy with no inflation. Only by ending the failing Union can Scotland end the misery inflicted upon it by successive Westminster governments and build a state that works for the Scottish people.

Leah Gunn Barrett