IT was without a sense of irony that Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said that under a UK Government the Scotland Office would be “Scotland’s window onto the world.”

Talking about promoting international links is all well and good, but this is from a party who are intent to continue limiting access to our key markets through backing Brexit.

READ MORE: Labour pledge to use Scotland Office to boost exports hit by Brexit

It is no understatement to say that Brexit has been disastrous for our businesses and consumers, limiting economic growth and restricting trade. Recent border controls will cost British business £2 billion through increased red tape, with the Scottish salmon industry alone suffering an additional £12m of costs. Last year, almost half of businesses (44% named Brexit as the main cause of difficulties trading overseas.

Across every sector of Scotland’s economy, Brexit has added red-tape costs, limited access to vital workers and limited markets.

Labour’s ambitions may be to make the Scotland Office our window onto the world, but that window is currently half-closed due to the devastating impact of Brexit.

Alex Orr

I WAS listening to Times Radio on Sunday morning only to hear the presenter say that the SNP were in all sorts of trouble and that Labour were polling big numbers and were likely to take a lot of seats from us at the election. I then switched off before the Dame came on. It is bad enough we have to listen to her drivel up here without hearing it on Times Radio. Mind you I don’t suppose there is a more establishment-based media than it!

Before you ask why Old John is listening to Times Radio, I have to say in my defence that as I need to get the news somewhere, that is where I go. Like the rest of you I will never listen to BBC Scotland news for obvious reasons, so that is why.

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn hits out at Question Time panel as Nigel Farage set for 37th appearance

I notice a lot of letters in The National from indy supporters who are not happy with the strategy for the General Election. Let me join them by saying that I am not happy either. It is inconceivable to me that, taking the poll numbers and all the rest of the negativity surrounding us, the plan is to try and play nice politics, play with a straight bat, follow the rules and hope the voters will give us their vote. That is not the answer here.

As usual, the SNP are not taking the lead when they should be. It is vital to get all the indy parties on the same page and put egos aside and concentrate on the job in hand. As you all know, I have no time for Westminster or their rigged elections but it seems to me that at this one we are in danger of independence being nowhere on the agenda. I am of the opinion that we need to change tack quickly to try and get to where we want to be. If Labour win big in Scotland then I for one will be more angry than disillusioned. I am interested to know why we are going down this road. Where is the page one, line one “a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence”? To me that is not even going far enough. Why is it not: “Vote for the SNP and if we get a majority of either seats or votes we WILL be leaving the Union whether Westminster likes it or not!”

Time to go big or go home.

Old John

SOPHIE Molly, the Scottish Greens’ candidate in Gordon and Buchan, has handed her party an opportunity to lance the trans boil which has threatened the health, if not quite yet the political life, of her party (Scottish Greens candidate faces deselection over JK Rowling spat, May 28). Will they take it?

It is one thing to say that the rights of transgender people should be respected. That has been agreed by the Sottish Parliament, though denied by Westminster in their blocking of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Act. It is quite something else to say there cannot be debate about where the boundary between trans rights and those of women concerned about theirs should be drawn.

READ MORE: Scottish Greens drop candidate who called JK Rowling a 'cow'

I suspect that the LGBT+ community within the Greens have rather let their sexual identity get ahead of their focus on core green values. That is not say that LGBT+ issues are unimportant, but when people such as former MSPs Andy Wightman and Robin Harper are being driven out of the party, for doing no more than suggesting that we need a considered debate about just where that line on rights in this contentious issue is drawn, the party needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Only a few weeks ago the party expelled 13 members for having suggested that there was room for debate around gender and biological sex. This passed without almost any comment, which arguably tells us as much about Scottish journalism as the Scottish Greens. Is this the party of tolerance, respect and debate?

Something is deeply wrong at the heart of the Scottish Green Party. Will they sort it? Now’s their chance.

Michael Collie
via email

DURING the course of one day last week, other governments and nations witnessed the pantomime actions of the British government. They saw its Prime Minister asking permission of the unelected King if he can dissolve his government and have a General Election. Everyone knows that same King’s answer is not going to be “Naw you cannae!”

Then that same Prime Minister appears outside his residence at a lectern in a downpour to announce the date of the election.

His Foreign Secretary, without prior knowledge of the PM’s actions, arrives in a distant foreign country (Albania) on a diplomatic mission where he is welcomed by a barrage of Union flags, spends an hour there and returns to a government inner circle meeting to agree the General Election decision.

Such is the stuff of farce comedy, and the sooner we are rid of it all, the better.

Bobby Brennan