The UK’s economy will still be on its knees when we leave the EU

IT is not surprising that Nicola Sturgeon is furious as Michael Gove rules out a Brexit extension, as there are no valid reasons for the UK to leave the EU on that specific day (FM’s fury as Gove rules out extension to Brexit, June 13).

Why is the UK/English Government so determined to unilaterally carry out the wish of the majority of the people who voted to leave the EU by doing so on December 31, in very different circumstances to those at the time of the referendum?

READ MORE: Majority of Scots think ‘reckless’ Tories should delay Brexit

At that moment it is almost certain that the country’s economy will still be on its knees and most definitely not able to expand by means of the many promised advantageous trade agreements that have never materialised.

In fact most countries that have observed they will not be inclined to take time out to negotiate these trade agreements with the UK while they are occupied building up their industries and economies after the pandemic.

READ MORE: Scotland and Wales boycott Brexit talks after extension refused

It is ironic that Michael Gove made his announcement on the same day that the UK abandoned the main objective of Brexit, taking back control over our borders, with the announcement that it will not be subjecting all imports from the EU to border checks.

Is the UK/English Government really acting in the interests of the majority in England who voted for Brexit and put this government back into power before the pandemic ?

I can not see how leaving the EU will benefit the people of England, let alone the UK as a whole.

The last day of December is not the time for the UK to remove itself from the broad shoulders of the EU.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

A NUMBER of things seem apparent to me in Gove’s refusal to consider an extension to the transition period after December 31.

First, the Tories cannot afford an extension, as the passage of time would deprive them of the argument that the dire state of the economy after that date is down to the pandemic and not their beloved Brexit.

Second, while our attention is still distracted by the enormity of the damage from the pandemic, leaving the EU without a deal can be blamed on the EU, not Westminster. Both are well-planned “it wisnae me, guv,” scenarios.

Finally, is there anyone who does not yet see that ANYTHING that Scotland needs or wants provides a perfect opportunity to prove that we are too poor to be independent, by trying to make us so?

P Davidson

I FEEL compelled to write to you following your publication of reports that a “clear majority of Scots” would support a so called Plan B and Mr Kerr’s letter (Let’s stop pussyfooting around – Plan B should be Plan A, June 12) in support.

Putting aside the issue of the hypothetical nature of the question that was polled – remember the polling last October that suggested Labour would win an election if there was a third Brexit extension – let us ask ourselves the question that no proponent of Plan B has answered: what happens if Boris says no to that too?

READ MORE: Let’s stop pussyfooting around – Plan B should be Plan A

We are told that Plan B is needed because the UK Government will never acquiesce to a request to hold a referendum, so we must take another democratic expression of will as our signal. But stopping to think for a moment, it is clear that just as the UK Government may choose to ignore a mandate to hold a referendum, they can equally choose to ignore any mandate given by Plan B; so what then?

Some suggest that we turn to UDI, pointing to Ireland as an example of something like Plan B being a success; however, they often neglect to mention that UDI first led to the Irish War of Independence and in quick succession the Irish Civil War.

As an SNP member who has recently moved across to Northern Ireland, I see daily the century-long fallout from declaring UDI. Are proponents of Plan B really advocating for this?

The biggest irony in all of this is that Plan B requires the SNP’s high polling to continue into the election, high polling that is in no small part down to the First Minister’s talented leadership of the country throughout the current crisis and beyond. With so many Plan B proponents at very least sceptical of the First Minister’s leadership, one can’t help but wonder how well thought through this plan really is.

They certainly haven’t thought through what happens if the gamble doesn’t pay off, the electorate reject independence again and with the Unionist vote rallying around the Tories, the SNP lose the election.

The independence movement in Scotland has been growing for more than 100 years and faced many setbacks in that time; although a lot has happened in the past six years we would all do well to remember that our biggest successes have occurred in the last 25 years where we have been the smartest and the best, not the most impatient.

Chris Duffy
via email

REGARDING Jim Fairlie’s proposal (Letters, June 12) that pro-independence parties include in their manifestos for the Holyrood elections of 2021 a pledge to bring forward a bill to “assume the responsibility for constitutional affairs as directed by the people of Scotland”.

To further this proposal I would suggest that the SNP revisit and revise as appropriate the paper “An Interim Constitution for Scotland” that was published before the 2014 referendum.

Since this document presents a positive and realistic vision of what an independent Scotland might look like, it would arguably help to emphasise the need for Holyrood not Westminster having control over constitutional matters.

Tom Ward

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