Nicola Sturgeon is not following 'the will of the people' when it comes to a second referendum

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Nicola Sturgeon seeks to impose the will of the Scottish National Party on the people of Scotland.

She recently told colleagues it was not Indyref2, preferring to portray it as a new referendum, pretending those years of divisive campaigning and manipulation in the run up to the 2014 vote did not happen.

A shiny new proposition is to be put forward with an idealised vision of Scotland in Europe. We are to set aside scepticism about the EU’s ever-closer union project. Equally, we must forget over 300 years of positive interdependence within the UK, with the closest of economic, social and cultural ties across generations.

Now we are to join hands, close our eyes and leap into an unknown future. Initially at least this will be outside both the UK and the EU. We are not to worry how Scotland’s deficit of 9.5 per cent of GDP is to be reduced to meet EU entry requirements, nor about what currency our savings will be sitting in while the SNP have us standing in the queue to get into the EU.

The SNP demonise everything British, and infer the UK Government cannot get a good deal with the EU. Yet the First Minister wants another referendum before the outcome of Brexit is properly understood, no doubt fearing most of all that the UK and EU agree a good compromise that ultimately proves to be in everyone’s best interests.

Nicola Sturgeon said independence “transcends” all else. Sadly, it seems that includes sacrificing the well-being of the people of Scotland.

Keith Howell
West Linton

It is no surprise that Scotland still want to split from the UK

It was pretty depressing, and unusually so, to read the Letters page yesterday. I'm not a Scot, nor do I live in Scotland, so I don't have to have a view on Nicola Sturgeon but I can see that the Scots, who voted not to leave the UK and then not to leave the European Union may now be feeling somewhat aggrieved.

Yet all yesterday’s letters on the subject criticised Sturgeon (even, sadly, for the colour of her outfit). This one sums them up (with no points for that): “Scotland had a referendum for independence and they chose No. We had a referendum as a United Kingdom to leave the EU and we chose Leave. That’s called Democracy. Will someone kindly tell Nicola Sturgeon that we are too small an island to separate, yet we don’t want to be ruled from Brussels. Get on with Brexit.” I can't decide whether this is hilariously stupid or plain abusive.

Scotland did not vote to stay within a UK that is no longer a part of the European Union. Scotland then clearly voted to remain within the European Union. Why should they not then reconsider their position regarding the UK? But it's up to them. That, I suggest, could be called democracy (lower case).

While I'm on the subject, I'm amazed at the sheer effrontery of Theresa May in accusing Nicola Sturgeon of “playing politics with the future of our country” when that is exactly what her party did in offering the country an ill-thought through referendum, with little consideration given to the wording, the terms, the arguments or the impact on the country, with even less consideration given to the impact on Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales and the relationships between the different parts of the UK. Or, indeed, to veracity. And all to placate some noisy backbenchers. Ill thought through indeed. Playing politics – no question.

And, again, while I'm on the subject, isn't it ironic that those same noisy Tory backbenchers, Farage and the Johnny-come-latelies (they know who they are) have built their political careers on overturning the democratic 1975 referendum, while those of us who are now unhappy with Brexit – yet must (and do) accept it – are criticised as being undemocratic?

Beryl Wall

I agree wholeheartedly with Mathew Norman (“The PM must stop treating Sturgeon like a sulky child”). Theresa May's reaction has certainly only strengthened Sturgeon in the eyes of Scots. I hope the SNP will propose an immediate application to join EFTA should it win the independence referendum. As the rump of the UK heads for a very likely fall into WTO rules, Scotland will achieve its aim of retaining access to the single European market.

Of course Scotland, like Norway, will pay for this access but it will benefit from the “soft” Brexit that I imagine a good number of Brexiteers always thought they would achieve for the former UK and which is being denied them and Remainers alike.

Brian Mitchell

Brexit is like a fairytale 

After reading your article “David Davis admits Government has done no economic assessment of the UK crashing out of EU without deal", I am left with the disturbing realisation that Brexit may be a case of the emperor’s new clothes. Beyond platitudes like “take back control”, May’s Brexit Government really doesn’t seem to have anything else to offer. Once reality kicks in, the chances of a fairytale ending are looking rather farfetched.

Graham Simmonds
London, SW4

The sexist Polish MEP shouldn't have been suspended

The Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke has been suspended for 10 days for Borat-like comments claiming that women are less intelligent than men and therefore may legitimately earn less than men. Am I the only one disturbed by this suspension? This egregious man’s remarks were comically prejudiced, (so comically offensive that arguably they are not even threatening) but what on earth is any parliament worthy of the name doing suspending him for saying such things?

He is answerable to his electorate, and one hopes they vote him out of office soon. But in a democratic parliament, within the bounds of due process (formal politesse, etc) he should be free to advocate such political views as he wishes, and say what he thinks will canvass support for said views. Fewer and fewer generally educated people seem able to distinguish the first-order content of views they find offensive from the second-order issue as to the other fellow’s right to utter them.

Or rather, some seem unable to draw this distinction, but many others just lack the moral courage to do so. The president of the European Parliament, Mr Tajani, said “by offending all women, [Mr Korwin-Mikke] displayed contempt for our most fundamental values”. But while the “right” not to be offended is not a fundamental value, freedom of speech is – as is the right of an elected representative to advocate a political view in parliament. 

Dr Robert Lockie

English businesses should relocate to Scotland 

Reading the letters expressing misgivings about the proposed Scottish referendum, I couldn't help wondering how many companies presently based in England might feel it a better proposition to move their operation to Scotland?

Brian Phillips