Sir, – As constitutional chaos beckons, the SNP seeks to ensure maximum damage to this country by ensuring MSPs have a vote at Holyrood about Article 50.
Everyone has already had that vote.
The Scottish Parliament has no jurisdiction in this matter.
The Supreme Court has ruled out the SNP’s objection and the only intent of Ms Sturgeon and her cohorts is to cause division between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
This incessant constitutional barrage is at the expense of the over-arching issue within Scotland.
Scotland does not have enough businesses and every utterance from the SNP further damages the will of people to invest in companies and jobs in a country led by a government seemingly wholly intent on damaging the very country it purports to represent.
From every spectrum of belief, Scottish people should be concerned at the headlong dash for fragmentation when surrounded by uncertainty and rapid political developments.
Europe is not stable. The Middle East is unstable, Russia has its own troubles, the USA is realigning its international policies and China is watching in the wings.
Scotland, as confirmed by the 2014 referendum, is part of the UK.
The Scottish Government’s focus should be on jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs.
If we have no tax base we have no country, independent or not.
Scotland will have its say
Sir, – So the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, claims that Scotland’s voice “is simply not being heard” following the Supreme Court Brexit ruling.
This begs the question, what are we paying the 59 Scottish MPs for, who represent us in the UK Parliament?
If they are not speaking for Scotland, then why are they there?
As a Remain voter I was disappointed by the result of the EU referendum, however, what is now important is making the best of a bad job.
I see Alex Salmond has pledged to table 50 amendments to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Bill. Without knowing what the bill will contain, it is a bit presumptuous to think in advance that the SNP will be able to come up with 50 constructive amendments.
Democracy has been ignored
Sir, – As a Leave voter I am not in the least bit surprised by the decision of the Supreme Court but I am furious and disgusted by the fact that 11 unelected judges have the power to ignore the will of 17.4 million voters.
It is an absolute disgrace. This is going to delay the whole process, I suspect, quite considerably.
However, I also suspect Theresa May will be secretly pleased. She is a Remain backer who kept very quiet during the campaign, with her eye on the PM’s job.
She has dragged her feet and dithered about this issue since she became PM.
If she really meant Brexit means Brexit she would have triggered Article 50 immediately and Gina Miller would not have been able to take this action.
If this issue really simply was a point of law, then how come the Supreme Court’s decision was split?
The only one good thing to come out of this is that Nicola Sturgeon cannot do a single thing to block it. I feel this is a very black day for democracy in this country.
117 Simpson Square,
Opinions must be informed
Sir, – Everyone has a right to an opinion.
Messrs Richmond and Parkin exercise this right in their letters of January 24.
Between them they applaud Donald Trump for his decision to warm our plant more rapidly and for his record in business.
Regards global warming, there are two facts.
Firstly, 93% of respected scientists understand the fact of global warming and note both that 2016 was Earth’s hottest year since records began and also that the top 10 hottest recorded years on Earth have occurred since 1998.
Secondly, some extreme right-wing activists have decided that global warming is some sort of left-wing conspiracy for their own political ends.
In respect to business, Mr Trump (who inherited millions of dollars from his family) is, quite aside from his boasts about sexual abuse of young women, a multiple bankrupt who refuses to disclose his income tax records.
He has declared his companies bankrupt four times, a record that would have almost certainly meant his being disbarred from being a company director in the United Kingdom.
The damage to the creditors of his failed businesses is incalculable.
His crazy plans to both cut taxes and spend hugely at the same time may well bankrupt the United States, and his plans to go all out for protectionism may impoverish millions.
As stated, Mr Richmond and Mr Parkin have a right to their opinions.
There is though a significant difference between an opinion and an intelligent and informed opinion.
Healthcare Brexit peril
Sir, – I was struck by figures from the Department of Health. These indicated many more expat UK pensioners rely on European healthcare under reciprocal agreements than UK-based European pensioners rely on the NHS.
The figures show the UK and Spain have the biggest disparity in numbers of pensioners covered by the reciprocal healthcare agreement, as of December 2016.
While 70,000 retired Brits use Spain’s health system, 81 Spanish pensioners are registered as covered by the NHS.
While 43,000 British pensioners were registered to use the French health service, only 201 French pensioners were registered as covered by the NHS.
So, when individuals naively comment on the supposed burden of other EU nationals on the NHS, it should be noted that this is more than outweighed by the impact of UK nationals on the health systems of other EU states.
When Britain leaves the EU, arrangements would cease to apply if we also leave the European Economic Area.
If the terms are not as good as the current ones, pensioners may no longer get the same access to public healthcare in these countries.
It would become expensive for older people to get health insurance, and so it may be they would feel obliged to return to the UK.
The Government needs to say if it intends to maintain reciprocal arrangements.
77 Leamington Terrace,