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Turnout will be key in EU referendum

Turnout will be key in EU referendum

Sir, – On March 30 the House of Lords EU Committee called for a “positive, inclusive vision” of our membership of the EU and insisted that the UK Government should “articulate the positive benefits of EU membership”.

This echoes the report by the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, which called for a “positive case to be made for EU membership in Scotland”.

Recent polls have indicated the gap between those in Scotland wanting to remain and those wanting to leave is narrowing.

This should act as a wake-up call to those who favour our continued membership.

As an organisation we will continue to sell a positive message on the benefits our membership brings and urge others to do likewise.

We need to capture some of the energy that existed during the Scottish independence referendum and motivate people to turn out and vote for Europe.

Turnout will be key and we know those in favour of Brexit are more likely to vote.

It is vital all who support our membership, but especially young people for whom the outcome of the referendum will have a major impact, use their vote.

A vote to remain should not be taken for granted.

Those in favour of our membership must not be complacent, otherwise we could end up sleepwalking to Brexit.

The peace, stability and prosperity that the EU has brought to Scotland should be cherished.

We will continue to put forward an unashamedly positive case for our continued EU membership. We intend to do our best to ensure that everyone can see the advantages our membership brings.

Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. President, The European Movement in Scotland, 2 Walker Street, Edinburgh.

Step up to the plate, Andy

Sir, – Having just watched yet another tantrum packed, bag-bashing foul-mouthed tennis match involving Andy Murray, I am left wondering when, if ever, he is going to mature into the professional sportsman he is supposed to be.

He had a great chance to endear himself to the public when he was given a ladies’ tennis ball by mistake.

Instead of making light of it he went on and on about it to the umpire claiming it was totally unacceptable.

He is now apparently having difficulty in adjusting to fatherhood as well as playing tennis.

It doesn’t appear to have affected Novak Djokovic too much.

Come on , Andy, you are a professional sportsman, start acting like one.

James Grahame. 2 Panmure Street, Monifieth.

Scrap pay to fund parking

Sir, – Your April 4 issue carried a story relating to Perth and Kinross Council’s action, or inaction, on parking in Perth. Iam old enough to remember when councillors were interested in the good of the community they represented, before they were paid. We now seem to have a generation of councillors who are more interested in fulfilling their own needs rather than working for the good of the community. If the bill for their wages was deleted it would go a long way to giving everyone free parking in Perth.

Willie Robertson. Grianan, Lynton, Stanley.

MSP pops up for election

Sir, – Like your correspondent Tommy Stewart, I have noted how, come election time, seldom-heard-of politicians seek publicity.

Our North East Fife MSP Roderick Campbell of the SNP has been given more coverage in the past few weeks than in his five years at Holyrood.

With an election pending he is now publicly supporting a number of local causes, duly reported by The Courier and with an accompanying photograph.

He is reported as giving encouragement for the reopening of the station at Newburgh. With that as a precedent, can we now expect him to campaign for the reopening of Cupar’s Sheriff Court?

It was Mr Campbell’s casting vote as chairman of the relevant committee and his implementing of SNP policy that tolled the bell for the Cupar court, despite the outcry of his constituents.

So, Newburgh, don’t hold your breath.

I would also like to comment on Kieran Andrews, The Courier’s political editor and his analysis of the STV leaders’ debate.

As in nearly everything he writes, he shows an undisguised bias against the Conservatives, leaning towards any other party as suits his purpose to belittle the Tories.

According to his analysis, Ruth Davidson had a torrid time over the UK Budget. The others had a go at her, but torrid?

Mr Andrews made no comment at all in his assessment of Ms Sturgeon’s performance about trying to defend herself when accused by Ruth Davidson of planning another “once in a lifetime” referendum.

Forced into admitting it would be in the SNP manifesto, she was rounded on by Willie Rennie and Kezia Dugdale in support of Ms Davidson. Now that was a torrid attack. It left Ms Sturgeon decidedly rattled.

As for his claim that the three women continually interrupted each other, I will admit that Ruth Davidson interrupted a few times but she could not compete with Ms Sturgeon and Ms Dugdale who behaved as if they were on a stairheid. Luckily Bernard Ponsonby could control the situation better than Glenn Campbell did on the BBC Scotland version.

Thankfully ,The Courier’s coverage of the debate by Gareth McPherson was reassuringly more balanced.

Jeanette Guy. Crawley House, Springfield, Cupar.

Simple steps to boost industry

Sir, – Aluminium smelting has gone from the UK, and now steel looks like following.

Both industries are big energy users.

If electricity was half the price it is, that is to say the price it should be if generated by conventional means, and also not priced to subsidise the green agenda, is it possible that these industries, along with many others, would still be with us? The sensible answer is yes.

If capital allowances for plant and machinery were 100% in the first year, is it possible that industry might look favourably on the UK as a manufacturing base?

Again, the answer is yes.

These are two simple steps both with a proven track record to improve our economy and provide jobs.

Yet all our leaders do is talk about day nurseries and state guardians as though these were matters that had any actual impact on us.

We must be the laughing stock of the industrialised world.

Malcolm Parkin. 15 Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.

Subsidise UK steel makers

Sir, – The demise of Tata Steel has been long and protracted, but highly predictable.

Just focus on the steel used in the current construction of the new Queensferry crossing as an example.

Chinese steel is being used because it is cheaper. Money seems to be more important than people’s livelihoods. Again, in Port Talbot thousands of jobs seem doomed, a situation which may see that area becoming derelict of hope and ambition

In all 45,000 jobs look at serious risk. Of course, we are witnessing so-called government intervention, confined to discussion and wholly without teeth, and which will end with the usual “we have done our utmost” response.

Instead, how about a partnership, at least on a temporary basis, in order to find new outlets for steel and to subsidise Tata, which I believe could cost £1million a day.

Where would we find the money?

Well reduce the foreign aid payments, some of which seem destined for the coffers of despots and the financing of functions such as radio soap operas and gay-rights festivals in Turkey.

Or vote to leave the EU and save £16billion a year.

David L Thomson. 24 Laurence Park, Kinglassie.

EU rules harm UK business

Sir, – As a participant in global economy and global trade treaties, the UK Government has limited scope for immediate action to save our steel industry.

Imposing tariffs on commodity imports simply invites “tit-for-tat” tariffs.

Likewise, as a member of the EU, national governments are not allowed to support indigenous industries.

So long as this state of affairs continues, the future for UK steel looks bleak, as has been the case in the past for UK coal and UK shipbuilding, all priced out of the international and domestic markets by cheaper alternatives available from countries enjoying a combination of cheap labour costs and government subsidies.

Tata has reportedly been trying to find a buyer for its UK steel operation for more than 18 months.

It is surprising that the Government was seemingly unaware of the likely consequences if a buyer was not found.

Much better strategic planning is required at Government level for our key industries.

Derek Farmer. Knightsward Farm, Anstruther.