I AM still waiting to be told why the European Union should offer the United Kingdom anything other than the hardest Brexit deal possible. After some 40 years of being an arrogant and rather less than wholehearted member of the European family of nations, we are the ones who have chosen to leave an advantageous market of more than 500 million people. Why should the EU negotiators now make large concessions just to get preferential access to a much smaller market of only some 65 million?

On many occasions over recent years our political representatives have shown little respect for, or friendship towards, our near neighbours. More often we have caused problems by adopting a superior “British” attitude, and expected to get special arrangements to suit our own interests. The UK has never wholeheartedly supported the “European concept”.

I believe that a large proportion of those who voted to leave in the referendum did so simply to keep out European workers who they believed were stealing British jobs and forcing down wage levels. They had no idea or understanding of the benefits of the free exchange of goods and services and the easy transfer of materials and spare parts between manufacturers on both sides. Nor did they know about the EU financial support enjoyed by our farming and other industries, or the value to us of the easy interchange of intellectual knowledge and skilled people in the health and education sectors.

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Sadly none of that was properly explained during the disastrous campaign, with the Leave campaigners focussing on “taking back control of our borders” and ending the alleged transfer of billions of pounds to Europe each year, without acknowledging the specifically-directed financial support to many sectors coming the other way. Meanwhile the Remain campaign was badly organised and poorly presented in the television debates and in the media generally.

So there will be no “good deal” and no chance of a favourable Brexit next year. I am afraid the British people have made a very bad decision, and it is not my generation but sadly those coming after us who will suffer the disastrous consequences of our rash and misguided decision.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

YOU have been reporting a quotidian drip-drip-drip of disturbing Brexit details – details that were hidden behind a Leave campaign smokescreen of “keep it simple, stupid” bus-driven slogans. The Brexit campaign focused its reductionist message on control of immigration and more money for the NHS. No mention of the threats and consequences of leaving Euratom, or the loss of transnational legal reciprocity or discussion of the customs chaos and the detrimental impact on Scottish farmers or the incredible burden on the civil service in managing the registration of the three million EU citizens who might apply for residency or even a mention of the cost of the “divorce settlement”. The list of the missing matters of concern could fill the Letters Pages.

What is extremely troubling is the growing popular realisation across parties and indeed across publics that the negative consequences of Brexit were hidden during the referendum. Indeed, the Brexit campaign can be accused of deliberate suppression of the dire complexity of withdrawing from the EU.

This suppression of the details of the consequences operated to such an extent that surely there could be just cause for a legal inquiry.

The Scottish Government should seek a legal route to a second referendum: but on Brexit.

Thom Cross,

18 Needle Green, Carluke.

BORIS Johnson’s quip that the EU can whistle for its money (“Barnier tells Johnson to listen for ticking of a Brexit trade deal clock”, The Herald, July 13) reminds us of his posturing when the US authorities, in January 2015, asked him to settle a capital gains tax bill. His reply was: “No is the answer. I think it’s absolutely outrageous.” Mt Johnson did eventually pay up, his spokesman confirming that “the matter has been dealt with”.

Contrast this with Mr Johnson, whilst Mayor of London, demanding that the US Embassy meet unpaid fines for the congestion charge. The US Embassy, whilst not going as far as telling Mr Johnson to whistle or sing for his supper, reminded him that its diplomats were immune – so did not pay.

Soon after, in November 2016, David Cameron and George Osborne likewise point-blank refused to pay the EU’s demand for a payment of £1.7 billion, describing it as “totally unacceptable” and “appalling”. After the usual huffing and puffing, hectoring and beating of chests, and claiming to have managed to half the bill (which a report of a cross-party House of Commons Treasury Committee described as “not supported by the facts”) the UK did pay the full whack – albeit in two instalments.

All this to say that there must come a time when our Grand Old Dukes of York will need to stop making us march all the way up the hill and take us all the way down again, as it is becoming rather debilitating to feel that we are never neither up nor down ... or, more aptly, neither here nor there.

P Fabien,

41 Kingsborough Gardens, Glasgow.

I NOTE with interest your editorial (“Fights on all fronts amid claims Brexit bill is ‘power grab’”, The Herald, July 14). Am I alone in thinking, as this sorry excuse for negotiations unfolds, that good sense will prevail and we will stay in the EU? At the very least a referendum on the final deal should be afforded to the nations of these Islands.

Roddy MacDonald,

1 Glenmount Place, Ayr.

THE future of the international organisations created after the Second World War is in doubt following recent comments from the US President - sadly unaddressed at the G20 hosted by Germany. On balance his complaints can be seen two ways. First, the US is used to being a rule maker, not a rule taker; this privilege should continue forever. Secondly, many are taking economic advantage of the international rules in the absence of powers of enforcement. Incidentally the UK is also one of the losers.

Cross-border organisations were established to bring global order, crucially financial, and prevent a clash of civilisations. But the scenario we see now threatens to scrap principally the United Nations system, the G20 and the World Trade Organisation.

Against this undisciplined background for all countries, and a hopelessly divided European Union that can't agree on its future, it seems unwise for the EU to demand tens of billions of penalties from Britain for challenging its direction.

Ian Jenkins,

7 Spruce Avenue, Hamilton.