WE come from a broad range of sectors across our society – business, education, law, politics, public services, unions, NGOs and more.

We see our society, economy and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit. We recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer – every day. Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity.

Our international reputation has been seriously damaged, leaving the UK weak, with diminished influence, in an increasingly uncertain and unstable world. EU citizens who have made a huge social and economic contribution to our society have been left in profound uncertainty – many have already left, many more are considering leaving. UK citizens elsewhere in the EU are in an unacceptable limbo too.

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In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds. The UK has been a major and influential actor in Europe and can be again. We need to have a debate about how to build a better, fairer, more equal society. Then we will be in a position to contribute to an EU-wide debate on creating a fairer, more equal Europe.

We call for a national debate on Brexit. We ask our fellow citizens, and our politicians, to think again. It is time to call a halt to Brexit.

Professor David Bell, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling; Andrew Bolger, former Scotland Correspondent, Financial Times; Professor Christina Boswell, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh; Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde; The Rt Hon Lord Campbell of Pittenweem CH CBE PC QC; Dr Chad Damro, University of Edinburgh; Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh; Christine De Luca, poet; Dr Richard Dixon, Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland; Sir David Edward, Professor Emeritus Edinburgh University Law School and former ECJ Judge; John Edward, Former Head of European Parliament Office in Scotland/Former EU Policy Manager, Scotland Europa; Colin Imrie, European policy analyst; Maria Fletcher, Director of Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE); Lord Foulkes of Cumnock; Dr Peter Geoghegan, University of the West of Scotland; Gwilym Gibbons Creative Help Ltd; Dame Anne Glover, Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen; Vanessa Glynn, Chair, European Movement in Scotland; David Gow, Editor, Sceptical Scot, Editor, Social Europe; Dr Eve Hepburn, Chief Executive, Fearless Femme CIC; David Hood, Director, Edinburgh Institute for Collaborative & Competitive Advantage; Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director, Scottish Centre on European Relations; Helen Hunter Education Officer (retired); Helen Kay M.A., M.Sc.; Stefan G Kay OBE; Patricia Kelly, retired teacher; Lord Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG; Mark Lazarowicz, former Labour MP 2001 – 2015, Edinburgh North; Graham Leicester, International Futures Forum (in a personal capacity); Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, former Secretary of State Scotland and former High Commissioner to Australia; Dr John MacDonald, Director of the Scottish Global Forum and editor of CABLE magazine; Gordon Macintyre-Kemp, Author and chief executive, Business for Scotland; Dame Mariot Leslie; David Martin, MEP; Monica Martins, Managing Director, WomenBeing Project; Marilyne MacLaren, retired politician and educationalist; Rt Hon Henry McLeish, former First Minister; Maggie Mellon, former executive board, Women for Independence and social work consultant; Professor Steve Murdoch, University of St Andrews; Isobel Murray, Professor Emeritus Modern Scottish Literature, Aberdeen University; Dr Kath Murray, Criminal Justice Researcher; Andrew Ormston, Director of Drew Wylie Projects; Alex Orr, Managing Director, Orbit Communications (in a personal capacity); Robert Palmer robertpalmerconsultants@gmail.com; Ray Perman, author and journalist; Willis Pickard, former editor TES Scotland and Rector, Aberdeen University; Dr Janet Powney, consultant in education and evaluation research; Lesley Riddoch, journalist and broadcaster; Ian Ritchie, software entrepreneur; Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, former Secretary of State for Defence, former Secretary General, Nato; Bill Rodger, Treasurer, European Movement in Scotland; Anthony Salamone, Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser, Scottish Centre on European Relations; Prof. Andrew Scott, University of Edinburgh; Anne Scott, Secretary, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Scottish Branch; Peter K. Sellar Advocate, Axiom Advocates Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh; Prof. Jo Shaw, University of Edinburgh; Dr Kirsteen Shields, Lecturer in Public Law, University of Dundee; Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO; Alyn Smith, MEP; Grahame Smith, General Secretary STUC; Professor Michael E. Smith, Professor of International Relations, University of Aberdeen; Prof Chris Smout, Historiographer Royal of Scotland and Emeritus Professor, University of St Andrews; Struan Stevenson, former MEP and European Movement in Scotland Vice-President; Bob Tait, philosopher and former Chair, Langstane Housing Association, Aberdeen; Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Liberal Democrat peer and former Deputy First Minister; Sir Graham Watson, former President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party), former MEP; Dr Geoffrey Whittam, Reader, Glasgow Caledonian University; Fay Young, Director of a digital media company,
c/o 3 Fettes Row, Edinburgh.

AS many of your correspondents are now writing, the future for the UK after Brexit is becoming less and less appealing. So far, though, very few MPs, who must understand the very serious issues that are developing, have been prepared to put their heads above the parapet and urge a rethink. I assume that this is because they do not wish to be accused of disloyalty but, actually, MPs do not just represent their parties, they also represent the people who voted for them and, in the final analysis, the interests of the country. So how can those MPs who can actually see the probable disastrous effects of Brexit start to influence the debate?

Whatever “the people” may have said in the EU referendum surely they have the right to consider the final settlement for Brexit, whenever it gets sorted, and have a vote on whether or not it was what was they wanted? Since we had a referendum which was dominated by lies, would it not be a good idea to have a second referendum which was dominated by the truth of proposed arrangements? So why can’t the Remainers across all the parties just get together and demand that second referendum? This is not being disloyal, it is not being undemocratic. It is simply doing what MPs are supposed to do and that is look after the interests of their constituents and of the country in general.

At the end of the day, if Brexit means a bill for £100 billion, less prosperity, fewer workers in the National Health Service, no real voice in the world, and so on, and that is what people want, then so be it. But at least people won’t, in the future, be able to say that the Government imposed this nonsense on them. Indeed, say it quietly, but when you come to think of it this sounds like a very good way for the Tories to prevent a) the seemingly inevitable economic downturn caused by Brexit and b) the inevitable political wilderness for themselves for the next few decades that will follow.

John Palfreyman,

The Neuk, Caddam Road, Coupar Angus, Perthshire.

I JUST watched hard Brexiter Liam Fox, SNP Brexit Minister Mike Russell, Chancellor Philip Hammond and his Shadow John McDonnell being interviewed on Brexit.

It seems there is a lot of common ground between core elements of Labour and Conservatives on what I believe is the preference of the majority of the electorate: access to the single market, no allegiance to the European Court or Freedom of Movement and an immigration policy based on need. Even Jeremy Corbyn wants control of immigration, especially the need to control cheap, unskilled labour which reduces wages for UK workers and exploits the migrants.

We need Dr Fox and Mr Russell out of the way, not least because the one thing they have in common is their arrogance and use of complicated jargon to hide their true agendas: a go-it alone, swashbuckling UK on one hand and a "bad Brexit"-induced Scottish Independence on the other.

Theresa May's pleas for Opposition support for her policies are too late and feeble. If she is replaced, hopefully by Philip Hammond or David Davis, they should get round the table wit hMr Corbyn and agree, for the good of the country, a joint UK approach, with outstanding issues debated in Parliament. And in doing so create a strong UK Brexit outcome and burst the SNP's rapidly shrinking bubble.

Allan Sutherland,

1 Willow Row, Stonehaven.

THE Government seems to believe that continuing our membership of the single market is a problem. It does not need to be. It should state that on a given date Britain will cease to accept any imports from the Continent unless an agreement is signed before that date. A period of a fortnight or a month should be allowed between the announcement and the given date.

The agreement should permit the free flow of goods as at present with no conditions or attachments. After that all other matters could be negotiated, although I do feel that the attitude of those on the other side of the Channel might be more respectful.

William W Scott,

23 St Baldred's Road, North Berwick.