I ASK whether it would be helpful if the Scottish Government declared that a referendum dependent on whether or not we could stay in the single market and customs union and, further, if Brexit delivered this for us, then the rational of changed circumstance to necessitate a referendum would disappear.

As it stands, the removal of a Scottish referendum would be in the power of Theresa May’s “inclusive, listening” negotiating team to deliver what was the will of the substantial majority of Scottish voters. Failure to deliver this for the people of Scotland would then necessitate a Scottish referendum.

In Scotland, this would give the Conservative opposition nowhere to go other than to place its draconian Westminster policies to the fore for scrutiny.

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Shallow rhetoric underpinned its electoral success as the General Election was fought on a battlefield of its choosing while the record of the Scottish Government in ameliorating the excesses of the carpet bagging Westminster Government gained no traction on the oiled surfaces of the Union media.

By making this statement, it removes the Scottish Government to a battlefield of its choosing, removes gummy Tory rhetoric and places the onus on the grassroots organisations to deliver the changed circumstance amongst the sovereign Scottish population by demonstrating a majority in favour of independence.

But only if the Tories deliver for Scotland in Europe and when have Tories delivered for Scotland? So 2019 it is then, after all.

Derek Pretswell, 7 Etive Gardens, Oban.

IT has regularly been stated by supporters of Scotland`s independence aspirations that the Westminster Government cannot be trusted either to fulfil promises made in response to Scots or to act in their best interests. I disagree with that view. Westminster can be trusted to disavow any promise or policy assurance given to the Scottish Government when it suits the purpose of the party in power so to do. This assertion cannot seriously be refuted.

It has also been suggested that Scots must not dwell on the past and should acknowledge that we are where we are. While this is axiomatic it is equally essential to recognise why we are where we are.

To suggest that any deterioration in Scottish life – sporting, cultural, industrial or sociological – being experienced by Scots after 310 years of Westminster care is the fault of the Scottish Government is not only ludicrous but insupportable if post-1945 records are closely examined.

The latest example of this is the refusal of Westminster to acknowledge the already agreed principle that powers to be repatriated from Brussels, if not reserved to Westminster, should be automatically devolved to Holyrood (“SNP warns sweeping changes are needed to Brexit bill”, The Herald, August 10).

“Perfidious Albion “ is an epithet well earned by London and certainly by the Conservative Government , only in charge after a truly shameful agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists. The latter will in due course experience the nature and strength of its “alliance” .

John Hamilton, G/2 I |Jackson Place, Bearsden.

RECENT reports had Aberdeen to be worst hit by Brexit, with reference to a report by the Centre for Cities (CfC) that Aberdeen’s economic output would decline by 3.7 per cent in a hard Brexit, This 3.7 per cent decline is the total over 10 years, less than 0.4 per cent a year compounded, a miniscule amount that could vary wildly and be lost among other influences.

I confirmed this with the CfC. The figures it had for Aberdeen were from 2014. It said cities most likely to suffer were also “home to large, highly-skilled labour markets, significant numbers of innovative firms and strong business networks ... crucial in enabling a city to reinvent or adapt its industrial structure to changing economic circumstances”.

Spurred by the oil recession, Aberdeen businesses are increasing exports of high-value goods and services to Africa, the Middle and Far East, the Americas and Australia. These countries are not EU members, which augurs well for the future. Aberdeen also ranks higher on key metrics such as patent applications, ranking sixth out of 63 cities. Its economic output is sixth out of 63 cities.

Most local businesses will say our key economic risks are a second independence referendum, the huge rise in business rates whereby city and shire companies are paying half of the total £390 million Scottish increase, and the fact that our two councils receive 13 per cent less in block grant from Holyrood than they should.

We also collect £23m more in local taxes than we get back from Holyrood. The north-east economy has more to worry about than a statistically insignificant estimate of Brexit decline. I voted to remain in the EU but I accept the result and want a good Brexit deal and the end to second referendum madness.

Allan Sutherland, 1 Willow Row, Stonehaven.

WHAT a phalanx of letters attacking correspondents who put their heads above the Brexit parapet (August 10).

First, we had Martin Redfern, who believes that Westminster knows best and that the Scottish Government should gratefully accept what London does. He writes about “the benefits of the generous Barnet Formula”, a misunderstanding. That formula is used to give Scotland a part of our own money, decided by the Treasury. The additional “powers” promised by the Vow are a travesty. We need full control of the purse and the policies, as Winnie Ewing specified when she won the Hamilton by-election 50 years ago.

Next up we had Alan Fitzpatrick trying to make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, mentioning the parable of the steward’s talent to prove it. He has the misconception that our lords and masters know what they are doing about Brexit when they have no plan, no idea and precious little talent.

The rear is brought up by Ian W Thomson, who thinks Brexit critics are in a Dad’s Army position, behaving like Private Fraser (“doomed, doomed”). His analogy is broadly correct as the Cabinet is clueless. Those on the other side of the Brexit table are in despair at the half-hearted “all-right-on-the-night” attitude.

Scotland voted 62 per cent Remain and 38 per cent Leave while the SNP has more seats in the Scottish Parliament than the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats and, among Scottish parties, at Westminster too.

Jim Lynch, 42 Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh.