IT is sadly typical that the EU Commission, presumably directed by France and Germany, gave the UK a financial ultimatum during Remembrance week (“Rebellion on Brexit will not be tolerated, warns May”, The Herald, November 11). One might have hoped for greater tact and historic awareness.

Have the other members forgotten that on leaving Nato’s military command, France refused to pay more than its immediate legal obligations; that Germany paid almost no compensation (and nothing to the UK) for its unprovoked and uniquely-horrific Second World war devastation and deaths; that Germany was permitted to write-off its debt in 1953, and received enhanced Marshall Aid, to counter the growing Soviet threat (which it created); and that they all benefited through the Cold War (and still do) from the UK’s greater defence expenditure?

It is noteworthy that a Polish parliamentary committee is considering re-activating its Second World War reparation demands.

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While it is inconceivable that the UK might have demanded in 1939, 1940 or 1945 that our account for Europe’s liberation must first be settled, some overdue recognition of their more-than-counterbalancing debt to the UK would be welcome.

John Birkett,

12 Horseleys Park, St Andrews.

THERE are many, I am sure, perturbed and unsettled at the lack of progress in the Brexit negotiations and fearing for the future in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union within a fairly short timescale.

If some kind of uplift and reassurance was needed, I believe it was available to those who witnessed the impressive and moving Festival of Remembrance held in London on the evening of November11. During that event, we were reminded of the courage, endurance and sacrifice of our people through two world wars and subsequently; the 100 years of service in and in support of the armed forces by our women; the pride and resilience of many who have lost family members during conflicts; the modesty and quiet pride of veterans who had served in epic battles, such as the Somme and El Alamein; the impressive discipline, skills and precision of today’s armed forces, illustrated on the evening, and the wonderful response capabilities and professionalism of our emergency services.

It is good to be reminded, in these uncertain days, of that courage, endurance and sacrifice of the British, supported by our Commonwealth kin. We, the British, have much of which to be proud and we should not forget it. The future will undoubtedly hold both challenges and opportunities and we should not fear of our capabilities to meet the former and to seize the latter.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road, Lenzie.

THE Cenotaph service on Remembrance Sunday was as splendid and dignified to watch as ever on BBC television, but one lady interviewed representing the Merchant Navy Association, which has not admittedly had the attention it most thoroughly deserves, spoiled things for me by repeatedly saying "England" was saved by the actions of merchant navy ships and seamen.

It grates somewhat that the use of England when Great Britain should be used especially in connection with remembrance of conflicts such as World Wars when, for the common cause, we all stood together.

John Macnab,

175 Grahamsdyke Street, Laurieston, Falkirk.

ON the Andrew Marr programme (BBC1, November 12) the loquacious host raised one last question with his guest Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, chief of defence staff: "Do you know much about Michael Fallon's successor? Do you consider he (the new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson) will be up to the task ?" The banality of the question was obvious as Sir Stuart answered tersely: “He is my new boss."

Allan C Steele,

22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock.

A NUMBER of letters appeared in your columns last week about the meaning of Armistice Day, the ceremonies of which have never glorified war. They have always been in remembrance of the members of all killed in wars.

The Earl Haig Fund and The Royal British Legion were founded by Earl Haig to help all servicemen who were suffering the effects of their service and the poppy was chosen to represent this. The monies raised by from selling poppies are used to help alleviate the problems of ex-servicemen and their dependants. The poppies are made in the Lady Haig Poppy Factory, which is mainly staffed by ex-servicemen.

I was chairman of the welfare sub-committee of Earl Haig Fund Glasgow/West of Scotland Office for a number of years. Great care was taken to ensure that none of the money was misspent. Our annual expenditure was between £300,000 and £400,000.

Credit must be given to the vast numbers of people who give their time to help this good cause and it is a gross insult to say that they are glorifying war.

James Lindsay,

1 Langton Gate, Newton Mearns.