I NOTE that Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has released a statement in which she explicitly sides with the DUP against the Prime Minister over the question of the Irish border and a bespoke Brexit deal for Northern Ireland.

Ms Davidson writes the following: “If regulatory alignment in a number of specific areas is the requirement for a frictionless border, then the PM should conclude that this is on a UK-wide basis.” That’s an enormous (but not remotely surprising) volte-face from a person who ran a passionate and articulate campaign to remain in the EU, before buying a first-class ticket for doomed ship Brexit. For her, self always comes before side.

But let that sink in. The leader of Tories in Scotland sides with the DUP and specifically calls for Scotland not to get a differentiated deal which would help our economy and which would recognise that Scotland voted to remain in the EU, and that 90 per cent of Scottish businesses wish to remain in the single market at the very least.

She puts party ideology ahead of Scottish interests, which you’d expect. We can only assume that this is the official Scottish Conservative line, and must call this out for what it is: a deliberate and blatant attempt to weaken Scotland.

The new Scottish MPs have repeatedly failed to live up to their promises to stand up for Scotland. They failed to demand Scotland’s £2.9bn of Barnett consequentials due after the DUP bung. They voted to trigger Article 50 despite representing constituencies that voted to remain. Last night (December 4), they even voted down each and every amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill designed to protect the Scottish devolution settlement. This is an anti-Scottish party that votes against the interests of its own people at every available opportunity and whose leader, when the going gets tough, goes into hiding.

So my question for the Scottish Conservatives is as follows.

“Would you support a differentiated deal that allowed Scotland to remain in the single market even if other parts of the UK did not?"

If the answer is “no”, then we have 13 MPs who put party ideology ahead of the interests of the people of Scotland. So we must ask these supplementary questions: if they cannot stand up for us now, then when? And, quite simply, what are they for?

Alec Ross,

Lochans Mill Farmhouse, Lochans, Stranraer.

WELL, this Brexit thing is really showing up the remarkable incompetence of the UK "negotiating" team, isn't it? Bumbling from one disaster to the next, the ineptitude of the Prime Minister and David Davis is in danger of making Boris Johnson look almost like a statesman. And now, following on from the Secretary of State for Scotland's inability to speak up for Scotland we now have Ruth Davidson saying no part of the UK should have a separate Brexit deal. In effect Ms Davidson is now arguing for a deal that would be the worst possible outcome for the Scottish economy. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Holyrood opposition will prop up this failing UK at whatever cost and we will be dragged down with the rest of the UK. Better Together? Aye, right.

Graeme Finnie,


Albert Street,

Blairgowrie, Perthshire.

WHEN it comes to maintaining a delicate peace and co-existence in Northern Ireland, serious politicians should appreciate that self-interest should for once be the last thing driving their words and actions. But it seems for some there is an over-riding ambition that transcends all else (“Brexit deal ‘risks breaking Britain’”, The Herald, December 5). As our First Minister and her senior colleagues snatch at the opportunity to view a possible solution to the post-Brexit border issue in Ireland as simply another chance to stir grievance and to try to undermine the UK government position, we see again how the narrow ambition of Scottish nationalism can bring out the worst in its leadership.

Most politicians across the UK, the EU and Ireland, appreciate the need for finding an arrangement for the border with Ireland that protects the status quo, but for some here in Scotland neither a successful outcome to the Brexit negotiations nor avoiding endangering the Good Friday accord are upper most in their minds.

Keith Howell,

White Moss, West Linton, Peeblesshire.

AS the Brexit caravan continues, the law of unintended consequences will no doubt be encyclopaedic in short time.

One which I trust is exercising the mind of the Scottish Government is its position on the "divorce bill" and particularly how it will impact on the next independence referendum. While I think it right that a future Scottish state should guarantee the rights of EU citizens in our country, meet the work pensions of its citizens who were formerly employed by the EU and should contribute to continuing joint research and other ventures with other EU parties and institutions, I struggle to calculate how this amounts to around £4 billion or more. An independent Scotland would not wish to be saddled with a debt which did not reflect a sum commensurate with "liquidate damages" as opposed to a penalty. Has the Scottish Government put the UK government on notice?

The actions of the DUP in thwarting the UK Government's deal with the EU seems to be a very high-risk strategy. If this continues then the calls for a referendum on the future of Northern Ireland will become irresistible, and the reason d'etre for the DUP may drown in a substantial vote for a united Ireland not so much on the basis of cultural convergence but economic necessity.

Graeme McCormick,

Redhouse Cottage,

Arden by Loch Lomond.

THERESA May must surely be casting envious eyes towards Ireland, and wishing that she too lived in an independent nation within the European Union, instead of being ruled over by Belfast, 400 miles away.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road, Stirling.

THERESA May proposes “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the EU as a solution to the border problem and it seems something very like that will be the outcome. Nicola Sturgeon wants it for Scotland; Carwyn Jones wants it for Wales; Sadiq Khan wants it for London. A neat solution would be to negotiate it for the whole UK. If we just called it Brexit, maybe even Boris Johnson would be happy.

Kenneth Brown,

61 Killermont Road, Bearsden.