THE contempt Russia is showing the UK over the recent poisonings is further proof of our demise as a world power (“May’s ultimatum to Putin over Russian nerve agent”, The Herald, March 13). Even the Russian media is treating us as a joke. This will only get worse if we continue down this disastrous Brexit path.

If Theresa May decides to take punitive action against Russia, who will back us up? France, Germany, Italy? I wager none of them as we’ve decided to leave Europe and they have their own problems. As for Donald Trump’s America: extremely unlikely. All this talk of “special relationships” and transatlantic trade deals is, to use an Americanism, so much baloney. Since the US has a huge influence in Nato, don’t expect help from that organisation either.

Maybe Vince Cable (“Cable: Brexit has led to UK civil war”, The Herald, March 12) could have used less inflammatory language, but he got the sentiment spot on. A nostalgia for our imperial past has got us into this mess. We can be part of something which is far from perfect, but which has some clout on the world stage, or we can hunker down in splendid isolation and insularity with little say in world events. I hope to be proved wrong, but I suspect Teresa May will bluff and bluster and do nothing that will in any way seriously penalise Russia.

Ian Smith,

111 Dutch House, Kilmarnock Road, Monkton.

IT must be clear that Russia knew its attack would be correctly identified. Which begs the question, why did they do it? I suggest that it’s as simple as a desire to find out how the UK and Nato would respond to an attack at this level.

Where is the divide that sets us on course to mutually assured destruction and simply allowing Russian aggression and expansionism on its boundary with Nato countries?

Michael Collie,

51B Elliot Street, Dunfermline.

ALEX Salmond’s response to those who call on him to relinquish his show on RT is: “RT was not responsible for the poisoning in Salisbury.” No doubt that is so, but RT is a propaganda arm of the regime which, it seems clear, was responsible for it. This may come as a relief to Nicola Sturgeon, for it provides a cast-iron reason for not accepting Mr Salmond’s candidacy for a by-election in Aberdeen Donside should Mark McDonald finally realise he he should resign his seat. The last thing Ms Sturgeon wants is Mr Salmond being unleashed on the benches at Holyrood.

Jill Stephenson,

Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.

THERESA May claims it is “highly likely” that the nerve agent came from ... where? Russia, the Kremlin? There is a danger that assumptions coalesce into facts without objective corroboration. The Gadarene rush to issue ultimatums is reminiscent of 1914. The equally supportive statements from other individuals and “allies” given the lack of evidence so far to substantiate claims.

In the immoral world of espionage, counter-espionage, double agents and so-called traitors, it is wise to wait. Any headlong rush to condemn without corroboration is dangerous to say the least.

Nothing like a wee spy story or hysterical Zinoviev-letter style to reflect from inner political chaos over Brexit and the like.

Let us ca’ canny.

John Edgar,

4 Merrygreen Place, Stewarton.

WITH Scotland having the largest fishery in the EU, it’s little wonder that Westminster wishes to use it as a bargaining chip, possibly at the expense of the Scottish fleet (“Davidson and Gove unite on fishing”, The Herald, March 12). This is one of the jewels in the Scottish crown and falls in Scottish territorial waters. I would suggest that readers take a look at the film Scotland’s Stolen Seas. Although not about fisheries it shows what Westminster can do with borders and oil rigs in the North Sea.

During the EU referendum Michael Gove came north to the land of his birth and stated that British waters would be exclusive to British fishermen, and the 200-mile limit would be enforced. This is now being undermined by Theresa May, who it would appear is willing to sell her granny in these EU negotiations to appease factions in her own party.

Robert McCaw,

6 Hamilton Crescent, Renfrew.

SO Ruth Davidson and Michael Gove have joined forces to take full control of fishing matters. What weight will that carry in the negotiations? Mr Gove is a yes man for the UK Government and Ms Davidson, despite her best efforts, will be ignored in the final deal.

Malcolm Rankin,

107 Ardrossan Road, Seamill.

YOUR report (“Brexit feud and gaffes mar Leonard’s first conference”, The Herald, March 10) of Labour in Scotland blocking a conference vote on the EU single market and Jeremy Corbyn’s Ukip-type rhetoric on immigrants’ cutting wages shows that the Labour leadership is no different from the hard-line Tory Brexiters.

Brexit will hit Scotland much more than London yet the Tories rubbished the Scottish Government’s analysis of the damage Brexit will do to our economy and the UK Government’s own assessment showed a hard Brexit would hit Scotland’s economic growth by nine per cent.

The Tories’ Westminster power grab of devolved powers forgets that everything not specifically reserved to Westminster, originally under Section 5 of the 1998 Scotland Act, is automatically devolved to Holyrood.

There would be no need for the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill if the UK Government hadn’t rammed through the UK Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons in three days without producing or accepting a single amendment to protect any of the existing Holyrood powers. The Presiding Officer in Wales deemed its similar Continuity Bill was competent and the Welsh Tories even supported the bill, displaying more backbone than their Scottish counterparts.

The EU is not perfect but the EU stopped overfishing, supported our farmers well beyond anything the UK government provided, greatly improved workers rights, health and safety regulations and food safety. All these hard-won results will be sacrificed in a Tory deregulated utopia including a Trump trade deal that threatens Scotland’s NHS plus our valuable food and drinks industries without any say from Holyrood.

Mary Thomas,

Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.