I BELIEVE Iain Macwhirter's take on the subject of returning powers from the EU after Brexit to be eminently sensible ("MPs should now agree that Holyrood was right to say No", The Herald, May 16). He goes through the various scenarios of the Sewel convention and the legal ramifications likely to arise, but let me pick up on the last couple of sentences: "What if Westminster, after mature reflection, decided that, actually, the 1998 Scotland Act had it about right? Let's stick with that." In the chaos we have surrounding decisions on Brexit that sounds like a good idea.

We have a Westminster Cabinet squabbling over the true path to Brexit while the EU waits for it to make up its mind. Will we have a sensible outcome to these Brexit negotiations? It seems more and more unlikely and meanwhile the UK is trying to ensure that after no matter what comes along it has the option to change our existing rules to suit whatever shady deal IT can cobble together with other countries around the world; most likely with the United States.

Remember the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal that was proposed between the EU and the US? It was rejected by the EU because it gave US companies the right to raise suit against anybody that stood in the way of their profits. Be aware that we will bite their hand off for this and worse if we make no good deal with the EU. I dread the emergence of US health care here and the relaxation of food standards to bar our exports from the EU in pursuit of some great trading opportunity that might well be a mirage.

DS Blackwood,

1 Douglas Drive East, Helensburgh.

IT is good to see our MSPs (of all parties except one) uniting to defend the powers of our hard-won Scottish Parliament ("Holyrood defiant over fight to retain devolved powers", The Herald, May 16).

We are repeatedly told that this takeover of devolved powers (for seven years or more – a period transcending future governments and therefore impossible to define) is a technical matter of little interest to the general public.

Of course there are several politicians at the elite end of the UK Government who would encourage the hoi polloi to focus attention solely on what immediately and personally affects them: next year's pay rise; the petrol tax in the next Budget and the like. Then Westminster could surreptitiously remove all Holyrood's powers, culminating in the eventual abolition of the Scottish Parliament. That way there would be no platform from which to launch a future bid for independence; no one in a position to challenge Westminster's total control.

Mary McCabe,

25 Circus Drive Glasgow.

THE same principled stalwarts of democracy who tell us that the results of the 2016 EU referendum and the 2014 Scottish independence referendum must be respected seem to have forgotten about the 1997 referendum in which the Scots voted for devolved government. Apparently, Brexit means that the Scottish Parliament no longer has any powers of its own except those benignly granted by Westminster. Curiously, I don't remember being told about this before I voted in 2016. To avoid misunderstanding, on the next occasion there is a referendum, the British Government should perhaps explain that the result will only be respected if it happily coincides with Conservative policy?

Euan Macpherson,

1d Lilybank Mews, Dundee.

I WONDER if I am alone in being a little puzzled by the amount of time our politicians spend on this pointless debate.

According to your editorial ("Tories should give ground on EU powers", The Herald, May 16), "the powers in question were already technically devolved to Holyrood, but were entrusted to Brussels to ensure a coherent approach to regulations across the EU".

Read this again, swap "Brussels" for "Westminster" and "EU" for "UK" and you have a very similar situation, for exactly the same reason.

That, coupled with the British Government promise that the powers will subsequently come to Edinburgh, surely means this debate reeks of hypocrisy?

Or can we blame it on Brexit, as it seems to be responsible for nearly every unsavoury smell in the country at the moment?

James Miller,

101 Marlborough Avenue, Glasgow.

HOW depressing the future for progressive politics in Scotland looks after the Brexit vote yesterday.

One of the benefits of Brexit for Scotland is that more than 100 new powers will come to the Scottish Parliament. However, the Scottish Government has proved incapable of adopting new powers, such as the genuinely important ones on welfare, on time and focuses instead on a “poo grab” to get fertiliser powers a few years earlier.

Brexit offers Scotland new opportunities for economic growth and social reform whilst still remaining in a proven customs union and single market and in a common travel area that also includes Ireland. That seems an unequivocal good news story whatever the future constitutional arrangements.

Instead Conservatives, in making their case, are drawn into the negativity and narrow-minded petty politics that is now the norm in Scotland – big lies, little lies, cardboard box. Scotland used to be the birthplace of new ideas, vision and progress but now seems increasingly introverted and quick to scorn.

Opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament must realise that there will be no second independence referendum whilst Nicola Sturgeon is First Minister. After the recent Holyrood farces, they must put any remaining credibility in the Scottish Parliament before party advantage and call for her resignation for misleading the Scottish Parliament over her fictitious fracking ban.

James Robb,

Redclyffe Gardens, Helensburgh.

THE SNP thinks it is being terribly clever by forcing the Brexit issue to a stand-off. It sees it as a win/win situation in its quest for independence. This can only be seen as a politically motivated showdown. Having brought the Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats on board it is feeling emboldened. Has the SNP brought the people who really ultimately matter, the electorate, on board too?

The signs are not there. This battle between the Tories and the others boils down to a matter of whom you trust the most. The Tories have always been painted as the "bad guys" from a Scottish perspective but the SNP is now leading this race through questionable deals with China, the running of the police force, the skewed taxation system, the unfair Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, the very damaged health and education system and the faltering economy. It has ministers who fail badly yet remain in post. Nicola Sturgeon has added the final straw with her" oh yes it is, oh no it isn't" position on fracking.

Only the Tories see this attack on UK democracy for what it really is. All the other parties have thrown their weight behind yet another flawed SNP initiative. If it comes to the crunch, the courts rarely seem to be favourable to SNP policies. Will this one fare any better?

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.