HAVING first used the Brexit vote as a reason for an early referendum on independence, Nicola Sturgeon is now using it as an excuse for further prevarication, pushing the much-trailed decision on a second referendum safely out past the party conference season” ("Sturgeon hedges on Indyref2 call after PM summit", The Herald, August 8).

In truth, it has been a dreadful summer for the SNP. The Inclusive Growth Commission was supposed to deliver a new economic case for independence. Instead it delivered no more than a wish list of half formed guesses and shaky predictions. After a low-key launch the report was relegated to a distant corner of the SNP website to languish in obscurity. Much-heralded public meetings on the report have not materialised. The final ignominy was the evisceration of the commission's assumptions, methodology and recommendations by the These Islands think-tank. The result is that the SNP now has no defensible economic case for independence.

If that wasn't bad enough, we had the bizarre sight of an SNP councillor petitioning a tribunal to have his belief in independence likened to a religious cult. To the surprise of absolutely no-one, the judge agreed.

In the space of a long (sometimes) hot summer the SNP has lost any economic credibility it may have had and been declared, not a political party, but a quasi-religion. No wonder the First Minister wants to kick any decision on a future referendum into the long grass.

Alex Gallagher,

Labour Councillor North Coast and Cumbraes, North Ayrshire Council,

12 Phillips Avenue, Largs.

THE new “blind” version of Brexit, freshly introduced as our most likely future, as opposed to the previous prospects of “soft”, “hard” or “no deal” surely confirms that reality, common sense and leadership have long since departed from Westminster. Someone down there is finally admitting that they don’t have a clue about where they are taking our economy, our environment, our well-being – national or individual – but they are pressing on, nevertheless, to nowhere.

Since May 2106 Theresa May, Ruth Davidson and David Mundell have repeatedly slammed the door on Scottish representations – obdurately and insultingly blind and deaf to the concerns raised by our Holyrood Parliament who predicted the dangers for the whole of the UK and pleaded for the access to the single market to be protected – the position now ambiguously, belatedly, chaotically and hopelessly adopted by a desperate, lame and ridiculous Westminster Cabinet.

It is therefore very hard to accept shameless gall of Theresa’s May’s proposition yesterday that “now is the time” for our First Minister to “work with Westminster “ for the “best outcome. The three blind Brexiters – Mrs May, Ms Davidson and Mr Mundell – clearly do not see the irony, nor the ignominy, of this idea.

There is actually no positive place left in the UK for Scotland: our devolved parliament and our representatives in Westminster have been treated with contempt. We have had the right to protect our industries, our environment and the wellbeing of our people removed. We have been told by Mr Mundell that Scotland is not a “partner” but a “part” of the current UK regime.

We are not daft; the only reasonable and positive course for Scotland – our own independent place and voice in the EU and the rest of the world – is becoming clearer day by day.

Frances McKie,

20 Ash Hill, Evanton, Ross-shire.

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now made her position crystal clear in the matter of the delay in not going for a second referendum on independence in Scotland. The reasons can only be:

1. She will only go for a referendum if she knows she can win.

2. She realises that to lose another referendum will be the end of her reign as SNP leader.

As all the polls indicate from 2014 to date the Scottish electorate do not want independence and certainly do not have the stomach for another divisive referendum, there may never be another independence referendum.

Dennis Forbes Grattan,

3 Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

IAN Lakin's letter today (August 8) betrays the dismal arguments that Brexiters are having to resort to in support of their increasingly desperate position.

Firstly the language: "white flag of surrender, Fortress Europe, intent to punish, and references to a 'Marshall plan'".

When exactly was war declared between the UK and Europe? Who started it, is there a sitcom, possibly written by John Cleese, in the offing? How sure is Mr Lakin that there are thousands of jobs just round the Brexit corner?

So many questions and so far absolutely no answers from our Westminster government who, it seems, are currently unable to negotiate amongst themselves never mind with Europe.

John Jamieson,

Craigie Road, Ayr.

A CONFUSING letter from Ian Lakin. He accuses Nicola Sturgeon of “jumping on the bandwagon of ardent Remainers flying the white flag of surrender in the hope of gaining political advantage”. In the 2016 Referendum Scotland voted 62 per cent to 38 per cent to remain in the EU, and Ms Sturgeon is attempting to get some degree of protection for Scotland. His defence of the current bourach on Brexit, stressing the UK could have more manufacturing jobs, instantly, as a solution to customs problems is unworkable. None of the various scenarios he mentions is being addressed by the UK, which is drifting towards disaster. Theresa May has allowed the Tory Party, and Westminster to be hijacked by a greedy right-wing cabal; her mantras of “Strong and stable” and “Now is not the time” are window dressing.

Jim Lynch,

42 Corstorphine Hill Crescent, Edinburgh.

MAY I suggest that all those who are disappointed, to put it mildly, by Jeremy Corbyn’s “failure to challenge the worst excesses of the advocates of Leave” (Dr RM Morris, Letters, August 8) and who have the opportunity to do so must write to their (Labour) MPs expressing their deeply felt concern at the Labour Party leader’s practical support for the policies and tactics of the Extreme Brexiters.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.

MAY I challenge David C Purdie's assertion (Letters, August 6) that "there is no doubt that, as a former party leader, MSP, MP and First Minister, Alex Salmond's views are worth hearing". I would not cross the street to hear Mr Salmond.

David Miller,

80 Prestonfield, Milngavie.