RICHARD Mowbray (Letters, November 5) presents a rosy picture of a future UK based on his analysis of financial statistics. I would question that interpretation. Worldwide the UK may stand fifth-largest in terms of gross GDP but when one looks at international comparisons, per capita the UK comes somewhere between 24th and 30th ; our near neighbours Ireland are fifth. Mr Mowbray avoids international comparisons of household disposable income where the UK has crashed from fifth place in the early 2000s to currently somewhere in the lower teens. The EU isn't responsible, it was our own Government that did that or allowed it to happen.

We have a national debt approaching £2 trillion that continues to increase rather than reduce. Even if the debt were to be paid off over a period of 20 years where would the Exchequer find the £100 billion every year to do so? Perhaps by privatising the NHS and slashing social services? It already pays eight per cent of tax revenue on interest payments; does Mr Mowbray suggest it initially spends 25 per cent of our taxes to pay down the debt and to service the loan repayments? If not, Brexit or no Brexit the UK will drag the ball and chain of debt behind it for decades while the financial sector continues to siphon off some of the taxes paid by those fortunate to be in work and I and my contemporaries pay from our pensions simply because we had the wit to use part of our already-taxed income to pay into one.

Our economy relies too heavily on the service sector; it cannot be sustained by us selling pizzas to each other or a financial sector based on finding effective ways of hiding the Establishment’s wealth. Post-Brexit we will be an isolated island having to find new export markets; just what will we be exporting that China can’t make at a fraction of the price?

Its shows how little we have learned that a century after the "war to end wars" a tiny section of society can still manipulate the general public into accepting a state of affairs that is against its own interests.

David J Crawford,

85 Whittingehame Court, 1300 Great Western Road, Glasgow.

CONGRATULATIONS to Richard Mowbray for his excellent letter regarding the UK’s current relationship with the EU.

Despite the plethora of opinion from all points of view over the last two years the one angle I have yet to hear discussed is what the UK's position would be in 10 years if it stayed within the EU. Nobody knows what happens when the UK leaves. Everyone is guessing.

If the UK were to remain in the EU my guess is that the UK would have totally forfeited its sovereignty with a puppet, powerless government at Westminster and with our taxation being decided upon and implemented by Brussels .

James Rait,

Woodlands, 30 Main Street, Kilconquhar.

THE latest attack by Kevin McKenna ("Brexit is every hardline Tory Christmas wish come true", The Herald, November 3) on his fellow citizens who happened to vote for Brexit and people like myself who accepted the democratic result of the UK-wide referendum, beggars belief.

In his piece he claims he already knows the outcome to the negotiations to be "apocalyptic" before negotiations have even ended whilst in the same breath he talks fondly about our "European partners" and how we should have rolled over and capitulated to every demand of the EU to ensure a "workable" Brexit. Having recently returned from Greece they would have a very different view of the EU to him, especially with pensions and public service salaries halved, high youth unemployment, mass migration of skilled people and where many people have been reduced to barter to get food to live.

He also goes on to deride anything that is British especially our past "warrior heroes" (like Churchill who stood up to the Nazis who had set up death camps across Europe on an industrial scale) along with a whole range of grievances going back more than 200 years. He also bangs on about inequality yet ignores the fact that the top five per cent contribute around 50 per cent of the tax revenues and the bottom 44 per cent do not pay tax. Neither does he acknowledge our "free" at the point of use NHS or the Union Dividend which funds free prescriptions, free university tuition, along with host of other "free" benefits for all the people living in Scotland. He should know that the hard-working middle classes on modest net salaries who already pay more than their fair share reject Venezuelan economics and will vote with their feet at the next General Election in support of the Tories he so despises.

Finally, he leaves his sanctimonious best to last when he suggests in a "one-liner" that an independent Scotland would be above reproach. Needless to say it is easier for him to write about so-called grievances of the past rather than justify his fanciful views of the future.

Ian Lakin,

Pinelands, Murtle Den Road, Milltimber, Aberdeen.

WE have been reading of late about the debate over whose image should appear on the new £50 note. I submit that it is of no little significance that Mr Rees-Mogg is leading the campaign in favour of Margaret Thatcher’s likeness. I am in fact surprised that he has not suggested that her graven image be put on the reverse of the 50p piece being proposed by Theresa May as part of next year’s Brexit “celebrations”. Let me explain.

The core philosophy behind the Brexiters’ campaign was revealed by Lord (Nigel) Lawson who stated, after the 2016 referendum, that “Brexit gives us the opportunity to finish the job that Margaret Thatcher started” – he being chairman of the Vote Leave Campaign and resident of France.

For such people Brexit is a golden opportunity to escape from the EU’s civilising influence and embark on a process of marketisation involving fundamental deregulation and privatisation, the intention being to trash so many of our rights and protections.

What is more, both gentlemen are rabid climate change deniers, a common stance to be observed among many leading hard Brexiters. In this their views are close to those of Donald Trump of whom Mr Rees-Mogg stated in a Times article headed “President Trump will be our greatest ally after Brexit”: “It is our national good fortune that the president with whom we will develop this new arrangement is Mr Trump”.

Come on citizens, make the demand for a People’s Vote overwhelming.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.

YOUR front-page headline (November 5) reads "Labour is prepared to see Scotland ripped out of the UK". Leaving aside the unnecessarily emotive language, it is understandable that Tories do not wish to see Scotland "ripped out" of the UK, because they wish to continue seeing Scotland being "ripped off" by the UK.

Peter Swain,

Tyme Cottage, Innerwick, Dunbar.