SO Labour want a “jobs-first” Brexit that safeguards the future of Britain’s vital industries and paves the way to a genuinely fairer society, protecting human rights and upgrading the economy (Corbyn vows to tackle greed as he takes on May, The National, May 10). Isn’t the problem for Labour that all these objectives are intrinsically incompatible with the Brexit policy they are illogically set on?

There seems to be a widespread illusion that Britain is entering into “negotiations” over Brexit. However, Britain has no negotiating position. Its course of leaving is set, supposedly non-negotiable. What’s to negotiate? The EU has stated clearly that Britain cannot attain any position which is in any way equal in status to membership, or nearly so, without meeting the obligations incumbent on the other 27 members.

The real question is what conditions will be set by the EU, which Britain will have to accept. It’s a take it or leave it deal, which suggests why the Government has refused a final vote of acceptance or rejection of it, with the option to retain the status quo.

In his letter (May 10), Clark Cross reckons there will be no trade sanctions following Brexit, because the EU exports more to the UK than vice-versa, citing Mercedes, BMW and French wine. How mistaken is this? These are quality products marketed to those in Britain who can afford them, and have the disposable income to pay any import tariff increase. This may not work in the other direction. Nissan is a case in point. It operates in the fiercely competitive mid-market, where cost is a prime factor in purchases.

In order to compete in Europe, it has two choices. It can seek subsidy from the British Government – which means British taxpayers will be paying to subsidise cars bought in Europe – or it can relocate over a period to within the EU, there being any number of low-labour-cost countries desperate to attract such a business. This will be the case for every exporting company. If we want to retain these enterprises, and their valuable jobs, then the real price of Brexit will run to billions, and higher taxes for us all.

Jeremy Corbyn has blown it in this election with his naive misunderstanding of the ramifications of Brexit, based on some notion of a democratic deficit if the referendum result is reneged on. Isn’t the larger democratic deficit that one-third of the electorate have been allowed to trigger this hugely important constitutional change, at the expense of the overwhelming number of the rest of us?

As for Corbyn’s claim to protect human rights? Won’t the allegedly certain Tory victory in England at the General Election see our rights in Britain rewritten and downgraded by the Tories to benefit the capital investor interests the party exclusively serves? Shouldn’t Scots seize the opportunity to say no to all of the negative consequences of Brexit we don’t need or want?
Jim Taylor

IT is said that a nation that forgets its history is doomed to repeat it. This was brought to mind when I read of the Tory gains in the local elections and the projection that this might feed through to the General Election. Is one generation all it takes to forget the loss of shipbuilding, of the steel industry, of coal mining and the imposition of the Poll Tax? Do I need to go on? What will an increased Tory majority mean for us as they determinedly proceed with a hard Brexit? Probably increases in National Insurance and other taxes, the disappearance of our financial services industry, perhaps even the tourist industry as the landlords reclaim the privacy of their grouse moors.

Consider the evidence of the last two years. The weakest in society have been under a sustained attack. Meanwhile, we are treated daily to the disingenuous words of Miss Davidson as she fails to produce any policy details other than her one-trick pony of opposing a second referendum. This is not a vision for our future but a drive to the destruction of aspiration.

She may be media smart, but she fails to realise that “the day job” of an opposition leader is to provide constructive criticism – not to bang on about her obsession.

Meanwhile, Mrs May’s obsession is winning a large majority. But surely a majority is a majority? What can she achieve with a large majority that she cannot achieve with her current one? Yes, you have guessed it – the removal of any effective opposition. To me, it seems Mrs May is exhibiting a lack of confidence in her own abilities, a disdain for any opinion other than her own, and she definitely has no appreciation of the value of any criticism let alone constructive criticism.

Are these not the traits of dictatorship? I can only hope that we come to our senses and remember the lessons of history before June 8 as it is coming fast.
Brian Rattray

REGARDING the Conservative Government’s plan to scrap the triple lock on the state pension. State pensions are funded primarily by National Insurance contributions. In this modern Britain of zero-hour contracts, food banks and the minimum wage, both employers and employees are paying less into the system. It is becoming unsustainable, and it’s becoming unsustainable by design.

Scrapping the triple lock will herald the end of the state pension and eventually the welfare system entirely. Conservative ideology is, and always was, about privatisation and the ability to pay, no matter what “people friendly” PR logo they might try to paper over it with.
Graeme Goodall



THE BBC hit a new low with the appearance on the One Show by Theresa May and her husband Philip. Please, please, Nicola don’t agree to do the same. Refuse – unless, of course, she agrees to have a leaders debate.

This must have been the most nauseating programme that I’ve ever seen.
Robin Maclean
Fort Augustus and Glenrothes

ON checking out Theresa May’s background, I discovered that her maiden name was Brasier, which sounded rather French to me. I also discovered that her mother’s Christian name was Zaidee which is French for Sarah. Could Mrs May be descended from French immigrants?
Harriet Smyth
Address supplied

TURNOUTS in some areas at the local elections were as low as 26 per cent. That means upwards of 60 per cent of the electorate did not exercise their democratic right.

This has severe implications for next month’s General Election. We must realise we are sleepwalking into an extreme right-wing administration that could govern for many years.
Terry Keegans