THE views expressed by Fiona Robertson (Letters, The National, July 1) are quite correct. However, these comments should be widened out to include the large “blue” area in the South of Scotland.

These two areas have a huge amount in common, namely the agricultural industry which is absolutely vital to the regions concerned.

I have mentioned before the huge amount which has been received over a number of years from European funding. It is absolutely vital that the Holyrood government gets on with planning a sustainable and detailed way forward for the industry and all its dependent businesses when the EU funding runs out, so that it is ready to roll it out immediately whenever Brexit or a date for a new independence referendum is in place.

In the meantime it is vitally important that the SNP is in fighting mode ready for another general election, and when that comes would be ready to fight an aggressive campaign trumpeting the huge number of achievements which our government has made over the last ten years, which was sadly lacking last time.

George M Mitchell, Dunblane

DAVID Jamieson wrote in Bella Caledonia (The Leavers left behind, July 1): “It is not difficult to understand, therefore, why such a large proportion of Yes voters, angry, anti-establishment and suffering reclining living standards, backed leaving the EU.”

The EU did not impose the programme of austerity on the Scottish population. The EU did not introduce the bedroom tax. The EU did not hoodwink Scots into believing the Smith Commission would bring about devo-max.

Who is the culprit? Where does the real power lie in the present UK? It lies at Westminster. The EU did not override the democratic vote of Scots not to have a Tory regime. The dysfunctional incorporating union of 1707 brought that about!

The EU did not impose Trident or the many vanity projects we see today. The EU is open to change and improvement. The Westminster set-up is negative, constitutionally backward and regressive. Anachronistic and imperialistic.

Perhaps the question needs to be raised with Yes voters who voted to leave the EU. Are you going to be better served at Westminster? If you abandon the SNP and the Yes campaign and cling to Westminster allowing the unionists to gain the upper hand, then you will have no voice there at all. You have none at present.

Realism dictates that union with the the EU gives Scotland release from Westminster and a seat with powers of veto in the EU’s Council of Ministers with nations much smaller than Edinburgh!

All you get at Westminster is EVEL, English Votes for Everyone’s Laws and second-class status!

John Edgar, Blackford

ALMOST every day another negative effect of leaving the single market and customs union surfaces.

Farming, technology, biotechnology, financial services, research and manufacturing have all issued warnings which appear to be unheeded by this Tory Government, whose response has been “every country outside Europe is going to give us a good deal”. To quote a well known Glaswegian: “Aye, right!”

Leavers always defend their actions by stating they knew what they were voting for — regaining our sovereignty and curbing immigration. No one has defined “regaining sovereignty” and it is misguided to think that contracts with countries outside or in Europe would not be subject to International Courts of Justice or Arbitration.

Some businesses have complained about the number of directives emanating from the EU having an effect on their operations. They don’t realise that many of these directives have been adopted from UK policy in order to implement them across Europe to create a level playing field.

The false impression is given that the Commission sits in Brussels dreaming up directives when, in fact, many of them start in member countries and, after consultation with member states, are added to EU law for the reasons already mentioned.

Immigration has featured prominently in the leave rhetoric. The UK’s economic growth between 2010 and 2015 would not have happened without harnessing the skills of European immigrants who represented less than 50 per cent of total immigration during that period (that’s excluding illegal immigrants).

Unfortunately, that growth benefited the few and not the many British families trapped in a debilitating round of austerity. Leaving the EU is almost guaranteed to make this situation worse for many years to come.

Mrs May’s continual announcement of “red lines” might appease the Tory hard-right in the Brexit negotiations but is not going to help secure a deal which will benefit all.

Mike Underwood, Linlithgow

LIKE a few of your recent correspondents, I have been wondering why the Conservative Party seems to be so eager to leave the common market — at any cost.

I have been reluctant to arrive at this disturbing and chilling conclusion: they do not care what kind of country we are left with as long as they are still in control of it. Furthermore, they can exercise more powerful control without the moderation of the European Union.

I do not know why a person like Ruth Davidson has any truck with them. Perhaps like many Scots, she is content with the crumbs from the table. The trouble is that in the servile scramble for the crumbs it is the poor, the vulnerable, the principled and the gentle that are trampled upon.

Victor Moncrieff via e-mail

A FEATURE article in the Bella Calledonia magazine (The Leavers left behind, July 1) asks how we can satisfy the Yes voters who backed Brexit.

A friend of mine, a Brexiter, told me during the EU referendum run-up last year that we had been fine before the EU and we would be fine again after we left.

As a person born during WWII, I was able to reply that we had not been fine because my parents had lived through two world wars, both of which started in Europe and that the European Union had made the prospect of it happening again from the same source vanishingly unlikely.

Your world news profile on the origin of the EU (The National, July 1) makes exactly the same point. Surely this is the most powerful argument that could be put to our Eurosceptic friends and I am astonished that the Remain side did not put it across forcibly during the 2016 referendum campaign.

Hugh Dunnachie, Wellstrand Cottage