I THINK we can see noo fit wey the Tory Government is heided wi its traed wi Americae. Michael Gove announces chynges tae hoo fairmers are gaein grants. Grants tae thaim faw luik after the environment?

In itherwurds thaim faa fairm responsibly wi guid husbandry tae the benefit o aa will be peinalised, but major laun awners, faa dae naithin but kep grouse muirs will be deemed tae be environmental freinly an be gaein a wheen o siller alang wi thair tax relief nae tae mention tax avoidance.

Alang wi that we hae Liam Fox apenin the door tae fu chicken, chemically enhauncit beef an modified grain. His traed wi Americae was aa anegangen, an nae aist tae wast.

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On an interview he haed nae mention o ony guids frae the UK gaein tae the US. Oor fairmers an the British public will be sacrificed tae gain a deal wi ae President that his ain kintrafowk hae lost aa trust wi.
George T Watt


We have much to thank the EU for – on many fronts

AS an ardent supporter of both Scottish independence and membership of the EU, I have to admit that I treat the views of Brexiteers with disdain particularly where these views are based purely on the fake facts, lies and propaganda of the Unionist press. However, the well-thought-out comments of Julia Pannell (Letters, The National, July 26)demand respect even if I disagree with them in their entirety.

I am of the view she reached these conclusions through either a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation of history.

Let’s consider, first of all, peace in Europe. At the end of the Second World War, the Allies were determined not to make the same errors that resulted from the punitive and vindictive measures laid down in the Treaty of Versailles.

The American Marshall Plan of 1948 was designed to give economic assistance to help the European nations back on their feet. In 1949 Nato was established in order to enable the Western Allies to counter the expansionist policies of the Soviet Union. In 1952 the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established to integrate the coal and steel industries, which are primordial in any war machine.

Ensuring peace and stability in western Europe would allow the economies to develop and flourish, and to coordinate this progress the European Economic Community was established in 1957. In 1958 the European Atomic Community (Euratom) was established in order to coordinate and research nuclear matters. By 1993, these three communities were under the one umbrella of the European Union (EU). In a nutshell the Americans set the foundations for peace in Western Europe, Nato defended the West against the USSR and the EU and its predecessors prevented the western European countries from fighting amongst themselves by promoting and developing the European economy.

Now let’s look at the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), set up at a time when food security had become a priority following the experiences of two World Wars. The CAP is not perfect but modifications are continuing to be made and any decision is a compromise reached by all the member states and not simply by the European Commission alone. It should be made clear that the Commission is the civil service of the EU and in no country in the world are elections held for the posts.

With regard to human rights, Julia Pannell refers to problems relating to the deportation of domiciled foreign criminals. By so doing she is confusing the European Court for Human Rights, which is under the umbrella of the Council of Europe and has nothing to do with the EU, and the European Court of Justice.

I will agree that the introduction of the euro was more a political act that an economic one but it has proved to be a great convenience to travellers and traders. Whatever its weaknesses, it appears to be much healthier than the pound sterling.

Finally, leaving the EU is not just breaking off with the other 27 trading partners but also with all the countries with which the EU has trading deals. Neither the UK nor Scotland has the power, influence, or skilled negotiators, to achieve such good deals as the EU has done. The EU is certainly not perfect but what is? We are already enjoying the best deal available, so why exchange it for something inferior? If, as Julia Pannell says, Leavers have seen so little benefit from being in the EU, where have they been since January 1, 1973?
Hugh McLean
Address supplied

WE will never be clear as to how many of us want to be in the EU until we have a vote on it as an independent Scotland. We are not being dragged out against our will. We voted to stay part of the UK with all the horrors that entails. The SNP have always said this is the main reason for independence – that whatever Scotland votes for it does not get unless England wants it too. It was a very interesting observation by Jim Taylor (Letters, July 26), that “the stable euro and the European Central Bank” saved the day in Greece. I don’t think that is the view of the huge Greek percentage of the population unemployed without benefits or the huge number of young people disproportionately affected by unemployment.

To Brendon Griffin (Letters, July 27) it doesn’t matter how much we want Scotland’s will to be respected, we are not going to get a separate deal as a region of a nation-state (although we might if we were London or Sunderland). As for the CAP, again, we have heard for decades how we can change it from within. If that was so, we would have changed it by now.

As several correspondents proved, it is difficult to oppose pro-EU views without being belittled. I believe the EU did cost us, the SNP, seats in the north-east, where many SNP supporters are unhappy about the party’s unqualified support. It is true that Brexit has not been enacted yet but I sincerely hope that it is, and I would want the same if I was a Remainer because a referendum is the ultimate democracy.

Jim Taylor and others, be careful what you wish for.
Julia Pannell Friockheim

ALEX Orr is so right about the 51st Highland Division and the way they were left in France during and after Dunkirk (Valour of Highland troops should be honoured, Letters, July 28). We did not have our own government then. We do now. There should be an acknowledgement that a decision was taken to sacrifice these guys.
Catherine Gilchrist
Address supplied