I WELCOME Alex Salmond’s proposal that an independent Scotland should apply for membership of EFTA (Salmond: Scots should join EFTA and Gordon MacIntyre: Salmond’s view on EFTA a welcome intervention, The National, September 8). It seems to offer a middle road which both critics and supporters of the EU and could live with. However, a lot more detail about the common trading agreements and the laws of each country, with particular regard to what Mr MacIntyre describes as EFTA’s “membership to protect jobs, working conditions, exports and prosperity”, is needed.

I taught in a summer school in Switzerland for two years and know that it assiduously vets any incoming workers. The school and I had to prove that I could do the job better than a Swiss national and my stay was strictly limited to the details of my contract without the possibility of extending it.

Swiss banks are famed for their secrecy, summed up in a poster at Geneva Airport which I read on my first visit: Money talks. Wealth whispers. I understand that it is not possible to buy a house and move to Switzerland unless you have huge sums of money in the bank, and probably one of the Swiss banks, and that it is almost impossible for foreigners to buy land in that country. Whether these policies contribute to Swiss prosperity I do not know.

I have no experience of working in the other EFTA counties so cannot comment on their employment or immigration laws but the Swiss model does raise interesting questions, eg were an independent Scotland to be accepted as a member how much autonomy would we have over our laws?

This is absolutely not to say that the Scottish Government should not be investigating membership of EFTA. I am delighted that Mr Salmond has suggested that it does so. What we need now is further details to flesh out the proposal and I am very optimistic about the outcome of one.

Lovina Roe


NOT so long ago, Westminster ruled that the Prime Minister of all the bewildered citizens of this “United” Kingdom was far too important to be seen negotiating with First Ministers of devolved countries (Arlene Foster excluded, of course), and that her minions would represent her in any negotiations with FMs, clearly indicating that citizens of Scotland be treated with the same contempt as their democratically elected leader.

We have repeatedly requested that Scotland has her own representative at the Brexit table but to no avail.

It is time that we dropped any ideas or hopes of negotiations with this domineering and morally corrupt organisation that hilariously calls itself “the mother of all parliaments” and declare ourselves ready to negotiate Scottish concerns directly with the EU – for existing and future EU workers and students permits to live, work, and study in Scotland, for the Law Society of Scotland to be recognised as representing Scotland against any repeal Bill or any Henry VIII-type erosion of human rights or power grab, for the protection of all our institutions, and values that we hold dear.

Tom Murphy


INSPIRED by Greg Russell’s article today. I would love to use a .scot domain. I already use .com and co.uk, but as the cost of the .scot is significantly more than the others, someone is profiteering! And added to this is the cost of redirections to ensure that long-standing addresses are not lost to cyberspace.

Nick Cole


IT took her less than a week, but the Colonel is back to her snarling, capricious best! Only the other day she gave a fleeting impression of being an opposition politician who was able to support the good in the Scottish Government’s policies, but yesterday she snarled and screeched her way through First Minister’s Questions by latching on to the tax question and shouting out negative, incorrect and quite frankly inappropriate accusations.

On the one hand, Davidson is demanding more affordable housing, better NHS provision and that the Scottish Government take up all the shortfalls in funding, brought about by her party’s failed austerity programme. On the other, she tries and get a scare story going about tax hikes to avoid acknowledging this fact.

Well, it doesn’t take an expert economist to tell her that in order to achieve all her demands, money has to be found from somewhere and given that the Westminster coffers are not going to lavish cash on us, tax would seem to be the only other way, apart from borrowing and one can see the effect that has had in Westminster. The Colonel and her attack dogs are trying to deflect the public’s attention away from the positive aspects of the SNP’s ambitious programme and carp endlessly on the areas that are not performing well, although Nicola Sturgeon openly admitted the shortfalls and has put in place policies that aim to rectify these.

Davidson is unable or unwilling to acknowledge that this Government is trying, against all odds, to achieve goals for the betterment of its citizens. Is she truly unable to get behind the Government and work together to get our society right or does she just prefer to be negative?

It is embarrassing to witness our Parliament being dragged into the same gutter as Westminster by the likes of Davidson and Co; and to see her trying at every turn to belittle our aspirations. All the while the BBC lead with a headline that “Tory Leader warns of tax rise”. Usual unbiased BBC reporting then!

Ade Hegney