THE arrogance of the UK Government in its dealings with the Republic of Ireland over Brexit and the border issue knows no bounds (Pro-Leave Labour MP Kate Hoey: Ireland can pay for border posts after Brexit, The National, November 28).

There is more than a little hint of imperial arrogance in the attitude of Whitehall when it comes to the Irish threat to veto EU trade talks if there is not a solution to the Irish border issue. In essence, how dare a country of fewer than five million people hold the UK to ransom? And, as espoused by Kate Hoey and others, if there is to be a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic then, as with Donald Trump and Mexico, the Irish will have to foot the bill.

Interestingly, it is the same sort of attitude which, according to researchers at Goldmsiths College, can be found in the fact that a significant proportion of those who voted for Brexit did so because they believe the UK is somehow better than other states and deserves special treatment.

When it comes to Ireland and the border issue, there are only three logical solutions: 1) The UK remains in the single market/customs union; 2) Northern Ireland remains in the single market; or 3) border posts.

As we know, the first is not acceptable to the Brexiteers, the second is not acceptable to the DUP which is propping up Mrs May’s Conservatives, which only leaves the third, and border posts on the 315-mile border.

As Mrs May said in her Lancaster speech, “Brexit means Brexit” and this means “taking back control” of trade and immigration. Given this, the logical inevitability is a hard border on the island of Ireland and the undermining of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The inept handling of this matter by the UK Government has the potential to set Anglo-Irish relations back decades and it is essential that the UK Government provides a solution to the border issue and does so quickly.
Alex Orr

I COULDN’T agree more with Catriona C Clark (Letters, November 28) about the adverse effects of automated checkout machines on local shops and on the local community. This is expanding by the creep of large corporations’ so-called “local” shops into areas where large supermarkets can’t be accommodated.

These shops contain disproportionate numbers of self-service checkouts, providing few jobs and little human contact. They may be perceived as providing the advantage of bulk purchasing power to more local areas. Who receives the advantage? Local bakers, butchers, etc, who provide good local produce and community contact are likely to be lost and then there will be no alternative.

You are now considered by corporations only as a consumer. “Consumer choice” is your only strength. So why choose to play their game and work for them for free at self-serve checkouts? Because it is inconvenient to wait in a queue? So choose instead to shop where enough people are employed to serve the customers. Choose to shop where Scottish produce is available and preferably clearly labelled and not wrapped in Union Jacks. Choose to shop in local shops which contribute to local taxes. Of course, perhaps you don’t care about local and Scottish jobs and the nutritional value of the food you provide for your family or whether it is stacked with additives to make it last long enough to reach you or that it may be produced in factories with exploited workforces; as long as it is convenient for you.

I hope that is not what Scottish society has become. You will be a bit more inconvenienced when it is your job and your community that is lost.
Jim Stamper

NOBODY should be surprised that gaffe-prone Richard Leonard is relaxed about readmitting the suspended Labour councillors propping up the Tories in Aberdeen. His opposition to Tory austerity is hollow and opportunistic. His so-called gaffe about Scottish water shows he sees Scotland through the prism of British politics

The Better Together-Unionist alliance has survived and thrived even under “leftist” Corbyn.

Corbyn and Shami Chakrabarti were the loudest critics of the so-called Snoopers’ Charter when Theresa May first mooted it in 2012. Yet Corbyn abstained when it was introduced last year.

The Bill allowed government to hand UK tech firms top-secret notices to hack their customers; the police will now be able to look at internet browsing history; and personal data will be tied together so the state can find out if a person attended a protest, who their friends are, and where they live. Corbyn also whipped his MPs to vote down holding a parliamentary inquiry into Tony Blair’s Iraq War lies.

He voted to renew Trident and blamed falling wages not on the failed neoliberal austerity that Blair and Brown were disciples of, but on EU migrants. He also supported the Welsh Labour Party’s decision to freeze public-sector pay while calling on the SNP to increase it in Scotland. A vote for Labour is a vote for the Union.
Alan Hinnrichs

ANYONE else remember the Morning Star’s wonderful front-page coverage of the 1973 royal wedding? It was one paragraph headed “Traffic jam” and said: “Traffic in Central London was interrupted yesterday due to the wedding of Anne Windsor to Mark Phillips.”
Jack Foley