AFTER checking the date to make sure Lovina Roe’s letter (January 9) was not an April fool, I read it a number of times in incredulity. Is hers really the level of Brexiteers’ understanding of the purpose, achievements, aims and ambitions of the European Union?

Surely invoking Dubcek and the USSR’s crushing of Czechoslovakia before the EU even existed as justification for Brexit is stretching history and common sense to bursting point?

It may have escaped Ms Roe’s notice that one of the clear requirements for EU membership is a democratic electoral process. In this, the EU has been a key driver in promoting democracies in the very post-war oppressed European states she cites in support of her disdain for the EU.

And isn’t Ms Roe still promulgating her ignorance of the reality of the Catalan situation by suggesting the EU is somehow responsible for the violence, when the truth is it is the Spanish state which is culpable, responsible and ultimately accountable for its actions under its own democratic system?

As the EU is a family of individual democratic nations, and not the dictatorship only Ms Roe and her fellow Brexiteers believe it to be, wouldn’t any direct intervention by the EU in Spain and Catalonia be no different to the the USSR’s actions 50 years ago? How can Ms Roe castigate the USSR for intervening and then illogically castigate the EU for not?

It is not in the remit of any nation to overtly intervene in internal Spanish politics, just as we would resist the Spanish intervening in our own domestic politics, and Ms Roe would be the first to cry “foul” if they did so. Regrettably, it is a matter for the Catalans themselves to resolve, and I support them in their struggle. However, their recourse to international assistance is not through the trading bloc that is the EU, but to the United Nations, ultimate protectors of all our human rights.

Ms Roe’s claim that the EU is anti-democratic further proves her ignorance of what the EU is. Each nation is a democracy, it elects members to its governing body. It is they who nominate, through their elected mandate, the officials to administer the EU organisation; there is a directly elected parliament and the presidency rotates around each of the member states, irrespective of size.

If Ms Roe’s idea of making the EU “democratic” is for it to mirror our own democracy and have directly elected representatives controlling the organisation, and bypassing each nation’s elected body, then while that may be democratic, it flies in the face of its purpose and would negate its existence based on statehood. It would then be the superstate that Brexiteers wrongly claim it is, and one of their arguments to “repatriate” British sovereignty.

Finally, isn’t Ms Roe fundamentally wrong again about financial controls? Closing financial loopholes is precisely why the Tory right have pushed Brexit. They know their situation will worsen when the EU’s rules about hedge funds and tax avoidance/evasion come into force; with Brexit they can buck the EU controls and write their own rules, that the ordinary citizen will pay heavily to subsidise and be taxed for.

Finally, I consider Ms Roe’s citing the Declaration of Arbroath to support her skewed “wisdom” deeply offensive. It is a statement for all Scots to take control. And when we’re independent we will invest our sovereignty where it needs to be in the interests of all Scots. That will be our free choice.

Unlike her, I look forward to when this “best small nation in the world” is sitting in its rightful place at the top table of an inclusive, progressive and ambitious European Union and, through it, when Scots’ wisdom and egalitarianism will reach out to the global world through the free spirit of our children.

Jim Taylor

THE EU is a voluntary union of 28 countries who all retain full sovereignty and can all leave if they wish. Linchpin to this cooperative organisation is an understanding that the EU does not interfere in the internal affairs of its members. There is absolutely no way that the EU could have formed if this was not the case.

The notion therefore articulated by some that the EU should have intervened in the Spain/Catalonia disgrace is just silly. I’m sure I share with most the very deep disappointment in the expressed reaction of the EU to Madrid’s behaviour. But that does not obscure the fact that the EU has no powers to intervene.

To imply as Lovina Roe does that the Spanish behaviour was somehow the fault of the EU, who should have intervened with powers she believes the EU shouldn’t (and doesn’t) have, renders much of her long letter contradictory.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll