Letters: Border would be no barrier to trade in independent land

Trade with England would persist
Trade with England would persist
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It was with much hilarity that I read Brian Monteith’s comments that an independent Scotland would have to establish border controls with England (News, February 24), although someone should point out to him that he is far too early for April Fool’s Day.

Mr Monteith’s whole argument is based on the false premise that an independent Scotland would have to accede to the European Union, and therefore as a new entrant be forced to join the Schengen Area, which the UK currently has an opt-out from. However, on independence, as supported by a plethora of European and legal experts, Scotland would still remain a member of the European Union, as would the rest of the UK.

Mr Monteith then compounds his patent scaremongering by commenting that even if this were the case, the Scottish Government would look to impose border controls with England, a quite bizarre statement.

While the political union would end on independence, the social and economic union would still very much remain, and it is total and utter nonsense to promote the idea that a Scottish Government, of any political hue, would look to impose barriers with our single largest trading partner.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Learn to move with the times

YOUR article “We’ll see off Sainsbury’s” (News, February 20) makes fascinating reading. What a storm in a teacup! According to Karen Mackay, Sainsbury’s “think they can be part of this community” – presuming she means the Bruntsfield area.

As a very long-time resident in this area, I am of the opinion that the traders in your photo are all newcomers.

Did any of them consider that they might not be wanted when setting up their businesses? I have seen traders come and go over the years.

The MP Ian Murray is quoted as saying that if Sainsbury’s and Tesco have a price war, the independent shops will get caught in the middle.

How does it affect the picture framer or the shoe repairer, not to mention the butcher and fishmonger, both long established and with a good customer base?

The traders I have spoken to are indifferent to Sainsbury’s taking over an existing grocery premises.

One said “at least it is not another cafe”. Those objecting should realise that the world moves on and they should learn to live with it.

I look forward to adding Sainsbury’s to my shopping experience.

B Crawford, Bruntsfield

Drifting sands on the £60k beach

HAVING my usual walk along the Portobello promenade, a few weeks ago I noticed after the tide had gone out there was a ditch-like trench about 25 metres from the Promenade, running parallel to the Prom (from the chip shop on the Prom at Bath Street to the drift barrier at the amusements).

This week the trench is now stretching through two drift barriers and seems to be getting worse.

So after a £60,000 regeneration of the sand, does the council not look at it to check if all is well.?

The problem I see, (apart from sand-drift, and it looks to me it is the wrong sand if it gets moved that easily) is if any children are walking on the beach at that area, they would maybe not notice that because of the trench, the tide comes in and fills the trench first.

The sand they could be on looks like a peninsula and covers over when the tide comes in further. The trench is probably four feet deep.

Once again the council spends our money and then no follow-up.

N McLellan, Mount Lodge Place, Portobello

Foreign contracts not a vote winner

TRANSPORT minister Keith Brown said 76 per cent of contracts for the new Forth bridge was for Scottish Business.

I think he should be asked to resign over this.

I have worked in the construction industry all my life. I’m nearing retirement and in the last few years I have not worked on a regular basis.

But when I did, I could not help notice how many immigrants are working while lots of our own are out of work.

I am one person who won’t be voting for SNP and independence.

Robert Jenkins, Broxburn, West Lothian