Lib Dems and Labour give up on Europe - your views

" Austerity is a political choice adopted by the Tories and rejected by the SNP”

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:00 am

Lib Dems and Labour give up on Europe

Alex Cole-Hamilton (News, 28 April) ignores the fact that a vote for the Lib Dems or Labour, will be seen as an endorsement of more years of sleazy Tory austerity rule from Westminster and further erosion of our Scottish Parliament’s powers.

Brexit has hammered Scotland’s exports and the ending of freedom of movement for EU citizens will continue to cause staff shortages in Edinburgh's hospitality, university, tourist and care home sectors yet the Lib Dems and Labour have given up on any plans to return to Europe.

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Alex Cole Hamilton should know that there is no deficit rule for joining the EU. Large deficits will become the norm as countries rebuild their economies as part of the Covid recovery and an independent Scotland with a central bank and our own currency can print money just like the UK government which is under no obligation to repay its massive debt.

Austerity is a political choice adopted by the Tories and rejected by the SNP who spend millions every year protecting the poorest from UK government decisions.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.

Independence means no NHS in Scotland

I was born into the first generation to benefit from a National Health Service with the core principles that it meets the needs of everyone and is free to all at the point of delivery.

NHS Scotland is funded by the Scottish government out of the block grant it gets as being part of the United Kingdom.

I’m not surprised that the SNP are skirting around the details of their desire for partition of the UK (aka 'Independence’).

If the SNP and the other partitionist parties, Alba and the Greens, eventually get their way there will be no UK block grant to fund those NHS core principles.

The economy of a small independent country on the fringe of Europe simply cannot fund an NHS ‘free to all at the point of delivery’. The Republic of Ireland can’t afford it after 100 years of independence, so Scotland certainly won’t.

Today there is no ‘Hard Border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic, but there is a very distinct ‘Health Border’.

Northern Ireland enjoys exactly the same NHS ‘free to all’ as the rest of the UK. Across the border in the Republic, access to their ‘two tier’ health care system is means tested. Only 30% of the residents there have mainly free health care due to being in low pay or on welfare benefits; the rest of the population have to pay for medicine, GP services, hospital treatments etc.

The SNP know full well that ‘Independence’ will mean an end to the NHS as we know it. That’s why they are already talking about centralisation of health boards in Scotland.

If the SNP get their way, I will be of the generation that saw both the beginning and the end of the NHS in Scotland as we have known it. As a resident in Scotland I will not be eligible for free NHS services anywhere else in the UK.

With the looming threat of partition, and if I was a young person in Scotland today, I’d be seriously looking at private health insurance or emigration across the SNP's inevitable Health Border.

PA Fraser, Hamnavoe, Shetland.

Spend for prosperity

We have suffered years of austerity, with cuts and cuts and cuts. People dying because they were deprived of benefit, people hungry and needing food banks, living conditions reaching rock bottom. Meanwhile, billions go to a few rich people.

Spending, not cutting, is the key to prosperity. A lesson the SNP, Tories and Greens don’t want to learn.

Anne Wimberley, Belmont Road, Edinburgh.