Readers' letters: Brexit success will depend on pragmatism, not zealotry

Supporters assert that Brexit is an unfinished project yet to show its potential, solely because of incompetent government.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 7:00 am

Surely the present regime is so hopeless simply because only fervent Brexiteers were chosen for ministerial rank on that criterion alone.

No future government seeking a sound economic performance could contemplate going on with a dogmatic Brexit in its extreme, Johnsonian form.

Not a single benefit from leaving the EU has been demonstrated by those who voted Leave, unless you count Edwina Currie’s pleasure that it is now possible to “stick two fingers up to Brussels”.

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For any hope of success, the next government must facilitate political efficiency through pragmatism, not zealotry, and proper international relations through patient, realistic cooperation, rather than the aggressive,"two fingers" nationalism seen of late.

Such a course would rule out any future administration dominated by another group of Brexit extremists, as it would fail for exactly the same reasons as this one - a harmful obsession with an outdated and untenable world view to the exclusion of sensible political management.

Energy prices, immig-ration and unemployment are problems we share with our EU neighbours. Why not work in common with them to find joint solutions?

Brexiteers make the usual complaint about the lack of democratic legitimacy of EU leaders.Yet wasn’t former Cabinet minister Lord David Frost’s critical role in the UK’s withdrawal performed as an unelected bureaucrat?

Anthony O’Donnell, Edinburgh.

Local government on starvation rations

It seems a long time since Nicola Sturgeon proclaimed in Holyrood, "Judge me on education because the future depends on it" - or words to that effect.

Willie Rennie has been doing some digging into the actual status of education under this government.

Last year 77 per cent of newly qualified primary teachers were not offered permanent posts. These are the people who have studied for four years and are faced with the uncertainty of starting their career in temporary contracts. Is this really what our investment in education amounts to?

Permanent posts have been declining over the time of this SNP government. Why? The answer is to be found in the settlement to councils, who are, of course, the employers of teachers. Kate Forbes did not even bother to include news of the council block grant in her budget, which is in itself amazing. However, it is clear that the decline in secure teaching posts illustrates the starvation rations on which local government is forced to exist.

This First Minister is all about statements and promises. A weak fail on delivery.

Alison Fullarton, Eyemouth.

Blackford is barking up the wrong tree

SNP MP Ian Blackford constantly moans to the UK government about charges the National Grid makes for transporting electricity generated by wind turbines to where it is consumed.

He wants this reduced. Why? Those who built the turbines - all foreign companies - knew the National Grid charges before they applied for planning.

They already get paid for producing electricity and paid not to produce electricity. Since 2010 these companies have been paid over £1 billion in constraint payments which were added to all UK electricity bills.

If the English ever find out they are subsidising electricity bills in Scotland it is they who will be demanding independence from Scotland.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

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