Readers' letters: Patel’s cruel policy is a power grab

The very cruel Home Secretary Priti Patel is responsible for refugees, immigration is not devolved.

The Geneva Convention is the key agreement on refugee policy for the UK but Westminster has ignored this.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is also key, but this government wants to send vulnerable people including torture victims and probably children to unsafe Rwanda without comeback for human rights violations.

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So they propose, in a power grab, to take away all our rights under the Human Rights Act, leaving the population unprotected and government unaccountable. None of the Conservative leadership challengers will likely change this, nor Keir Starmer.

As regards Ukraine, the UK government introduced the visa scheme, making it difficult for refugees to move. The numbers of Ukrainians coming to the UK is therefore low.

The Home Office then set up the scheme whereby ordinary households are expected to house Ukrainians.

The Home Office controls all accommodation contracts including hotel accommodation for refugees. In Scotland their contractor, Mears does not even have the duty of care and people including torture victims are shoved into hotels without vulnerability assessment.

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The details of any Home Office boat accommodation scheme, which sounds shocking, need revealing immediately.

The Scottish Government scheme has helped facilitate the movement of Ukrainians to Scotland, mitigating the impossible blockages for visas created by Home Office paper work in the midst of a war.

It is an act of humanity and in line with other governments in Europe.

Pol Yates, Edinburgh.

How Scotland loses out over energy

Les Reid (letters, 19 July) is right in that under West-minster control of energy policy the oil price rise is no help to the Scottish Government’s budget or consumers.

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Despite the climate emergency, most analysts predict demand for oil and gas will remain high for decades with correspondingly higher tax revenues. If you add the UK government’s windfall tax to the projected OBR figures, next year’s GERS estimates should show around £13 billion in oil and gas revenues from Scotland’s North Sea waters. And this is based on much lower oil and gas taxation than in Norway.

As much oil and gas has been extracted from Scotland’s sector of the North Sea as Norway’s, but as an independent nation they have prospered and are miles ahead in renewable development and manufacturing, due to Westminster’s policies which discriminate against our renewable industries that pay the highest grid connection charges in Europe.

Had Scotland been independent prior to 1990 and copied Norway’s lead we would have a massive annual budget surplus to help cushion high energy prices for consumers and businesses.

With our vast cheaper renewable energy potential, Scotland has no need for the more expensive nuclear power stations.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Diddely dum

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I am somewhat perplexed at the recent statements by the railway companies that their trains are cancelled because of buckled rails due to excessive heat.

I recall hearing in my youth that rails were laid in fixed lengths with a small gap between ends. This was to allow for heat expansion and gave the “Diddely dum, diddely dum” sound as the train ran over the gap. Could this be a simple solution?

Sandy Macpherson, Edinburgh.

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