Readers' letters: Tories want to silence Scotland’s Euro voice

"It is bizarre, but maybe not unexpected, for the Tories to try to undermine Scotland”

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 7:00 am
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a news conference at Scotland House in Brussels
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a news conference at Scotland House in Brussels

Tories want to silence Scotland’s Euro voice

It was disappointing to find one of the new Tory MSPs has written to the UK Foreign Office, questioning Scotland’s international presence.

Even before devolution in 1999 Scotland had a Brussels office, which was established under these same Tories. This presence was developed under Labour and the Liberal Democrats and has been continued since 2007 by the SNP. Now there is a network of offices around the world that promotes Scotland, its economy and tourism.

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Scotland House in Brussels, for example, acts as the eyes and ears of the Scottish government, Scotland Europa, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International. It is an effective platform to manage diplomatic engagement, economic engagement and cultural promotion.

Scotland is one of more than 300 regional and sub-state authorities, including 28 from Germany, 21 from Italy and 18 from Poland. And non-EU states like Norway are also represented by six regional offices.

Indeed, Scotland has a smaller international presence than many sub-states such as Bavaria, Flanders and Quebec. In addition, Denmark and Belgium give the Faroes, Greenland and Flanders officials parity of esteem and work together with central government, recognising the important role they play.

While everyone else is doing their best to promote themselves, it is bizarre, but maybe not unexpected, for the Tories to try to undermine Scotland’s ability to do so.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

East Craigs has no traffic problems

In reply to Janis Ross-Williamsons' letter on Low Traffic Corstorphine (News, May 25). It is no surprise that the head of a low traffic organisation supports a LTN in East Craigs, but as a resident of North Gyle I can assure you we have no problem with high volumes of traffic.

We have adequate speed bumps and traffic calming measures in place. There is no need to block roads and force traffic moving locally onto already busy arterial roads, as is proposed in the I'll thought out LTN.

I am a cyclist, pedestrian, motorcyclist and at times drive a car, but none of these things mean I should be classed as angry or impatient. I rely on being able to access Craigs Road to help a disabled relative who does not have the ability to use active travel, and extending my commute onto busy arterial routes would benefit no one.

All people should be considered, but opinion locally is not split – it is firmly against an LTN and to suggest otherwise is delusional.

Neil White, North Gyle Avenue, Edinburgh.

Alex’s judgement is found wanting

Alex Salmond claims that the Duke of Cambridge demonstrates “poor judgement” by meeting with the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the Duke’s recent visit to Scotland.

Mr Salmond clearly has an issue with the future king daring to perhaps discuss the issues around independence. However, for Alex Salmond to criticise anyone with “poor judgement” really takes the biscuit! He who described the action against Serbia in 1999 as an act of “unpardonable folly”, who described Sterling as “a millstone around Scotland’s neck” and produced an Independence argument in 2014 predicated on an oil price of £115 a barrel.

Is it now not the time for him to “judge” that he should quietly end his public pronouncements or will his unashamed ego prohibit him from doing so?

Richard Allison, Braehead Loan, Edinburgh.