I AM sure that most readers of The National, and many other citizens of Scotland, will share my horror at the secrecy that apparently surrounded the arrangements made to allow MSPs access to the UK’s papers on Brexit analysis.

They were allowed only two days for this, February 8 and 9; it is not clear how much notice was given. Apparently, no more than eight MSPs at any time had access to a “secure room”, somewhere in Scotland, in which these are housed. They could make notes but could not use any other method of recording what they read and they were watched over at all times by Big Brother, in the form of a UK official. Disclosure of the contents of the papers is stated to be “prohibited”, leaving the question of the treatment of an offender open to speculation.

Why the need for this secrecy, reminiscent of the former USSR? What is in these papers will, if translated into action, affect everyone in Scotland. The Scottish Government papers were published for all to read, as are the EU proposals. We already know the contents of other reports, compiled not by any political party but by independent observers.

Scottish MPs had no chance to speak in the Commons on the proposals affecting Scotland and the other devolved countries, as Mr Mundell – surprise, surprise – did not insist that sufficient time would be available. He made no later objection and the votes of the other 12 Tories elected in Scotland went – surprise, surprise – to support the British government. We now have to depend on the Lords to cover these.

Scotland is gagged at every turn. Both those who voted Remain and those who voted Leave but have since either changed their minds or who are having serious doubts are none the wiser about the plans of the British government.

There is no point expecting fair reporting, or indeed much reporting at all on Brexit issues from the BBC. On two days recently, when listeners would have expected to hear something on these topics, they were instead treated, in the first case, on the 10 o’clock news, to problems in Haringey Council, that being the lead story. On the same programme on February 5, the diversion was the spread of yellow fever in Brazil. The former could have been of interest only to Londoners and the latter to very few.

There is no need for government censorship of the BBC. As is commonly done by the media in a dictatorship, it does the job very well itself.

Brian Patton
Foulden, Berwickshire

WE are all thoroughly alarmed by the existence, non-existence, availability and non-availability of both UK and Scottish Government Brexit impact reports and studies, and reported reductions in GDP seem to range from around two per cent to nine per cent. At the same time, GDP growth forecast figures of between 1.5 per cent and two per cent are being bandied about.

To my simple mind this seems to indicate the post-Brexit GDP will actually decrease by between zero per cent and 7.5 per cent, thus ushering in a significant recession of unknown length.

Can I be corrected on this, or is everyone simply avoiding the use of the word “recession” as it actually means something, and that something is in itself a horrific thought not to be spoken in public?

Donald McGregor
Address supplied

FORTUNATELY, as I am not on Twitter I avoid a great deal of twaddle. However, reading of Richard Leonard’s response to the Brexit impact report was embarrassing even for someone who left the party as long ago as I did.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did less than nothing campaign to remain during the referendum – hardly leaving the metropolis. He was historically Eurosceptic and now he and his ilk are hog-tied to the xenophobes with little room to manoeuvre.

Labour’s leader in Scotland seems, however, to have found a new lower low. Leonard’s knee-jerk reaction to the horrific news that Brexit will be as dreadful economically as the sentient 48 per cent expected (predominantly in those areas that were duped into voting to leave) was sickening.

The response could be summed up as “ooh, quick – chance to get a lame kick in at the Tories…”

Consider also the recent debunking of the myth of the so-called youthquake, ie it didn’t happen according to the hugely influential British Electoral Survey. Corbyn did not magically turn out the youth vote at the last abysmal General Election.

You have to wonder at the intellect of a Scottish Labour leader whose knee-jerk reaction to the Brexit impact report is to ignore the effect on Scotland in favour of a cheap unoriginal dig at the Tories and call for yet another General Election.

Amanda Baker

BBC Radio Scotland yesterday morning at 7.30-7.40am had an interview with the Tory MP Stephen Kerr. It was an absolute car crash and the BBC’s Gary Robertson was pretty angry at the Tory MP for not apologising or even answering the question regarding the Tories who had said the Scottish Government were scaremongering over their Brexit impact analysis.

It was the best I’ve ever heard on the radio where the BBC actually held them to account, and I only heard it because I was late for work. I’ll need to sleep in more often, as interviews like this start to regain my trust in BBC Radio Scotland’s reporting.

William L
Address supplied