LIZ Truss came to Scotland for a few days last week, to inform us of how good leaving the European Union was going to be.

She stated that leaving the EU would open up trade for Scotch whisky in India, a country we already supply.

So some figures from the Scottish Whisky Association. The largest destination for Scotch whisky by volume of 70cl bottles are as follows.

France, an EU country: 173 million bottles in 2019, and 176 million bottles in 2020.

USA: 127 million bottles 2019, and 112 million in 2020, the fall possibly due to Donald Trump and his tariffs.

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India: 131 million bottles 2019, 95 million in 2020, and as we know the fall could be caused by the pandemic, as India was and still is badly affected. Did Liz Truss not know before she arrived here that we had a market in India?

Brazil, another country badly affected by Covid and the effects of bad leadership: 43 million bottles in 2019, 45 million bottles in 2020.

Now the much-heralded Australian deal. Australia is already the eighth-biggest market for Scotch whisky, but the trade deal is an opportunity to cut tariffs worth more than £5 million.

Scotch whisky was the UK’s largest food and drink export in 2018, worth £4.7 billion of the UK’s total. No wonder Westminster wants to keep us.

And just think what Scotland, as a independent country, could do with the taxes raised from this single product.

Robert McCaw

LIZ Truss is a purveyor of Tory terminological inexactittudes, a phrase old Winnie Churchill would often use in the Commons when accusing someone of telling barefaced lies without using the proscribed word itself.

It’s like old luvvies using “the Scottish play” as it’s bad luck to say Macbeth, but it’s a lot more serious than that, because those who lie in the Commons may very well be indulging in matters affecting people’s lives.

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Let us look instead at the possibility of a substitute for the word lie or liar. What about an Erskine, for the guy, Erskine May, who started all this nonsense in the first place?

Or a Boris, in honour of the great man who brought lying to such a fine art in the House of Commons. Indeed a tribute that will live on in history when his very bones have mouldered to dust.

Erskine May may be birling in his grave at all of this, but he’s hardly likely to burst from his grave in indignation so, let’s have the latter as a fine extant example of the worst possible offender in the history of the Mother of Parliaments – yet another of those damned terminological inexactitudes.

Bruce Moglia
Bridge of Weir

WHILE the SNP government rightly has to deal with administering our country and navigating our way through all the various pitfalls of the overarching Westminster system, the concept that they are no longer interested in independence is a fiction encouraged by the Unionists.

Those who spread this misinformation are being misled and encouraged by our opponents on the basis of divide and conquer. While the frustrated want a referendum now, they forget that until more than half the voting population agree it is not won. It isn’t just the activists in our leaders’ minds but those we have yet to convince, which is strategic thinking.

So while the convinced champ at the bit, the adage “patience is a virtue” still applies. Instead of attacking the intentions of our leaders, their energy is much more productively spent directed towards those who may vote and are as yet undecided.

The referendum is not the goal, but a step along the way to independence, which is only gained after it is won!

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

LIKE many others in the movement for Scottish independence, I have become more than worried by the – now apparent – divisions in the movement; best described as “a Unionist’s dream!”

In our rush to describe each other as “not doing enough/much/anything for independence” we have been so busy looking at others, we have spent less time on asking ourselves “What can we do?”

We accuse Nicola of not mentioning independence – and on the other side, Nicola says that we have to get Covid under control before launching the independence campaign which will be aimed at providing an independence referendum.

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Some see that as a delaying tactic and they might be correct. Perhaps the best way of bringing an end to that argument would be a concentrated campaign to encourage our younger people to get out and get the vaccine.

Everyone seems to be agreed that Covid is preventing us from moving on to our independence campaign, and it appears to me that the best and easiest way to remove the obstacle which is Covid would be to maximise the number of people who are vaccinated.

It has been fairly obvious to me that the folk who have most resisted getting the vaccine and arguing that it is all a plot against “our liberties” have their feet firmly in Conservative roots, and that makes it all the less understandable that a large segment of the independence movement are supportive of the anti-vaccine point of view and thus prolong the pandemic!

Let’s get Covid out of the equation, by working hard at getting the “vaccine refusers” to stop swallowing the right-wing propaganda and instead minimise its effect.

That would let all of us get on with the independence campaign, which we all say we want.

Harry Bickerstaff
St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire