AT the time of writing it looks like the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement might now be agreed by the Westminster Parliament some time this coming week.

Whatever happens, I, and many others in the Yes family, do wish SNP politicians would stop talking about winning independence SO Scotland can rejoin the EU.

The broad, democratic and general case for independence is a much bigger and wider river than that, and shouldn’t be reduced to a binary position on another constitutional matter. We need to unite ALL potential Yes voters for indyref 2, whenever that is to be, both those inclined to a Remain position AND those inclined to a Leave position.

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The SNP (and Greens) are perfectly entitled to their party political “independence in Europe” position, just as Yes Leave voters (of which there are hundreds of thousands) are entitled to argue an independent Scotland is best out of it. But these positions cannot be superimposed onto the Yes movement, or the indy question as a whole.

The question “Should Scotland be an independent country: YES/NO” cannot and must not be hijacked to imply any support for either argument in relation to the EU. To do so is highly unprincipled, undemocratic and misleading

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”, and “Should Scotland be an independent country in the EU?”, are TWO SEPARATE QUESTIONS. They can, and must, be treated as such.

All of Scotland’s great Yes family, and ALL of Scotland’s Yes parties, now need to concentrate on winning indy first, and maximising the potential indy vote.

That is best done by giving a clear and unequivocal commitment that independence will be about sovereignty and meaningful choice; that the sovereign Scottish people will decide for themselves, in their own referendum, in the lifetime of the first parliament of an independent Scotland, what our independent Scotland’s relationship with the EU should be.

Our people should be trusted to choose between rejoining the EU as full members, staying out of all EU institutions while maintaining friendly relations and negotiating our own trade arrangements, and a Norway/EEA-style compromise.

But, however it is done, SNP politicians need to cut out saying that independence is IN ORDER to rejoin the EU, and stop trying to appropriate the general question of independence for their own party political position.

Not only is it fundamentally WRONG to do so, it puts at risk victory in indyref2 by potentially alienating Leave voters who might otherwise vote YES. And it hands our Unionist opponents potential weapons to beat us with.

Independence first... THEN (and only then) other constitutional questions.

Steve Arnott

ON Saturdays I usually follow football, but this week I followed Parliament Live instead. Unbelievable TV! Clearly Westminster is not the national stadium where important decisions regarding our wellbeing are made. Instead I witnessed scenes more like Pinewood studios, more like a Carry On film that never ends.

The Brexit “carry-on” has gone on for far too long. It was plain to see that Parliament isn’t the bastion of democracy. It’s a theatre of farce!

Tories just do what they want regardless. It is a place for playing games of points of order. Where procedures are used to counter Parliament’s wishes. A place where different views aren’t respected. The Tories exiting stage right to leave the field when SNP stand up to counter-attack to score a goal!

Day in day out, the rhetoric is more akin to that of the playground. Where hickory pokery is the name of the game. And meanwhile the wellbeing of our citizens is left to the domain of charities, food banks, TV campaigns, volunteers etc.

It must be so frustrating for fair-minded MPs. The referee, the Speaker, trying so hard to rule on a game where the home team keep on changing the goalposts in a desperate bid for victory. It’ s well overdue we abandon this game. The game’s a bogey! Let’s transfer our attention to independence and manage our own game – a fairer, more honourable one!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

I PUT my RIGHT leg in and shake it all about. I do the Jo-key kokey and I turn around, that’s what I’m all about. Jo Swinson’s dance round Brexit has been a journey into the unknown.

She’s gone from standing up in parliament and demanding an in/out referendum on our place in the EU to stating she’ll never forgive Cameron for holding one, she’s gone from supposedly campaigning to remain to saying when she becomes PM she’ll cancel it (well, OK, she must have been joking about the PM bit), then all change, according to press reports she said she’d vote for the rotten Boris deal if she can have … yep, another referendum.

Her constituents voted very strongly to remain and her refusal to work with the rest of the opposition has helped keep Johnson in No10 and the threat of No Deal alive even now.

Murray Forbes
via email

WILL the House of Cards be trumped by Boris using a sleight-of-hand ruse that will eject us all in time for the hedge fund managers to make their millions? Has Boris nobbled one of the 27 EU leaders to veto an extension with promises? We might have to wait until we’re close to the deadline before they decide. Meanwhile the unsigned photocopied letter, along with two accompanying letters, have been accepted by the EU as a bona fide request regardless of the disrespect it shows. If its purpose was to show contempt expecting a rebuttal, I don’t think that will work.

The end game has always been to crash out of the EU. All of these manoeuvrings have already been described as a sham by Dominic Cummings, a method to run the clock down. Always listen to the organ grinder – the monkey is a distraction performing his party tricks.

Mike Herd