THE half-baked draft Brexit deal agreed by the Cabinet means that a UK-wide referendum on the deal, with the option to remain in the EU, is now the only credible way forward.

While it was agreed to by the Cabinet, there is no chance of it passing through the Westminster Parliament given the deep divisions among the Tories, both from Remainers and Leavers, as well as opposition from the DUP.

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With this deal the UK would be relegated to being a rule-taker from Brussels rather than a rule-maker in the EU, which would be vastly worse than the benefits Scotland has as an integral part of the EU.

For example, access to European markets would be dependent on granting access to European fishing fleets, so the promises made to the fishing industry would be rendered null and void.

As David Davis, the former Brexit Secretary and an ardent Leaver, pointed out before the most recent referendum: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

There are few I know who voted for Brexit in the belief it would make them poorer, and it is up to the public to give its view on whether the deal, and more importantly its implications, are what it wants.

The Scottish Parliament has led the way in backing a People’s Vote and now that we know the precise nature of the deal, it is up to the public to have its say.

Alex Orr

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IT has been said that the Cabinet has backed Theresa May’s Brexit deal, but it is part of the doctrine of collective responsibility that a Cabinet decision is binding on all its members and dissent must be met with resignation from the Cabinet post. In this way unanimity on policy can be assured. So, what happens next will depend on what action “silent dissenters” (and it is reported that there may be as many as 10 of them) take.

The agreement that the Prime Minister has reached is a compromise unlikely to satisfy either the Brexiteers or the Remainers. It is reported that it fails to address fisheries policy entirely, remitting it for future discussions – hardly likely to please those involved in the industry in Scotland. It continues to make the UK subject to EU law for many years and will cost the UK £50 billion in a divorce settlement.

The Remainers will point out that the free movement of capital and services is a temporary fix and the UK will have the expense of administering a customs border on behalf of the EU. These are only the headline issues, and as we know, the devil is often in the detail. There are now three options on the table; a no-deal Brexit, the Tory compromise, or remaining in the EU.

The evidence is strong that remaining in the EU is in the best interests of Scotland (and, incidentally, the rest of the UK). The EU have made it clear that if we were to change our mind we would be welcome to re-join the fold. The government got us into this mess, in their foolish – and it turns out failed – attempt to reunite a fractured party. We do not need the election of a new leader of the Tory party. We need either a General Election or a second vote.

Pete Rowberry

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EVEN in the total shambles of the “end game”, still we hear about having to implement the “will of the people”, on a margin that was not decisive enough to win devolution in 1979. Why, however, does no-one ask: “Who are the people”? In all probability, most folk would simply say that it is the voting public and think no further. They would be so wrong.

I regard “the people”, in a voting context, as all adults resident in the UK, contributing by working, paying tax and contributing to their community, including those younger ones who will spend their adult lives living with the consequences of the vote and old enough to marry or fight for the country. If questioned further, I suspect that this definition would be agreed by most.

This was NOT the case in the EU referendum. Thousands of EU citizens, living, working, paying tax, marrying, bringing up children to be the next generation of taxpayers, supporting our overstretched public services, and all those old enough to marry or join the armed forces, with their whole adult lives ahead, were excluded from the franchise. Are they not an integral part of “the people”? As a retired person, I voted for the futures of my children and grandchildren, as my lifespan under any new situation is likely to be minimal by comparison.

Cameron did not ask “the people” to vote. He asked only a proportion, pre-sifted and selected, but including even expats who have left this country to take up permanent residence abroad, who will have no place in our future within the UK.

The “will of the people”, or rigged voting?

L McGregor

THERESA May’s Brexit deal can be summed up in one sentence: “If you don’t accept these cold, grey entrails, either the vegetarians live in an abattoir forever or the carnivores never see meat again…” But the thing that really turns the stomach is that absolutely all of this was entirely unnecessary.


Amanda Baker

THIS is the first time in history that a government has spent two years trying to make Britain worse off, for the sake of serving a 3.8% vote swing on an issue that nobody understood.

If there was ever an illustration of the danger of democracy, this EU fiasco has been just that.

Malcolm Parkin

A TINY rock near Spain has seen the Brexit deal before Scotland. Time to leave this backward Victorian Union.


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