Letters, February 5 2021


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UK now in trade negotiations with those outwith EU

I am pleased to see my letter in last week’s Courier has rattled the cage of the Kintyre secretary of the SNP.

Far from having a brass neck, at least I have not buried my head in the sand like an ostrich!

Perhaps Mr Wilson needs to be reminded that the ‘evil’ Tories and, in particular, Liz Truss have secured £885 billion of trade agreements with 63 countries just before and since the UK withdrew from our friendly EU.

Had the UK still been tied to EU regulations, this would not have been possible. Indeed the ‘evil’ Tories are currently in negotiations with the USA, Australia and New Zealand for trade agreements which again would not have been either allowed or possible if we had been tied to EU regulations.

Had the SNP secured independence, it remains to be seen if the EU would have accepted Scotland into the EU, given the financial deficit it currently endures and continues to do so thanks to the current pandemic.

Perhaps I should remind Mr Wilson it is the UK government that has managed to secure Scottish jobs using the furlough scheme and secured Covid-19 vaccinations for all of the UK which seems to have rattled the EU cage that Mr Wilson also occupies.

I do agree with him, however, had Scotland been an independent country then his submission of being linked to Somalia and Kazakhstan would be near the truth.

Finally, my suggestion to Scottish fishermen was stated in good faith and a possible way out of problems they are experiencing with the EU at present when there was no need to alter the arrangements in place prior to the UK leaving the EU.

Knowing from previous items published by the Courier on behalf of Mr Wilson, this is the only time I intend to respond and will continue to polish my brass neck!

Keith Abendroth, Campbeltown.

Four and a half years to plan for changes in fish market

The vote to leave the EU took place in June 2016, four and half years ago – four and half years in which to start making plans for changes to counter loss or reduction of the existing market for fish products in Europe.

I haven’t read of any such plans but, of course, that will be the fault of Westminster; the government there should have found new markets for Scottish fish. Doubtless, the government in Holyrood, that is perpetually demanding more powers be devolved to it, was far too busy organising Indyref2 to spend time looking after the livelihoods of Scottish fishermen.

It was obvious that concessions had to be made by both sides in any trade deal, post-Brexit, and it was inconceivable the EU would accept any deal that totally blocked EU boats from our waters instantly. However, Alan Reid and Ron Wilson, it is not bureaucracy on this side of the Channel that is slowing the movement of goods to Europe – that blame lies entirely with a vindictive EU, determined to punish Britain for having the temerity to leave a failing, despotic authority.

Ron Wilson, you claim the time is coming when Scotland will reap the benefits of EU membership. Can you explain to me how a country with a massive deficit, 8.6 per cent of GDP before the pandemic hit and astronomical now, can even apply for membership, when to qualify a country has to bring its deficit below three per cent?

Add to that the fact Nicola Sturgeon has affirmed an independent Scotland will retain the pound sterling as currency and EU rules state that a country in monetary union with another country, outside of the EU, cannot under any circumstances join it.

Instead of complaining, give thanks that the people of Scotland are being vaccinated now, not in four months’ time at best, had we still been dependent on the EU to supply the vaccines.

Brian Gee, Carradale East.  

SNP needs to focus on Covid-19 vaccine strategy

It is being reported, both by opposition MSPs and the national press, that Scotland’s vaccine strategy is being outpaced and starting to seriously lag behind the other three UK home nations; and that the SNP has no desire to convene a vaccination task force nor take up the offer of additional British military personnel, to further assist NHS Scotland.

Yet, in this time of national emergency, is it not extraordinary that the SNP, Scotland’s devolved administration, has set up a task force to campaign for independence.

Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose-Driven Life: ‘Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking less about yourself.’

Can Scotland’s domestic government, the SNP, think less on independence and more on beating Covid-19 and our schools, hospitals and jobs?

Tommy Macpherson, Saddell.

Praise for refuse collectors

The bins on Kilkerran Road were not collected on Friday last so I left the bin as it would normally be collected the following morning, even though on a weekend.

When midday on Saturday came and went, I checked the council website to find out that a vehicle breakdown was the cause of the non-collection and the bins would be collected when a vehicle was available.

I left the bin out fully expecting it not to be collected before Monday. To my amazement, at 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon the ‘freighter’ came trundling along and emptied all the bins along Kilkerran Road.

This is truly remarkable to have the bins collected not only on a Saturday afternoon but on a freezing cold day into the bargain.

These council employees on bin collection, grounds and gardens maintenance deserve every praise and thanks that we the public can bestow.

These are the front-line people who keep our town clean and tidy, cemeteries in prime condition and they are often taken for granted.

Next time you see them, take a minute to say thanks. They deserve it and more.

Harvard Davis, Campbeltown.

Thanks to Gigha milk fairy

I have been visited by a Gigha milk ‘fairy’ – or should it be brownie?

I have been the very appreciative recipient of a large bottle of delicious Wee Isle Dairy milk on a number of occasions. It has appeared as if by magic on my back door step.

I would love to be able to say thank you to the kind person who has thought of me at this time of lockdown and shielding – thank you Gigha milk fairy, you’ve made me smile!

Name and address supplied.