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Letters / Carmichael is confused

Alistair Carmichael is confused: he says referendums are “divisive” but he’s trying to turn this Westminster general election into a proxy referendum on whether or not to have another independence referendum. 

And all because his fellow SNP-bashers and former Tory chums in the cabinet room have moved the goalposts by taking Scotland out of Europe against our (and his) will.

Mr. Carmichael, who has a good record on international civil rights issues, doesn’t think the changed circumstances (i.e. Brexit) justify another vote on self-determination for Scotland but he does want a second referendum on whether the terms of any Tory Brexit deal are acceptable to the UK. Apparently this referendum would not be “divisive”.

None of the three Liberal Democrat leaflets I’ve seen recently makes any statement about Lib Dem policies for other matters reserved to Westminster. They’re all about “stop the SNP”. The Tories and Labour seem to be playing the same game.

Mr. Carmichael does not explain how, if re-elected, he could stop Brexit or at lessen its ill effects on Orkney and Shetland. Perhaps this information will be in the next blizzard of Lib Dem propaganda through our letterboxes. Of course, a party that has no chance of gaining power can promise anything, such as another Brexit referendum, knowing it can’t deliver.

Meanwhile, the SNP has produced a detailed plan to protect Scotland from Brexit – now, long before any decision on whether to remain in the UK. The Tories and, so far, Mr Carmichael have refused to discuss this realistic alternative to a hard Brexit.

It’s almost certain that Scotland will be dragged outside the EU before Westminster agrees to a second referendum on independence. By that time everyone will understand exactly how Brexit affects them personally and may then wish they’d the chance to choose something different. 

Last year Mr Carmichael campaigned with the SNP for us to stay in the EU. Why is he now so determined to prevent the voters of Orkney and Shetland deciding what our future relationship with the EU and the UK will be?

Robbie McGregor

‘Dumyat’, 3 North Heights