Thomas McCafferty (Letters, August 11) fails to understand that after a Yes vote, an independent Scotland is entitled to its fair share of the UK assets plus those held at the UK central bank including the £4 billion lodged as security for the issuing of Scottish bank notes.
If the London establishment ignores the democratic wishes of Scotland’s voters and refuses a currency union, the Scottish negotiators, who will include Labour, Tory and Lib Dem representatives, would be perfectly entitled to say no fair share of UK equals no deal on UK’s massive debts.
As the Scottish Government can’t default on a debt that isn’t legally theirs, on day one of independence Scotland would have no debts and a healthy balance of trade surplus with over £1500 billion of oil revenues to flow through the Scottish economy and in such circumstances should be able borrow money at better rates than the debt-ridden rest of the UK.
Independence could move us closer to a Norwegian-type economy, where after taxes the average wage earner has a disposable income of £35,456 a year compared with the Scottish average of only £19,292 within the UK, with the prospect of one of the lowest pensions in Europe.
In the past week leading Tories Boris Johnson and John Redwood have stated that in the event of a No vote, no more powers should be devolved to Scotland and Labour’s modest proposal of control over 40 per cent of our taxes has been described as an “unworkable dogs dinner” by many economists, whereas a Yes vote gives us full powers over our finances and a once in a lifetime opportunity to change things for the better.
Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh
A currency union is the only logical move
It is intriguing to note Ed Miliband’s manifesto ‘pledge’ that there will be no formal currency union with Scotland in the result of a Yes’vote in the independence referendum (August 9).
This is all well and good, but Mr Miliband and his Unionist colleagues should have the decency to explain the outcome of this to the up to 120,000 employees in the rest of the UK who would be set to lose their jobs as a result of transaction costs between the rest of the UK and an independent Scotland.
In addition, the loss of oil and gas and whisky revenues on the UK’s balance of payment would have a major impact on the pound, affecting the economy of the rest of the UK. A formal currency union is the only logical solution benefiting both Scotland and the rest of the UK. Those who disagree with this should be open and honest and explain the impact of no formal currency union on the rest of the UK. Not to do so would be highly irresponsible.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
West’s failure in Arab affairs should end
Barack Obama has ordered air strikes on Islamic State (IS) forces in an attempt to prevent genocide against the Yazidi religious minority.
He says there will be “no boots on the ground” but that is a pious hope since IS must be eliminated for the sake of Muslims, Christians and other religions.
This is just the latest of western involvement in failed wars against fanatics. In Iraq and Afghanistan the conflicts failed to secure either stability or democracy.
We are now witnessing regional upheaval of unparalleled proportions in the Middle East. Iraq, Afghanistan, Arab Spring, Libya and the Syrian civil war.
In Syria the IS fanatics are fighting President Assad, so whoever wins will prove unpalatable for the west.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi were monsters but did at least provide stability.
Leaders of European nations never give consideration to what the long term consequences of toppling leaders/dictators might be. Interference in the pursuit of their ideas of democracy in other parts of the world has caused death and destruction.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Is shrinking Scotland better together?
Since 1801, Scotland’s percentage of the UK population has shrunk from one in six to one in 12.
Between 1960 and 2012, Scotland’s population has grown a mere 2.6 per cent. England and Wales have grown by 23.6 per cent; Northern Ireland by 28.4 per cent; Switzerland by 50.2% per cent and Luxemburg by 67.7 per cent.
These statistics indicate we have the lowest population growth of any Western European Country.
Young, hard-working Scots are leaving the country at around 30,000 per annum. How can the No campaign claim that we are flourishing as part of the Union and indeed are in any way ‘better together’?
Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline
Clarity over pound is needed for voters
Instead of the Nos saying “No, you cannot pound share, so there!” and the Yeahs saying “Oh yes we can, so there,” it would help the confused among us if both parties could be persuaded to replace their “so theres” with a carefully reasoned “because”.
Or is it to be smoke and mirrors all the way to September 18?
J Jarvis, Hillpark Road, Edinburgh