Currency should be a democratic issue

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In response to Colin Hamilton (Letters, 25 March), it is no secret that I and some other members of Yes Scotland 
differ from the SNP on certain matters such as currency.

However, I respect the fact that the present Scottish Government won a democratic mandate to set out its proposals for the immediate 
aftermath of a Yes vote in the
referendum.

I also respect the fact that, in the longer term, it will be up to the people of Scotland to decide such matters.

A Yes vote in the referendum is not a vote for the 
SNP.

It is a vote to empower the people of Scotland to decide their future by electing a government of their choice.

Dennis Canavan

Sauchieburn

Bannockburn

The televised Jim Sillars versus George Galloway referendum debate on 25 March was both interesting and, for these events, remarkably civilised.

Sillars and followers are apparently seeking a Yes vote in order to then immediately get rid of Alex Salmond.

Mr Sillars also favours a separate currency shadowing the pound sterling like the erstwhile Irish punt, due to this being more independent than the SNP currency union alternative.

Would a Scottish pound hanging on the coat tails of sterling really be such? On the personal level, I used to visit Ireland in pre-euro times and, as I remember, found that my sterling was readily acceptable there but on my return journeys I had to ensure that I got rid of my punts.

I suspect that the same would happen here – a real nuisance for we Borderers.

He also thought that RBS would remain in Scotland because of the difficulties involved in moving house, forgetting apparently that the current RBS is actually a combination of the old RBS and NatWest Bank, of which the latter was the greater part.

RBS would have no bother in moving. Would the UK allow it to operate as an “off-shore” entity?

Galloway’s contribution, on there other hand, seemed to be based on the premise that a UK sneeze would continue to result in a severe Scottish cold, as the virus would be indifferent to any border and that the best alternative for Scotland would be not to abandon.

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road

Dumfries

How refreshing to see a television debate in which the participants were not constantly interrupting or shouting each other down.

Jim Sillars and George Galloway were mostly on good form, expressing their views with honesty and conviction.

Disappointingly, Mr Sillars let himself down in discussing his currency plan B – sterlingisation. This would still involve Westminster controlling certain aspects of monetary policy, such as setting the interest rates, and therefore would stop short of full independence.

Moreover, although he himself wishes an independent Scotland to be out of the EU, he sought to perpetuate the SNP myth that Scotland would “continue” to be a member.

The EU currently consists of 28 member states. Scotland is not one of them.

The debate underlined that the two principal versions of independence on offer are miles apart. The Sillars version is a considerably left-of-centre socialist state which is out of Nato, out of a currency union and out of the EU. The Salmond version is a tartan Tory state which is in Nato, a currency union and the EU.

Both men will claim a wide level of support for their particular brand. One thing is certain: only one of these visions can be realised. The upshot is that, in the event of independence, there would be a huge proportion of Yes voters who would feel bitterly disappointed and cheated when it dawned on them that they could never get the government they voted for.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

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