Debt clarity

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Alan Black (Letters, 6 September) misquotes my letter of the day before.

At no point did I say that Scotland should default on any legitimate obligation. I would again point out that the Bank of England, partly owned by Scottish taxpayers, has acknowledged that it is fully responsible for the UK national debt. This means that Scottish taxpayers as owners are indeed at this moment responsible for their share of the debt incurred by their bank, the Bank of England.

However, if the Bank of England reneges on its Scottish ownership and unilaterally dismisses Scottish taxpayers as owners, at the same time it automatically takes over their responsibility for any share of the UK debt.

Such an action by the Bank is probably illegal, and I would expect an independent Scottish government to contest the action. However, until a court rules that the Bank’s action in disowning Scottish ownership is legal, an independent Scottish government would not be liable for any of the UK national debt, nor, as the injured party, would it be morally required to make a gift of payment.

JOHN DUFFUS

Mansionhouse Road

Edinburgh

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