Don’t forget how the UK ran up its national debt

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WHEN Scotland joined the UK in 1707 it had no national debt, whereas England – thanks to continuous European warmongering – had a huge debt.

Our current national debt has been accrued by the UK, which has acknowledged that in international law it has sole responsibility for this debt.

Dr A McCormick (Letters, 9 March) disapproves of the idea that an independent Scotland’s agreement to service part of the UK debt would be conditional on “being given access to that third party’s bank account”.

He forgets that the UK “account” is a joint asset.

Much more apt is the metaphor of couple who have a joint account. However, only the husband – who has run up a huge debt – knows the PIN. When his wife decides to leave him, she offers to take on part of the debt as long as he gives her access to the joint account into which both their wages have been paid for years.

As for the intervention by the Welsh First Minister, he made it clear at the time that he was only intervening on behalf of the UK government as a quid pro quo for Westminster’s benevolent offer of a referendum on more powers for the Welsh Assembly.

Sticking with the family metaphors, this could be a teenager striking up a deal with Mummy and Daddy that in return for getting to stay out an hour longer at night, she’ll try to persuade her grown-up sibling not to move out into independent accommodation.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow

YET another logic-free rant from Alexander McKay (Letters, March 9) promoting the No campaign.

Any successful, peaceful union of peoples would almost by definition endure comfortably. But with England so dominant within the UK, whatever success ensues will never be evenly distributed, whereas I see no evidence to show that if Scotland had remained independent, it would not by its own efforts be a far more “successful” country than it is now.

Where he goes overboard, however, is in clumsily equating the consequences of renewed Scottish independence with the hatred, violence and power struggles of Balkan and Russian peoples with whom we have no common culture.

Britain, through its now defunct empire, once controlled many and varied dominions and colonies, including Canada, Australia, India and the like. Would Mr McKay care to tell us how many of these now self-determinant countries subsequently attacked Britain or each other?

Robert Dow, Tranent

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