Cost of splitting

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As you reported (5 August), the two camps in the independence debate are keen to say how much Scots would be better or worse off each year after a Yes vote. But what would the actual split cost?

Estimates of government costs have ranged from £200 million from the Nationalists to £2.7 billion from the other side.

The £200m figure is laughably optimistic. At the current fee of £72.50, just issuing a new Scots passport to everyone would cost us £360m.

Independence is a big public project. We must not just split and largely duplicate the state – with new staff, buildings and IT systems for most departments – we must pay for private companies to do the same.

Large projects, like the Parliament and the trams, always crash through their official budgets, and always for the same reasons: their promoters are enthusiastic and optimistic; when selling an idea, the pressure is to downplay the costs; and it is not possible to think of everything.

My guess is that even £2.7bn will be but a down payment. It will not be easy to vote Yes.

George Byron

Comely Bank Avenue

Edinburgh

Ross Muir (Letters, 4 August) asks for examples of costs and complexities involved if the rest of the UK becomes a foreign export market for Scotland.

Scotland and England have different requirements when it comes to immigration. Scotland has an ageing population and 
a declining workforce. Alex 
Salmond has said that Scotland requires immigrants to boost the working population. England does not.

Therefore, inevitably border controls would have to be erected and enforced to prevent immigrants from coming to Scotland and then moving to England.

Border controls would increase costs and complexities by putting up barriers to trade with England with whom, at present, we do two thirds of our trade.

We would be so much better off if we voted No to a Scotland separate from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Patricia 
Marjoribanks

Regent Terrace

Edinburgh