‘Foreign’ interloper at currency table

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The white paper states that an independent Scotland would keep the pound sterling as its currency of choice.

In spite of the unequivocal positions of Chancellor George Osborne and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that a ­foreign country will not be welcome at the currency table, First Minister Alex ­Salmond is sufficiently arrogant not to have a “Plan B”.

Both he and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have strongly implied that the proportion of UK national debt that an independent Scotland is “willing” to accept will be used as leverage against keeping the pound.

The SNP should be wary of taking a stance that is tantamount to extortion, especially as it was largely the fault of two Scottish banks that the UK has ended up with such colossal debt levels in the first place.

In a Radio 4 interview with James Naughtie, Ms Sturgeon also suggested that the new UK would be delighted to deal with an independent Scotland on equal terms and that, post-referendum, we would all be one big, happy family – members of the same club.

The SNP must start to realise that we do not exist in a vacuum, and that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be appalled at our insouciance, selfishness and blatant disregard for partnership and decency.

The people of the UK will recognise when two fingers are being stuck up to them, and justifiable resentment will be the result.

The politics of independence are the increasingly politics of La-La Land. The UK is a stable country with long- established systems of government and protocols, within which Scots have plenty of freedom to express national identity.

The white paper amounts to 670 pages of new structures which would have to be established just to make us function.

The most fundamental question of all – the nature of our currency – remains completely unanswered. Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon should be ashamed of themselves.

Derek Miller

West Balgrochan Road

Torrance

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury says his department has calculated that people living in an independent Scotland might well have to pay £1,000 more in tax (your report, 26 November).

It never ceases to amaze me that the Whitehall statisticians who apparently can make precise predictions, sometimes decades in advance, for a state which does not yet exist, always have to revise their quarterly GDP figures.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

Many years ago the Labour Party wrote a manifesto that was rightly dubbed “the longest suicide note in ­history”.

Given the circumstances in Scotland today and the wild, fantastic assumptions that have to be made regarding the inevitable post-separation negotiations and results, the much heralded white paper will no doubt rank with that Labour document as being foolish in the extreme.

Still, when the polls are as they are and Nationalist backs are to the wall, perhaps they feel desperate times call for desperate measures. There is, however, one crucial difference.

Labour’s manifesto was paid for by that party.

Untold millions of taxpayers’ money and the time and effort of civil servants have been spent on a white paper that can only be an SNP manifesto by another name.

Taxpayers of every political persuasion and none are picking up the bill.

Why, one wonders, did not one of the SNP’s millionaire followers pay for it?

We are forever being reminded by the Nationalists about the Westminster- imposed cuts on budgets. This budget prudence does not appear to apply when the latest attempt to claw back an apparently unassailable pro-UK lead in the polls is concerned.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh

Could we have a national holiday on 24 March, 2015?

We should be celebrating the Act of Union, which created one of the most successful nations in history – the United Kingdom.

It should also mark the defeat of the movement to repeal the act and renew our efforts to build on the success of the Union and to continue our endeavours to create a fairer society and work together for the common good.

John Kelly

High Street

Dalkeith

In the week that the First Minister of Wales expressed his reservations on the use of sterling in a possibly independent Scotland, the language in the piece by Michael Fry (Perspective, 26 November) looks oddly out of place.

His continual reference to England instead of the rest of the UK is, I assume, intentionally inaccurate, although his purpose is puzzling.

In the run up to the referendum I suspect it won’t help to see this level of disrespect to the status of Wales and Northern Ireland within the UK become common.

They will play their proportionate role in any subsequent negotiations that will dissolve Scotland’s political ties with both countries.

Ian Haddow

Sidmount Avenue

Moffat