Misleading claim about monetary union

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AS AN undecided voter in the forthcoming referendum on Scotland’s independence, I was prepared to accept that scaremongering and wishful thinking was par for the course.

However, Nicola Sturgeon’s glib response on Question Time (28 November) is to be deplored. Her remark went unchallenged by both the ­panel and by Eddie Barnes in his article “Foes in high places”­ (Insight, 1 December).

In answer to a question concerning the compatibility of Scottish independence and a shared currency with the rest of the UK, Sturgeon quoted the example of France and Germany as two independent countries with a common currency, implying that a similar monetary union between Scotland and the rest of the UK would be of the same order.

Surely the Deputy First Minister knows that the long-term aims of the relationship between France and Germany are of a very different order to the relationship envisaged by the SNP with our neighbours down south? She must be aware that France and Germany, and indeed the rest of the Euro­zone, are in the process of harmonising their economic, fiscal and social policies, which is diametrically opposed to what the SNP is proposing for an independent Scotland. Such harmonising with UK policies is not part of the SNP agenda.

The SNP justifies the desire and need for independence by underlining the fact that Scottish values are different from “English” (especially Tory) values and that, under their governance, an independent Scotland would create a fairer society thanks to economic, fiscal and social polices which diverge from those of the rest of the UK. Therefore, while France and Germany are working towards a convergence of their economies, Scotland would renounce the English (Tory) economic and social model. It is misguided and misleading for Sturgeon to point to the monetary union between France and Germany to reinforce the SNP’s argument in favour of retaining the pound.

Dr James Steel, Glasgow