Scotland should drill it home to the UK

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I see the unionists are running with a new scare story. Until now (for the past 40 years, to be exact) they’ve been telling us North Sea oil is running out and is anyway too “volatile” – a bit of a curse rather than a blessing.

Now suddenly there’s a huge bonanza worth hundreds of billions there and set to last the next 20 years, but only the UK Government is big, rich and clever enough to extract it (your report, 24 February).

Back, then, to the tale about Scotland being too wee, poor and stupid to make the most of our assets.

The problem with this week’s porkie (apart from the fact that it directly contradicts last week’s porkie) is that we only have to look across the North Sea to see a much smaller nation-state which has been handling its oil bonanza far more efficiently than the UK ever did in the past or will do in the future.

Mary McCabe

Circus Drive

Glasgow

Your headline boldly proclaims: “£200 billion oil boom if Scots vote No.”

Does this mean that if Scots vote Yes all that oil will just be left to rot under the North Sea?

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

Even allowing for the importance of a snappy, eye-catching headline in a newspaper, I was totally flummoxed by your “Poll … points to close result” heading (24 February) with reference to the latest referendum poll.

The fact that the pro-UK percentage had risen five clear points in said poll and was now 12 points clear was almost ignored.

It would seem the comfortable lead enjoyed by the pro-UK campaign has remained steady and a far greater percentage of “don’t knows” are surely certain to vote No.

A comfortable victory for the pro-UK side seems more than likely.

This rise in support seems to knock on the head the SNP spin that the UK parties revealing the factual truth about the likely events with regards to the currency of a separated Scotland would result in a boost for the pro-break-up side.

Exactly the opposite seems to have occurred.

Where did that “recruiting sergeant for the Yes campaign” go, I wonder? It would seem the people welcome being told the truth.

Perhaps now the partners in the Yes campaign can exert more pressure on the SNP to release the lottery millionaires’ donation and other cash held by the party to aid their cause.

I fear they may have a long wait – First Minister Alex Salmond’s party not only commandeered the Saltire, but has made the words “Scotland”, “SNP” and “Salmond” interchangeable.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh

I am sure that most of your readers have heard more than enough scaremongering about how an independent Scotland would not qualify for an EU rebate etc should we gain independence.

A Yes vote would automatically nullify the rUK rebate.

They would no longer have their bargaining chip – the Scottish fishing industry.

Many of your readers will recall how former UK Tory prime minister Ted Heath sold the Scottish fishing down the river to gain the UK rebate exemption by giving away one of our country’s main lucrative industries.

Heath considered the Scottish fishing industry to be expendable.

An independent Scotland would be able to enter into fresh negotiations with the EU but I very much doubt if the Scottish fishing industry would be on the table.

This negligence may very well come back to haunt the Westminster government, which considers the whingeing Scots to be too stupid to run our own rich nation.

Donald J Morrison

Haig Street

Buckie

Your correspondent Margaret Salmond (Letters, 15 February) does not seem to understand the need to continue sharing the pound.

Any person with a mortgage or credit card debt has undertaken to repay that debt in pounds sterling.

If their wages or pensions are paid in a different currency, a currency risk arises.

If their house is valued in a different currency they may experience a negative currency swing which means, regardless of the housing market, that their house may be worth less than their sterling loan.

Every company with a loan from the bank has to make interest and capital repayments in sterling if the loan is in sterling.

This will necessitate selling the Scottish currency and buying sterling, driving down the value of the Scottish currency.

As the value of the Scottish currency falls, the sterling debt will be harder to repay. As the value of the currency falls there will be an immediate effect on individuals, companies and councils.

Imports will become more expensive and in every set of Scottish company accounts where there is sterling debt or trading with England there will be a currency profit or loss.

A currency loss could wipe out any real profit that has been made, bringing in to question the future of the business. Transaction costs are the least of it.

Sterling has been a safe haven for many years: only lemmings would leave it. If Westminster refuses a currency union, then, as far as I am concerned, it is game over.

Jane Risk

Cupar

Fife

Because my late Mum was Irish, I obviously grew up incredibly aware of how divided Catholics and Protestants were in Northern Ireland, and the Troubles had a massive impact on the lives of my relatives there.

Seven months yet from the Scottish referendum, and I’m getting alarmed at the increased strength of feeling being displayed by many of those for and against independence, not just in Scotland, and I’m fearful – from what I have been hearing – that this significant and unshakeable strength of resolute feeling demonstrated by some individuals, if coupled with determined actions, could lead to undesirable repercussions for us all.

I truly hope the debate on the future of Scotland will not lead to any deplorable consequences reminiscent of those which afflicted and divided Northern Ireland for decades.

Judi Martin

Maryculter

Aberdeenshire