Separation costs

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I SEE that Bill McLean (Letters, 20 November) is coming up with the figures which seem to be drilled into supporters of separatism and which are shown to be incorrect time and time again.

Even so, they keep repeating them, as if that will make them true. It illustrates the incoherence of Nationalist arguments about funding a split from the rest of the UK.

For his information, important though it is, oil is not Britain’s biggest export. Neither is whisky Britain’s third largest export. He is confusing Scotland with the UK, which is fine if you are not too bothered with facts, rather like the SNP, but does matter if you are trying to prove a case.

For leading British exports, look at the likes of the City of London, the car industry and the defence industry.

There is no doubt that a separate Scotland, whether inside, or, more likely outside, the EU, would have money coming in from oil exports which would, for a time, produce a good 
income. Certainly not enough for the grandiose investment schemes that Mr Salmond likes to dangle before his adoring and uncritical supporters.

Indeed, any investment scheme would depend upon paying off a large share of inherited national debt and the huge social security bill that Scotland, as the Sick Man (and Woman) of Europe (your report, 20 November) spends each year.

Oil income is very much dependent upon two crucial 
factors: will the oil price stay as phenomenally high as it is at present, and if it does not, how many of the marginal fields will become uneconomic when the price falls? I remember oil rigs sitting idle all along the east coast of Scotland in the 1980s. Those days could easily come again. The curious fact is that we have a First Minister who is 
so keen to make Scotland a 
beacon to the world of the benefits of clean, “green” energy that he aims to produce 50 per cent of our electricity from wind 

Yet the prosperity upon which he wishes to build fantasy investment funds for the future are entirely reliant upon oil, the world’s leading pollutant. Am I alone in finding this more than slightly contradictory?

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive


As far as I can see the Institute of Fiscal Studies bases all its 
projections on a position that an 
independent Scotland’s economy will be run in much the same way as it is run now. What an 
absurd assumption. Why would any of us support independence if that was the prospect?

Dave McEwan Hill