David Maddox’s article, “Independence would lead to second-highest deficit” (11 April), shows how, yet again, the SNP merely blusters and shrugs off the UK Treasury analysis that a separated Scotland would face a fiscal deficit of £1,760 per head – the second-highest in the developed world – compared with £760 per head in the continuing UK.
The SNP’s head-in-the- sand approach apparently applies also to the little-reported inquiry this week by the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee into “The Referendum on Separation for Scotland” where it was revealed that Scotland will receive about £200 million more in European funding as a result of being part of the UK than it would receive if it was independent.
And the even more bitter pill that Nationalists must swallow is that taxpayers in a separated Scotland would lose the benefit of the United Kingdom’s current European Union rebate – and end up subsidising the continuing UK’s rebate from Brussels .
How much more SNP blustering, shrugging, head- burying and bitter pill-swallowing must happen before the “undecideds” decide that Scotland’s separation is not exactly a healthy option?
Graeme G Crawford
The letter from David Stevenson (11 April) epitomises the utter confusion of SNP supporters in regard to independence. I well remember my own 1950s SNP membership card but am afraid the original aims and objectives bear little relation to the modern reality.
The SNP gave its own members a list of 19 functions of government from agriculture to trade, which were covered by EU legislation, stating: “Virtually no area of domestic Scottish policy is untouched by European law and policy.”
The list did not include the fact we have absolutely no control over our own borders viz a viz immigration from EU countries, although it did remind members that EU law supersedes Scots law.
To say that SNP “aims remain, though the way they are expressed has developed” is sophistry in the extreme and merely irritates. To suggest the actions of the New Zealand and Norwegian governments, neither country being members of the EU, are circumscribed to the same extent as those of Denmark and Finland, both of which are members, is simply a distortion of the facts.
As none of the countries David mentions is in a currency union of the type envisaged by the SNP, which would ensure foreign control of Scotland’s economy, any comparison between them and a Scotland under the type of regime preferred by the SNP is no comparison at all.
We have only a few months until Scots must choose, either to be independent or to continue to be governed by a Union that has rarely ever acted in our best interests. A bit of honesty in the debate is still largely absent.
Better Together faces a challenge to persuade bedrock Labour voters who voted SNP at the last Scottish election that there are far greater opportunities for social change in Britain than in a separate Scotland.
This must be led by a strong economy, not one subject to oil’s extreme variability in price. It also requires long-term stability, which, again, diminishing oil resources do not guarantee. Britain’s economy is forging ahead of any other in the G7.
Power supplies must be reliable and cheap, neither of which would apply in a separate Scotland, and political security must be ensured by a strong defence.
Without these essential conditions, stability cannot be guaranteed and unstable politico-economic conditions dictate social matters, not the other way around.
Indeed, Scotland faces fuel poverty due to the SNP’s disgraceful failure to implement nuclear power or adequate alternative backup to sporadic wind turbines.
You need vision which extends beyond your own back yard. The issues which the SNPs tell us only Scots can solve are the same throughout Britain. Ask anyone from Brixton or Birmingham whether they want a “fairer society” and the answer is yes. To suggest only Scots can achieve this is xenophobic at the least.
When more than 75 per cent of Scots did not vote for the people who seek to destroy our unity, we may rightly say, if you vote Yes, you allow a Scottish administration you did not vote for to deprive you of security, influence and wealth, both present and future.
Andrew HN Gray