THE debate about Scottish independence goes on, as it must, and will continue for 18 months more, the delay quite needless in the opinion of many. While it does, it is difficult to conclude other than that attention to everyday governance in all matters is diminished and important activities in every field of public responsibility are, to some extent, being neglected.
Following the thousands of words already written and uttered, are we any closer to a definitive answer to such questions as the ties an independent Scotland would have to the European Union, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the pound sterling and, consequently, the Bank of England?
Where would we stand with regard to the BBC, the Meteorological Office, the major British banks and building societies, the Post Office, the National Health Service, embassies and consulates?
What about government departments such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise?
This list is far from exhaustive. Can anyone imagine the cost of making our own arrangements for all of these? Remember the forecast for the cost of the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood?
And what exactly might we be freeing ourselves from, apart from a massive chip on our shoulders? In many respects, the UK itself if no longer independent, and nor would Scotland be.
Stuart Russell (Letters, 29 March) would like an independent Scotland to co-operate with our Scandinavian neighbours.
He may like to know that Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, with Greenland Aaland and the Faroes, already co-operate through the long-standing Nordic Council (Nordisk Raad). This introduced a common labour market in the 1950s, despite some members being in the European Union and some not, and some in Nato and some not.
In my view an independent Scotland would be well-advised to seek membership of this co-operative body.