Threat to walk away from UK debt shows moral bankruptcy

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SO ALEX Salmond is actually threatening to walk away from Scotland’s share of the national debt if the rest of the UK don’t agree to currency union (News, 16 February). He is being disingenuous in calling the currency an “asset” which should be shared out. As an intelligent person he can’t believe this himself, and can only be misrepresenting the situation for political ends.

The value of a currency per se lies purely in the believability of its promise to pay the bearer on demand. This believability is purely a reflection of the reputation and solidity of the country issuing the currency. How could an independent Scotland lay claim to the reputation and solidity of a foreign country, not only that but expect that foreign country to underwrite its banks? The idea is logically absurd, and the apparent moral bankruptcy of the threat to do a midnight flit on the national debt is deeply disturbing.

What sort of foundation would that be for a brave new nation?

Douglas Gibb, via email

FROM the start the SNP’s proposals for independence have included aspirations which are not in the gift of the Scottish Government alone but which rely upon the agreement of another organisation. One such is the SNP’s preferred currency union.

Leaving aside the question of just how “independent” Scotland would be in that situation, without full control of its financial “levers”, many people have warned that things might not be so simple and that a vote for independence, while perfectly legitimate, would be bound to have consequences, not all of them welcome. Unfortunately, such folk have been routinely dismissed as “feart”, “scare-mongers” or “anti-Scottish”.

Now, when the three main UK parties confirm that, having considered the advice from the Civil Service, they will not agree to such a currency union, the Nationalists cry “foul” and complain they are being bullied. They conveniently ignore the fact that they are the ones who want to leave the UK and therefore they are the ones who would be responsible for leaving the sterling currency union and any subsequent disadvantages.

It sounds for all the world like a young person who wants to leave the family home to pursue an independent life, yet still expects Mum to do their washing.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews

I AM amazed at the chippyness of Andrew Wilson and Terry Murden in last week’s Scotland on Sunday (Insight and Business, 16 February). There’s no bullying from the Chancellor, he was merely stating the case that the remaining UK would not be sharing its currency with what would amount to a foreign country, why should we take the risk? An independent Scotland would be a completely different form of government than the UK’s, why should the UK support that?

Scotland is either part of the UK or it is not. I have no problems with the Scottish people deciding that this year, but I would have a problem sharing our currency with an independent Scotland. All the people of the remaining UK should be asked in a referendum if we want to share the currency.

Stuart Eels, Chippenham, Wilts