Union benefits

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Is FIRST Minister Alex Salmond losing touch with reality? According to your report (13 July), he has proposed that an independent Scotland would still be a member of five unions: the sterling currency union; the union of the UK crown; a UK social union; the European Union and Nato. But how can he be sure?

If Scotland votes Yes it will be for these several unions to decide if they are willing to accept the new arrangements that Mr Salmond has in mind. But as has become very clear in recent discussions, they might not necessarily agree to these proposed arrangements on terms that are advantageous to Scotland. 

And if, as planned by the SNP Scottish Government, there is – following a Yes vote for independence – a constitutional convention to decide again the actual form of the future government of Scotland, then all these issues would be up for yet further debate.

The First Minister seems to want a divorce, but to retain the benefits of marriage. Let us hope the reality check comes before the ballot on independence, rather than after.

Norman Bonney

Palmerston Place

Edinburgh