Question marks over SNP strategy

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Stan Grodynski’s response (Letters, 21 March) to your lead letter headline (20 March) is typical of the Yes politicians he seeks to excuse. It does not deal with the arguments but simply shifts the ground to other issues.

The main point of my letter is not to respond to his claims on these issues but I will briefly comment.

There is no for need for a UK Government to seek clarification on Scotland’s status in the EU in the event of independence.

Even the SNP accepts that Scotland would have to re-apply.

The Edinburgh Agreement does not entail, as Yes politicians seem to think, that whatever is in the white paper must be agreed by the UK – and even the EU.

Mr Grodynski surely cannot be serious in saying that Yes politicians “have avoided mention of the uncertainty associated with the UK possibly leaving the EU”.

As to oil reports, rather than dwell on errors of previous regimes, consider that the current government commissioned the Wood report and is committed to implementing it.

More importantly, I would appreciate Mr Grodynski’s, or preferably a Yes politician’s, “considered judgment” on a “core issue” which was raised by me and more significantly by Jim Fairlie.

Mr Grodynski wishes 
Scotland to “manage our own resources”.

Mr Fairlie, who incidentally might himself be regarded as a “Yes politician”, asks why then is the SNP committed to a currency union.

A currency union would leave Westminster in control of fiscal and monetary policy and Scotland would therefore not be “managing its own resources”. Please tell the voters why the SNP would want that.

Is the SNP “lacking in confidence” to manage Scotland’s resources or does a more sinister explanation suggest itself? Pre-referendum, uncertain voters are persuaded to believe they will have the pound.

Post-referendum, if successful, the SNP would claim that the UK Government is refusing to co-operate, would install the euro or the currency they really want and at the same time welsh out on Scotland’s rightful share of UK debt.

This is my own assessment but it would be consistent with what Mr Fairlie has called the SNP’s “dishonest” strategy.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

Stan Grodynski (Letters, 21 March) attacks other correspondents (including me) for their perfectly reasonable points made in these columns pointing out the holes in the Yes argument. He accuses us of lacking common sense in the points we made.

The words “pot”, “kettle” and “black” leap to mind. For instance, he tells us that “it is not the Yes politicians who are acting outside the spirit of the Edinburgh Agreement … by refusing … negotiations on Scotland’s possible continued use of Sterling”.

As Mr Grodynski will know, the Edinburgh Agreement basically says that all parties will strive to act in the best interests of the component parts of the current UK in the event of break-up.

It is exactly the use of common sense that tells me – and the leaders of the three main parties – that a currency union is certainly not in the best interest of rUK.

For the people of rUK, it would be like their kids leaving home, taking out a mortgage and demanding that their mum and dad act as guarantors. Research says rUK voters are strongly against it, as I would be in their position. It is also far from clear to me how independent Scotland would be, or how it would be in our best interests, with our currency and monetary policy controlled by a foreign country.

The Yes camp must come to terms with the fact that there are very large holes in its case and it is perfectly fair for others to refuse to facilitate their desire to lead the rest of us by the nose to so-called independence.

David K Allan

Mainshill

Haddington, East Lothian

It was with much hilarity that I read Campbell Watson’s letter (21 March) in which he asks us to imagine Scotland as a separate country that wishes to join the UK and what a “good deal” this would be.

It is indeed a different way of framing the debate. However, if you stand back and look at it, a campaign being run now to persuade Scotland to join the Union would be an almost impossible one to run. Just imagine some of the leading propositions that would be put to the Scottish people: your main parliament will move hundreds of miles away, and your MPs will be in a tiny minority; you will get a government you didn’t vote for; all of your oil and gas revenues will be handed over to the London Treasury.

The biggest nuclear weapons arsenal in Western Europe will be built on the River Clyde, 30 miles from your largest city. You will be joining a country where the health and education services are rapidly being privatised. Now and then you will get dragged into an illegal foreign war. An austerity budget will be imposed from London, cutting jobs and threatening the provision of vital public services. Weak regulation of the banking sector will bring your economy to the brink of disaster.

On top of all that, the most vulnerable people in society, instead of getting protection and support, will be interrogated and humiliated in order to deprive them of the very meagre level of provision to which they are entitled. This is anything but the “good deal” Mr Watson imagines it to be.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

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