Cameron should heed his own poll advice
David Cameron was one of the most vocal of the politicians who nagged and carped at Alex Salmond to call an early independence referendum, protesting that delaying the decision on Scotland’s constitutional future would be bad for the Scottish economy.
Now we have the Prime Minister throwing out strong hints that he will call a referendum on Europe, but only after the 2015 general election (your report, 15 January).
Mr Cameron appears untroubled that uncertainty over Britain’s relationship with Europe might be bad for the UK economy, and points out that “we are members of this club, we are prominent members, we pay a large bill for being a member of this club; we’re perfectly entitled to argue it needs to change”.
The same could be said about Scotland’s membership of club UK. Why does Mr Cameron not heed the advice he was quick enough to give Mr Salmond, and set a date for a referendum on Europe tout de suite? Bring it on.
Robert Dow (Letters, 16 January) raises the issue of our relationship with the European Union so very well.
Clearly, David Cameron has no intention of doing anything other than going through the motions of dissent with the EU, for domestic consumption.
The EU knows this. It is an agreed charade to keep the voters happy.
Just over 100 years ago, Norway gained independence from Sweden and in a few years we celebrate the independence of the Irish Free State. Both are similar in size to Scotland. Yet, according to the diplomats you quote in your report (16 January), Scotland would find it difficult to exist as a separate state.
Scotland would be approximately in the middle of the table of countries by population, along with other “struggling” states such as Singapore and Denmark.
They also question whether the US would allow Scotland into Nato. Since treaties can be a double-edged sword, staying out like the Republic of Ireland, Sweden or Finland might be preferable.
After all, a significant number of the countries Nato was designed to oppose are no longer a threat and some have even joined.
With the European Union, it might be better if Scotland decides on its own whether to join or just trade with it – like Norway and Switzerland.
With the Tories split, Ukip on the rise and a definite lack of direction in the coalition, Europe is going to tear Westminster politics apart. Again, keeping out of the fight is to Scotland’s advantage.
There is also a completely selfish consideration: the oil revenues remaining are considerable and would give much more benefit to just five million people in Scotland rather than being spread among more than 60 million people.
It would provide a useful investment fund to reduce the Scottish share of the debt while other energy sources are developed and new industries benefit from them.
Bruce D Skivington
Gairloch, Wester Ross
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