Alex hasn’t a clue

I sincerely doubt whether Alex Salmond actually knows what independence means. He wants Scotland to be independent, yet in the EU. That isn’t independence; it is absorption.

He wants independence, yet he wants Scotland to be in sterling. Ireland, when it really was independent, had no say in deciding on British interest rates. Mr Salmond thinks Scotland will. No, it won’t, because Scotland will no longer be part of the UK.

The Nationalists may be unaware of the fact that the major financial organisations in Edinburgh (and most major employers here) are now owned by companies based outside Scotland, many of them in England.

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As with much of Scottish business, the decisions are made elsewhere and the break-up of the UK will end any obligations, either legal or emotional, to retain jobs outside England.

Mr Salmond should remember that, while he may want things to happen in Scotland’s interests, what remains of the UK will want things to be to their benefit.

I would give him two guesses as to whose interests will govern decisions made in Westminster and in the boardrooms of Edinburgh’s financial services companies if Scotland breaks away.

Mr Salmond wants Royal Navy ships to be built in Scotland if Scotland becomes separate. He will have no say in where they are built, because Scotland will no longer be united with the rest of the UK.

The Ministry of Defence will decide where ships will be built. Scotland will not.

Mr Salmond thinks Westminster should pay for the decommissioning of North Sea platforms. Why should they? Scotland wants the oil and control of the waters.

If the matter were not of such importance to all who live in Scotland, it would be outrageously funny.

The biggest worry for most Scots is that people here will be so taken in that they will believe the fictions that the SNP is trying to foist on us.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

What a breath of fresh air to read the article by Madsen Pirie, “Opportunity to build bonfire of restrictions” (Perspective, 1 June).

Here is someone who demonstrably understands economics and can provide examples of how Scotland could be better off as an independent nation, with the crucial financial levers in place, through independence of course.

This is in stark contrast to the small-minded, often petty, approach of the current Westminster government in its dealings with Scotland.

I hope Scottish business leaders take note of this article and can see the benefits independence would bring.

C Murphy

West Calder

West Lothian

Until the questions relating to the working arrangements between the Bank of England and an “independent” Scotland within the “sterling-zone” are answered comprehensively it would be totally illogical to expect anyone, even the most died-in-the wool Nationalist, to vote Yes in the referendum.

Yes to what? The concept of independence could end up being totally without meaning.

JOHN MILNE

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

While I am a great admirer of Bill Jamieson he unfortunately lets a good story get in the way of the facts (Perspective, 31 May). He berates the current economic performance of the eurozone when compared with the UK, describing monetary union as a “disaster”.

He, however, neglects to mention that the UK is currently in recession while the eurozone is not.

Indeed, latest quarterly economic statistics indicate that 11 of the 17 eurozone countries have higher growth rates than the UK.

In Finland, for example, it was 2.9 per cent and in Germany it was 1.2 per cent.

A country such as Ireland has indeed had its problems but according to the IMF, in term of wealth per capita, it is still well ahead of the UK.

Mr Jamieson also describes an independent Scotland pursuing a separate fiscal policy while retaining sterling as “scarcely credible”.

However, what he neglects to mention to readers is that there are currently 18 currency unions stretching the globe, with six more being proposed.

It is maybe for those who are critical of Scottish independence to open their eyes, and their minds, to what is happening elsewhere in the world.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh