Euro dilemmas

Douglas Turner (Letters, 7 February) asks if we love it when people pronounce with certainty and get it wrong. He claims that this was the case when I asked how we would join the EU and retain the pound as the SNP intends, in the face of EU terms of membership.

Mr Turner claims that we would be saved because we do not meet the four convergence criteria for joining the euro.

Even if this were the case, Mr Turner and his fellow SNP adherents must understand that the EU’s membership criteria are absolutely clear: candidate states (ie Scotland) are obliged to adopt and enforce all of the current EU rules, which are non-negotiable. The current rule on economic and monetary policy is perfectly simple and I quote from it:

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“New member states are also committed to complying with the criteria laid down in the treaty in order to be able to adopt the euro in due course after accession.

“Until then, they will participate in the economic and monetary union as a member state with a derogation from the use of the euro and shall treat their exchange rates as a matter of common concern.”

So, Mr Turner, are you still loving it? The best that Mr Salmond could hope for is temporary relief from the euro as he worked diligently to meet the criteria. Mind you, given that Greece et al strolled into the eurozone, it would appear that he may not have to strive too hard.

David K Allan


Haddington, East Lothian

Douglas Turner might wish to take the counsel of Matthew 7:5 (“First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”).

Although it is true that any new country acceding to the EU does not on day one have to comply with the euro convergence criteria, they must commit to complying in the future and joining the new currency.

If Mr Turner believes an independent Scotland can do a Sweden and constantly defer entry into the convergence process, I suggest that he reads the relevant terms of the three new major EU treaties brought into force since Sweden’s accession in 1994.

In addition, the SNP plans to enter into a sterling currency union post-independence, which of course precludes preparing for and joining the euro.

Mr Turner might be at ease with such “doublethink” – however, I would have thought that in establishing any new country its citizens would want their elected representatives to behave with honour rather than duplicity.

Peter Muirhead