History lesson

As usual, the lessons of history are being ignored in the last few, desperate days of the referendum debate.

Whatever the outcome of Plan A negotiations (which haven’t started yet, despite pronouncements from Westminster), the Australian experience is worthy of close study.

When the Australian pound was introduced in 1910 it was pegged to sterling, but later
became officially distinct in value after the world devaluation crisis in 1931.

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The dollar was introduced in February 1966, removing Australia from the sterling area. When sterling was devalued against the US dollar in 1967, the new
Australian dollar was not, and stayed pegged to the US dollar at the same rate.

The Aussie dollar was floated in 1983 and is now the fifth most traded currency in the world.

We should also note that, of 28 Nato countries, only eight have nuclear weapons on their
territories (if we count France, which resolutely goes its own way) and that short-range weapons in Europe have been
reduced by more than 95 per cent since 1971, more than 50 per cent
unilaterally since 1994.

Try telling Canada that it’s not pulling its weight as a member of Nato. “Incineration without representation” is not an option for Scotland, any more than it was for Canada when it disarmed 30 years ago.

In 2008, the European
Command said: “We pay a king’s ransom for these things and they have no military value.”

(Dr) Bruce Durie