‘Independence in Britain’ a ludicrous notion

YOU applaud the SNP’s “current vision of independence” in your leader of 24 November, headlined “Neither up or down”, possibly because it fits rather well into your own preference for the future governance of Scotland. It is certainly not independence, by any definition of the term that would be recognised and acceptable, to those countries in Europe which have re-established themselves as nation states, such as the Czech republic or those other countries of the erstwhile Eastern Bloc.

You dismiss the notion of the nation state as belonging to the 19th century, something which will come as a surprise to all those nation states that have re-emerged since the end of World War II; note that the SNP has also ditched the oxymoron “Independence in Europe”, in favour of something which you describe as “21st-century independence”. This demands that a country “shares sovereignty and competences with its neighbours”, which you suggest, in the case of the SNP’s vision for the future Scotland, could be dubbed, “Independence in Britain”. The term may be apt but it suggests an arrangement even more ludicrous than “Independence in Europe”.

The SNP’s notion of independence includes an arrangement whereby Scotland will have no control of monetary policy and, as a consequence, only limited control of fiscal policy, both of which will be under the control of the Bank of England, either in part or totally. Agriculture and fishing will be totally controlled by the EU, which will also have considerable say in trade, industry and a whole host of other functions of our economy.

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Membership of Nato will dictate much of our defence policy, and when we include retaining the monarchy, membership of the Commonwealth and even the use of the term UK, it is difficult to see what major differences a Yes vote will bring.

If what the SNP is offering – our economy run by the Bank of England and the EU and our defence and foreign policy by Nato – is independence, the political lexicon will have to be re-written to accommodate definitions of terms such as devolution, which has now been made redundant.

Jim Fairlie, Crieff