The ‘peculiar lunacy’ of currency union
I BELIEVE it is unfair of Julia Brown (Letters, 1 April) to suggest that the Yes and the No side are equally to blame for any uncertainty over a possible currency union.
If there is a Yes vote in September (and, given recent polls, it’s a big “if”), the SNP insists there will be a currency union with the rest of the UK. The result of this would be that control of the economy of a newly-independent Scotland would be vested in the Bank of England in London, which would now be the capital of a foreign country.
The Bank of England is answerable to politicians in Westminster. It should not need pointing out that ceding control of your currency to foreign bankers and foreign politicians is not a sensible policy for a fledgling and vulnerable economy.
In any case, senior Westminster politicians say that there will not be such a currency union and any breakaway Scotland would have to have a Plan B – perhaps using the pound without a formal currency union or setting up its own currency.
These options would arguably be even worse for a fledgling economy. To cap it all, the SNP denies having a Plan B anyway. That should be the currency matter dead and buried: “stupidity on stilts” as Jim Sillars called it.
However, at the weekend an unnamed minister hints that, in return for keeping Trident on the Clyde, a formal currency union might indeed be possible and is immediately hailed as the saviour of the Yes campaign by Alex Salmond and others.
Am I the only one who thinks it is a peculiar lunacy to hail as a triumph the possibility that control of your economic levers might be transferred to a foreign bank and foreign politicians, placing control of the economy outwith your borders, while blithely ignoring the fact we are already members of that same currency union and have considerable say in how it operates and affects our economy now?
The No campaign is constantly accused of negativity, but it is difficult to see how to present such Yes camp foolishness in a positive light.
Largs, North Ayrshire
I RECENTLY had a nicely produced leaflet from the Better Together campaign delivered to me. It says if we leave the UK we can’t use the pound. That headline statement is untrue and the people who put the leaflet together must have known that full well.
There has been in its construction a deliberate conflation, with the faltering Unionist attempt to suggest the remaining UK would refuse a currency union with an independent Scotland with the free use of the pound as a currency open to any country.
As all informed voters are aware, anybody can use the pound. I suspect the leaflet may do more damage to the Better Together campaign’s shrinking credibility than it does to the Yes campaign.
Dave McEwan Hill