Positive prospect

As you report (25 June), business leaders want more information on the prospects of independence. The SNP can put forward reasonable proposals, which would be in the best interests of the rest of the UK (rUK) as well as Scotland, but the No campaign will not admit that until the referendum is won.

A former member of the (Bank of England’s) monetary policy committee recently said there is a great deal of political posturing and most of the issues could be dealt with if the Yes 
decision is taken.

The Scottish Parliament has kept within its budget since its formation, and could operate within a shared currency with the rUK on reasonable rules about debt ratios, etc, which it would have kept anyway.

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In view of the numbers of defence personnel made redundant, the Scottish defence force should have little trouble in recruiting a cadre of skilled and experienced troops and building the numbers required.

No-one has levelled any valid criticism of the proposal to have one battalion whose units would be ready for deployment on a rota basis, and one which would include HQ functions, reserves, training and territorial units.

We would need ocean patrol vessels, coastal defence ships, minehunters, tugs and a range of small craft. Our airforce would take Typhoons, probably Hercules C5 transport and tanker planes, helicopters, trainers etc. Due to the UK decision to break up the £3 billion Nimrods we might have to lease P4 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.

Would we get Royal Navy orders? The first question is “What orders?” The steelwork on the second carrier is due to be completed by the end of this year, and the Type 26 Frigates are held up indefinitely waiting for a partner to share the cost.

Babcock at Rosyth has a five-year contract to fit out the first carrier, which will continue because there is nowhere else in the UK with the space and skills to do this work, and for the same reason will do the second carrier. If the rUK can afford it, we might share an order for Clyde-built Ocean Patrol Vessels, which both need.

All three parties in the No campaign offer only increasing cuts for the next parliament at least. Independence offers a chance to follow a better path –and perhaps save the rUK by our example.

John Smart

Kinneddar Street