Shifting borders

As the referendum comes closer, I still have three questions that puzzle me.

First, why do the Better Together campaigners insist that a vote for or against independence is
irreversible? I can think of no precedent for this statement.

Historically, nations have
existed independently, disappeared into larger unions and
reappeared in different forms.

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The most dramatic changes followed the First World War when ancient nations were carved up by the winning Allies. From these changes came the Second World War and, after 1990, a new set of sovereign states created by the breakup of the former Soviet empire.

Second, why do the Better
Together campaigners, including David Cameron (your report, 4 September), continue to allege that an independent Scottish government will refuse to pay its due share of the UK national debt when refusal may not even be an option for such a government?

The entire responsibility for the UK national debt has been formally accepted by the Bank of England. At present, the Bank of England, nationalised in 1946 by a Labour UK government, belongs to all UK taxpayers, and thus, in proportion to their numbers in the UK, to Scottish taxpayers.

The current denial by the UK government of any Scottish right to partnership in the Bank of England is also a denial of any Scottish responsibility for the debts incurred by the Bank of England.

How many people in their normal lives would insist on
paying debts for which they are not responsible? There is no moral requirement for any
independent Scottish Government to pay the debt of an
organisation to which it does not belong.

Third, why don’t the political parties of the Better Together campaign offer Scotland the same “better together” union to Scotland as the Isle of Man,
making it a self-governing crown dependency?

This would truly give Scotland the best of both worlds with
defence and foreign affairs looked after by the UK government, a devolved parliament, removal of Trident missiles, and greatly reduced income tax? That would really justify a No vote.


Mansionhouse Road


John Eoin Douglas (Letters, 4 September) condemns
Better Together’s rhetoric as
confused. They say there would be “no going back” – also that rUK wants us to stay. So, he says, surely it would welcome our return if we went begging with our tails
between our legs?

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But in the first TV debate, Alex Salmond said it too: “There is no going back – no second chance” (your report, 5 August). And, no matter how bad things got, no Scottish Government would admit failure, go whining and scratching at the door.

We cannot try on independence to see if it fits. There are no refunds, no exchanges. This is it, for as long as the nation lasts. We need to be damn sure we are doing the right thing, especially by our children – but how can we be, when all is uncertain?

George Byron

Comely Bank Avenue