Too many holes in the Yes argument

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out six reasons to vote Yes (your report, 19 March). May I point out some difficulties?

Number one is more jobs. How does this tie in with firm after firm, survey after survey, suggesting businesses would leave Scotland after a Yes vote?

Number two is getting control of Scotland’s taxes.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

How does this tie in with her demand that Scotland has a currency union after independence, which led the Governor of the Bank of England to warn that fiscal sovereignty would need to be surrendered?

Number three is protecting the NHS. How does this equate with the fact that health is already devolved to Holyrood, and in recent years the health of too much of the population has clearly worsened?

Number four is Scotland not ending up with Conservative governments it does not vote for. Does she remember that more people voted against the SNP rather than for it in the 2011 Holyrood election?

Has she thought of voting Labour in May 2015 rather than destroying a successful 300-year-old Union?

Number five is the prospect of retiring later than south of the Border.

Is she ignoring the fact that the pensions bill is lower in Scotland because sadly so many people die early because of poor health?

Number six is the creation of an oil fund. Has she not read all the research showing the decline in oil revenues as the North Sea becomes so expensive to extract oil from?

I think we need better reasons to persuade the undecided.

Phil Wheeler

Templeland Road


In her six reasons for voting Yes, Nicola Sturgeon states that in doing so, people in Scotland will never have a Conservative government they didn’t vote for.

This conveniently ignores the fact that many thousands in Scotland did in fact get the Conservative government they voted for – even if not an MP.

Is she also saying that in an independent Scotland there will never be a Scottish Conservative government?

I wasn’t aware that this was within the gift of the SNP; I always thought the people elected the government.

W B Elliot

Newbattle Abbey Crescent


How refreshing to read a contribution to the independence debate which presents an issue with calm reason and is free from hyperbole and vilification. Jim Fairlie (Letters, 19 March) reiterates a point which he (and I) have made in these columns previously and to which, significantly, no response has been forthcoming. The SNP strategy on a currency union is “dishonest”.

Full control of fiscal and monetary policy is declared to be a cornerstone of independence by the SNP.

But a currency union entails continuing control of fiscal and monetary policy by Westminster. The SNP disingenuously pretends this is not the case.

If this dishonest strategy were to be successful there would be a lot of disappointed Yes voters in the aftermath. There would either be a formal currency union or there would not.

In the first instance, those voters like Mr Fairlie would not have the independent Scotland they would wish to vote for. And if, more likely, there was no currency union then those voters who had been deceived into believing they would retain the pound would feel somewhat cheated to be receiving their pay or their pensions in euros.

The voters have a right to know the facts. Let us have an honest response from the SNP.

Is it to be independence and the euro (or new currency) or pseudo-independence and the pound?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue


Susan Forde’s letter (19 March) is another example of the misleading half-truths and omissions perpetrated by some members of the Yes camp.

She says our “existing currency union” is controlled by Westminster whose “priority is London”: Parliament is clearly located at Westminster but she ignore the fact that there are 59 Scottish MPs there (it is notable that fewer than 10 per cent of them are SNP) and 591 others, representing all parts of the UK, not just London.

The issues concerning people in Wick and Wigton are largely the same as those impacting on the people of Walsall and Wallsend.

Can she tell us how Scotland could fare better than the population of such rUK places under Salmond’s imagined post-independence currency union with an rUK Westminster parliament setting fiscal policy but with no Scottish MPs?

When Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said a currency union was theoretically possible – he made absolutely no statement as to whether it was politically desirable for rUK – he was very clear about the fact that this would entail loss of sovereignty for Scotland.

The implications of Scotland adopting the “Panama/US dollar solution” are even more frightening.

Ms Forde seems to know more than European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy about an independent Scotland’s prospects for EU membership.

It is clear to all objective thinkers that we would have to join as a new accession state.

If she is right and we are to be accepted with open arms, can Ms Forde please tell us how we will have economic freedom as we set our fiscal policy for compulsory EMU participation and then compulsory adoption of the Euro?

These are the inconvenient truths that the SNP is completely ignoring but must be addressed.

David K Allan


Haddington, East Lothian

As the SNP is making such a fuss about a No vote handing control back to Westminster, can it please explain why it handed back the Scottish Parliament’s 3 per cent tax-varying power?

There was a signal lack of publicity for that.

Could it have been remembering that we voted for that power in the 1997 referendum?

Moyra Forrest

Starbank Road