PAT Kane’s claims (Insight, 10 August) that his two “stories” demonstrate the likelihood of a successful negotiation by the Government in an independent Scotland of a formal currency union with rUK do no such thing.
They are of limited value to the important currency debate and indeed are little more than pro-separatist point-scoring.
The first story concerns the “pledge” by the UK government to meet the UK debt irrespective of the outcome of the referendum. The UK government recognises that it has no alternative. That debt remains the legal liability of the UK even if Scotland leaves. A separate Scotland would have no legal responsibility for it. On the other hand it obviously has an obligation, on the grounds of morality and equity, to accept responsibility for a proportion of it. Not to do so would be foolhardy in the extreme or, as Bill Jamieson put it in his article in the same edition, “financial suicide”.
The second story concerns confidence in an independent Scotland. Mr Kane then fails to demonstrate any correlation between such “confidence” and the willingness of rUK to enter into a formal currency union. The reason for this failure is simple – there is no relationship.
It is difficult to understand why the separatists do not realise that there is no possibility whatsoever of a formal currency union. Such a union is only sustainable where there is concomitant political, fiscal, economic and even quasi-constitutional union. That clearly will not happen since, even if rUK wanted it, which it wouldn’t, no nationalist government could possibly enter into a union which negated the very independence for which it had fought.
David SW Williamson, Kelso