Off-kilter survey

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In pursuit of his continuing support for the No campaign, Peter Jones (Perpective, 10 June) cites the results of a recent survey of 46 “macroeconomists”, who were asked whether they thought Scotland would be better off in economic terms as an independent country.

Mr Jones describes their “verdict” as “near-unanimous”. In fact, almost 40 per cent of those who were asked did not reply to the question, perhaps because they did not feel themselves well-qualified to answer it.

It is not obvious what knowledge of the Scottish economy was possessed by those who did reply. What is clear from the results is that less than half of those who were surveyed did not agree with the proposition that Scotland would be better off as an independent country.

The same survey contained a second question which Mr Jones chose not to mention. That question asked respondents whether they agreed with the UK government’s present position of ruling out monetary union with an independent Scotland.

Less than 40 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the government’s position. The Nobel Prizewinner Sir Christopher Pissarides replied that the UK government’s stance was purely motivated by a desire to influence the outcome of the referendum. That was surely the right answer.

David Simpson


East Lothian