Author Louis de Bernières calls for SNP to explain how independence would work in open letter

The author Louis de Bernières has called for the SNP to explain how independence would work in a series of pointed questions.

Writing a letter to The Scotsman, the Captain Corelli's Mandolin writer claimed the public were “entitled” to answers and outlined 12 issues he wanted addressed.

Firstly he questioned how “Scotland will be able to carry on using sterling until it can join the Euro”, adding: “Why would the Westminster Government ever agree to this?”

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He also questioned border arrangements between Scotland and England, asking where tax will be paid by those who work on one side and live on another.

London-born author Louis de Bernières has written a letter demanding the SNP answer several questions on how independence would work.

Other questions include why the EU will agree to Scotland’s accession given events in Catalonia and why the SNP want to join the Eurozone where devaluation is impossible.

Mr de Bernières asks how Scotland will set up and fund its armed forces, what happens to the nuclear base at Faslane and how the country will fund a diplomatic corps.

The author, who was born in London, also asks what Scotland will do without the Barnett formula, accuses the SNP of having a republican agenda, says it will have no clout in Brussels, and that it is forcing people to lose a nationality against their will.

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It is not his first intervention in Scottish politics.

Mr de Bernières previously said the English attachment to Scotland was only “sentimental”, adding that many of his countrymen would be “glad to see the back” of Scotland.

Writing in January, he said: “The attachment to Scotland is mostly a sentimental one, a kind of familial love, but it seems to me the constant complaining and smug grandstanding of the Nationalists, and the barely concealed Anglophobia of too many Scots, have so alienated us that we would be glad to see the back of them.

“Given the threat of a new ‘illegal’ referendum, it seems clear to me that it’s about time that the populations of Wales and England should have the opportunity to have a say in what we want our relationship with Scotland and Northern Ireland to be.

"We have no vested interest in clinging on to either of them.”

The SNP's Brexit spokesperson, Dr Philippa Whitford, claimed the questions “reflect tired old arguments that have since proven to be wrong”.

She said: "An independent Scotland would start life as one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

"With a third of the UK land mass and vast supplies of water and renewable energy, Scotland has human and natural resources that most nations could only dream of.

"The reality is that Boris Johnson's Tory Government has repeatedly ridden roughshod over Scotland by hammering our economy with a hard Brexit, stripping powers from the Scottish Parliament, and threatening to sign away our NHS in damaging trade deals.

“The upcoming election in May is set to be one of the most important in Scotland’s history and it's clear that Scotland faces a choice of two futures – the isolation and long-term damage of Tory Brexit and austerity cuts under the broken Westminster system, or the opportunity to build a fairer future as an independent country in a post-pandemic referendum.”

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