There are some very straightforward facts to answer Douglas Cowe’s basic questions on independence (Letters, 12 October).
Far from being ignored, Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission was debated at three all-day assemblies, involving hundreds of participants, with more to come.
The GERS “deficit” of £13 billion includes several items that don’t get spent in Scotland, such as a theoretical £3.6bn a year for Scotland’s “share” of interest on the UK national debt, or the £3.1bn charged as a pro rata share of UK defence when less than half that amount is spent in Scotland. With oil prices around $85 a barrel, if an independent Scotland levied taxes at the UK 2010 levels it would bring in £6bn a year. Combined, these items would almost wipe out the GERS deficit.
It has emerged that the NO vote on 2014 was built on a tissue of lies and, having been taken out of the EU against our democratic wishes, the SNP now holds two democratic mandates in 2016 and 2017 backing another independence referendum
Small nations have much greater say in EU decision making, and often have a veto, whereas Scotland is regularly ignored without any say on UK decisions such as the Brexit negotiations.
Scotland can have the same type of defence set-up as other small northern European countries at half the cost the UK charges Scotland under the GERS figures.
Economically, the UK remains the most unequal country in Europe, whereby London sucks government infrastructure investment at the expense of the rest of the UK. Also, Scotland’s GDP per head is greater than France or Germany’s. According to the recent IMF World Economic Outlook for 2018, the UK is forecast to fall from 163rd place out of 194 countries for growth to 173rd place over the next six years – not much of an advert for remaining in an isolated unequal union.
Watson Crescent, Edinburgh
I campaigned for a No Vote in September 2014. However, Brexit has made me less inclined to oppose Scottish Independence as vigorously as I did, although the economic consequences continue to give me cause for serious concern.
Now I read Tom Peterkin’s article “The English Tories who play fast and loose with the Union” (Perspective, 11 October). He is surely right in asserting that English Brexiteers “may pay lip service to the Union but [their] pursuit of a hard Brexit appears to pay scant regard to the UK at large”.
It is surely not beyond the realms of possibility – and maybe even probability – that should the Brexiteers gain control of the “United” Kingdom, the drastic financial consequences of their project will encourage them to feel less inclined to maintain a Union (which means so little to them) involving the transfer of financial resources from England to Scotland under the Barnett Formula.
So, perhaps the end of the Union is not so far away after all. The people of Scotland may come to the conclusion that they might as well be independent. I suggest that the more hard line, and obviously blinkered, Brexiteer members of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party be careful what they wish for.
Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston