Some an­swers

The Scotsman - - Letters To The Editor -

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.

MARY THOMAS

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.

JOHN MILNE

Ard­gowan Drive, Ud­dingston

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