IN his letter, Jim Fairlie asks what we Remainers mean by ever closer union (Letters, The National, August 6). Here’s my take.

The sovereignty of the EU is limited and clearly defined by the major treaties, starting with the Coal and Steel Community Treaty in 1951, followed by the main founding treaty, the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and five further major treaties including Maastricht in 1992 until the most recent, the Treaty of Lisbon (2007).

No EU laws are made outwith the scope and authority of these treaties and each is adopted in full by the individual democratic processes of each of the 28 member states. There will be future treaties of course and these may or may not be in the direction of further integration but robust democratic processes in each national parliament will ensure that all member states agree, or leave if they want. And so there will be no further integration against the democratic wishes of each and every member state.

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The UK is currently providing cast-iron proof of the unadulterated independence of each EU country. We are leaving.

The EU did not say like Theresa May did to Nicola Sturgeon: “Now is not the time.” They did not say as Madrid said to Catalonia: “Your referendum is illegal and we shall physically repress your democratic rights and prosecute your politicians as traitors and fraudsters.” The EU is defined by its treaties and is a unique entity and could prove a model for emulation in areas such as the war ravaged continent of Africa.

Mr Fairlie thinks that I am floundering when it comes to economics. Well, the flounder is an adaptable and difficult to catch little sea and estuary fish so I am taking that as a compliment. He thinks that an independent Scottish currency pegged to the pound to ensure stability on independence is a mistake (on this he may well be right) and future movements linking to or actually joining the euro will only bring instability.

Here we differ. I am in the Eurozone frequently and if, as quite soon may the case, the euro in my pocket will buy more than the pound will, then euro it is. I quite like the ideal of a Scottish pound but the flexibility to choose and change is one of the potential strengths of independence.

One final thought. Long may we flourish in the four fine freedoms of the EU’s single market, but we’d better be quick. From one fish to another: “Sturgeon, do not flounder.”
David Crines

THE IMF has been giving warnings about the perilous condition of the global economy. There is an assortment of divergent macroeconomic events that signal another crisis or recession is on the horizon. One of those elements is the yield curve, which shows the contrast between short-term and long-term borrowing rates. Investors and financial analysts of all sorts are concerned about this, because since 1950 every time the yield curve has flattened, the economy has consequently sunk shortly after.

The most fundamental characteristic of contemporary capitalism: the degree to which the inflation of stock values has become an instrument for the upward redistribution of wealth, through share buybacks and capital gains at one pole of society and the forcible suppression of wages on the other.

When workers dare to question why they are forced to toil in poverty, they are universally told there is no money. But this is nothing but an absurd and transparent lie.

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Stock buybacks particularly enrich CEOs, who generally take the bulk of their income in stock, and thus benefit when the buyback drives up the price

The other great inflator of GDP has been people paying more money to the banks as penalties and fees for arrears on mortgage loans, credit-card loans and car loans. When they fall into arrears, the banks get to add a penalty charge. The credit-card companies make more money on arrears than they do on interest charges. This is counted as providing a “financial service” defined as the amount of revenue banks make over and above their borrowing charges.

Italian government bonds are in big trouble. Germany is unwilling to use European funds to bail them out. Most investors expect Italy to do exit the euro in the next three years.

When a banker says economy is more “resilient” what he means is a shitstorm of our own making is coming but the taxpayer will bail us out. This happens because an insouciant population care more about Love Island than reality.
Alan Hinnrichs

IT’S becoming increasingly obvious that Mrs May has no Plan B (Sturgeon: May must come up with Plan B). In essence her Plan A seems to be that a few billionaires will become even richer and more powerful, while the rest of us will be impoverished, will be blamed, and will be made to pay for the ensuing recession or depression.
Derek Ball