DOUGLAS Turner (Letters, August 15) has twice made reference to my correspondence on the EU and Scottish currency and has chosen the ad-hominem route rather than make any attempt to address the points made. On August 11 Mr Turner called me “supercilious, patronising and insulting” while in Wednesday’s paper he suggests I am “living in a bygone era” and that “if the SNP says white, I will say black”. On neither occasion has he made even the slightest attempt to address the points made. Unfortunately, it is the preferred method of “debate” of so many Yes/Remainers, when they struggle to answer simple questions on “independence in Europe” or a Scottish currency.

They also struggle with the concept of sovereignty, claiming, as does Mr Turner, that in a globalised and interdependent world it is impossible for a country to have “complete sovereign control over all its economic and political relationships”. That is patent nonsense and it is obvious Mr Turner understands neither sovereignty nor interdependence. He closes by saying he will “settle for the kind of independence Germany has” but declines to explain what kind of independence that is or, indeed, how it can be classed as independence at all.

We are rapidly approaching the point at which the SNP will be forced to face up to the inherent contradictions in its policies on independence, the EU and a Scottish currency and yet, at its last annual conference before the UK, including Scotland, leaves the EU, it will discuss none of those issues, each of which is fundamental to the very existence of the SNP. One million, eighteen thousand, three hundred and twenty-two Scots voted to leave the EU but not a day goes by, either in the popular media or on the internet, that Yes/Remainers do not refer to Brexit voters as “racists” or “xenophobes” or “idiots”. Will the party have to lose another 21 seats and kill any prospect of independence before it gets through to them who the real idiots are?

Jim Fairlie

I AM not clear as to what the question is that Mr Fairlie has asked so many times (Letters, August 14).

However, I would like to make a few things clear. The European Central Bank (ECB) has two major tasks: 1) to defend the value of the euro and 2) to maintain inflation at under 2%. It has two clear demands upon the participating nations: 1) a budget ceiling and 2) a ceiling on national debt. The rest is up to the participating nations. They are allowed to set their own levels of taxation, to borrow money or to spend money as long as they remain within the two set ceilings. The duties of the ministers of finance within and without the eurozone do not vary in any large degree. Moreover, all the participating nations are represented on the ECB Board. Even small countries like Luxemburg or Holland will be listened to. So it is not as if the ECB was dictating everything to the participating nations. That several southern European nations have got into financial difficulties is their fault and not that of the ECB. Even then the ECB will do all it can to help these countries – it’s in its own interest (the euro).

Scotland – in the event of a Yes vote for independence – will not become an independent nation overnight. It will take a number of years before Scotland has extricated itself from the United Kingdom. Just look at the present Brexit negotiations for proof of that. And the English will not be willing partners!

This, however, should not stop Scotland in the meantime from taking some elementary steps towards introducing its own currency. A “paper” Scottish Pound (SCOP) could be introduced more or less along the lines of the introduction of the euro. Scotland would not be starting with an empty piggy-bank. That would have to be determined during the negotiations with the rUK. Furthermore it does already have a banking system which could facilitate the launch of a SCOP. It is of paramount importance that the Scottish Government carries out during this period a financial policy which will generate trust in the rest of the world. It is essential that the Scottish Government is pragmatic and not dogmatic. We are approaching stormy political weather and no-one can forecast what will happen in the coming 2-3 years. We might even become independent quicker than we expected! Therefore the Scottish Government (and the Yes movement) should not commit itself to only one course. It should keep all its options open.

Hugh Michael Eckersley

MOST of the independent nations in Europe freely choose to use the euro while some other independent nations in Europe (UK and Sweden, for instance) freely choose not to. This mind-numbing debate about the peripheral issue of “what currency will we use” serves only the cause of the Unionists.

An independent Scotland will examine the multitude of choices on the currency and chose the one best suited to us. When we are independent.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll