IN her article in yesterday’s paper (SNP must put forward a clear Brexit strategy, September 26) Kirsty Hughes argued that for Scotland to settle for the kind of deal Northern Ireland seems set to achieve just doesn’t add up. But if Northern Ireland effectively stays within the EU customs union and so does Scotland while England breaks off to chart a different course, that stacks up rather nicely in my book.

I would far rather, at least for now, have a Norway-style (in the single market, out of the EU) relationship with the EU than, say, a Greek one. For Greece, the threesome of the European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commissioners acted in unison to bully the nation into repaying massive amounts to greedy, unyielding and profiteering French and German banks.

This “troika”, as renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz refers to them, followed the failed austerity doctrines of neo-liberalism as the rest of the world moved on. Greece suffered terribly and the shame lies not with Greeks, but in the main part with the EU. They have let down not only Greeks but a whole generation of young southern Europeans, many educated to a high standard, but with life prospects shattered by the damage brought on by long-term poverty and unemployment.

The EU must return to being the Europe of the regions and to offer solidarity rather embracing punitive rigid ideology, the only noticeable “positive” benefit of which is that the rich keep getting richer.

The eurozone must stabilise with greater financial and tax integration or nation states will go back to their own currencies and regain the flexibility to choose alternative courses during crises. Greece should almost certainly have done that.

There is a lot to be said for Scotland remaining, perhaps only temporarily, at arm’s length while the EU, following its massive enlargement and adoption of a unique, almost experimental currency system goes through a difficult stabilisation. I believe they’ll get through, achieving prosperity and good levels of growth, but it may take a while yet.

So for me our First Minister is right to stay rather quiet as the UK decides whether to have another vote on Brexit. If the LibDems, as a whole-of-UK party, can’t achieve electoral relevance over the issue, what chance has a party such as the SNP, solely present and campaigning within a devolved nation? Perhaps it would even be counterproductive if Nicola Sturgeon came out guns blazing in favour of another EU referendum.

If the vote does transpire, I would vote to stay in the EU, warts and all, exactly as I did twice before (1975 and 2016). But the EU ain’t perfect and a crafty Norwegian solution is pretty attractive too.

I have always argued that a newly independent Scotland needs to be economically flexible, so there is definitely no need to rush to join the eurozone, though the arguments in favour might stack up through time.

By then, even a few years from now, paper money may be obsolete anyway. But economics, both for individuals as well as corporations and governments, will still be crucially important, which is why we need to follow the advice of the best economists. Stay in the EU, or EFTA at least.

David Crines

THE SNP do have a coherent set of arguments: they’ve consistently argued for continued membership of the single market and customs union, a line that would satisfy the very narrow vote for Brexit and lessen its economic effects.

And if Theresa May continues to deny Scotland this option, then a referendum will follow.

Robert Fraser