WHERE there’s life there’s hope, and that’s why I enjoyed Tim Rideout’s letter (February 17) regarding further progress towards foundation of a Scottish Reserve Bank, with responsibility for a new independent Scottish currency, along with complete fiscal and monetary policy as soon as possible following independence.

However, I am not at all convinced that the Scottish Government is entirely on board with this, despite the fact that SNP official policy was evidently decided in 2019 when policy delegates to the SNP conference voted to introduce a new currency ASAP after Independence Day.

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The reason for my concern stems from yet another item I read just days ago. It stated unequivocally that Andrew Wilson, author of the deeply flawed Growth Commission, remains the key architect of the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland, which would leave control of Scotland’s monetary policy in the hostile foreign hands of a jaundiced Westminster for at least a decade following independence.

To use the expression Luddite to describe the author of that scenario would be no exaggeration, especially when one considers that the question of our currency proved to be a major stumbling block to any lingering hopes of success as the eventual results of the 2014 referendum came through.

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Considering the fact that Andrew Wilson has been an outstanding supporter of Scottish independence for many years, and that many SNP senior party members, including the First Minister herself, welcomed his Growth Commission report, there must – sooner, not later – be a statement from a senior member of the current SNP Cabinet, preferably the First Minister herself, that the party is fully committed to the SNP’s official policy of a Scottish Reserve Bank asap after independence, with responsibility for a new Scottish currency alongside complete control of fiscal and monetary policy.

Until that moment becomes a reality, confusion and misunderstanding will reign again. Don’t let that happen. It would be to our ultimate detriment.

Bruce Moglia
Bridge of Weir

I DON’T think that John Barstow (Letters, February 19) realises the failures within his letter advocating an Irish/Scottish tunnel.

“A guy who is senior in the logistics sector” maybe made it clear to John Barstow how a channel tunnel can encourage development. However, as the UK and (all) Ireland have different rail gauges, then is Boris going to pay for one country to scrap all its locomotive and rolling stock and replace them with new so that both the UK and Ireland runs on the same gauge? I’m sure the guy who is senior in the logistic sector has thought that logistic problem through, and who has to pay for it!

Passengers can easily change trains but cargo tends to be transported in containers today, so every container will have to be taken off one train and put on another (after customs clearance of course, due to Brexit) and lorries won’t move any faster from the terminal than they are today.

The Republic of Ireland has increased its direct link to mainland Europe since Brexit by some 400% instead of coming via the UK, and that logistic problem will remain as long as the UK is outside of the EU. And freight between the UK and France via the channel tunnel has dropped since Brexit as well Once we have the above logistical problems sorted out – presumably by this senior logistic sector guy – maybe our West Sussex reader can answer the next logistic problem: if Northern Ireland reunites with the Republic of Ireland before the tunnel is built, does Ireland have to pay half the cost, which they have not agreed to, or will it all be paid for by the rUK taxpayer? Likewise, Scotland could be independent before construction begins, so is Scotland to pay 50% of the cost which we have not agreed to or is Westminster going to continue to foot the bill?

Then to complicate matters even more, what if Scotland becomes independent and Ireland reunifies? Will Westminster pay for this project, or are they going to build the tunnel between two independent countries and then demand that both Scotland and Ireland pay for it?

Alexander Potts

FACED with the situation of the police and, above all, the judicial repression in Spain, which is the main cause of the unjustified and nihilistic violence in the streets of the big cities, it is to be hoped that real justice will come from Europe; although important European institutions such as the Parliament and the Commission do not tweet too much and do not fully understand that there are political prisoners in Spain and that Spanish democracy it is of the very poor quality.

In my opinion we must continue to do a lot of political arguments for Catalan democracy, in Europe, in the languages of Shakespeare, Molière and Walter Benjamin, and continue to organise political and civic trips, if it is possible (when the pandemic allows it) with more durable night trains (less polluting than the bus) in Brussels and Strasbourg, but also in Luxembourg and Frankurt.

Josep M Loste Portbou