WHEN Dr David Patrick tells us about the UK’s heightened debt levels, largely because of the pandemic – the implication being that the impact on Scotland’s finances in the event of a recurrence could seriously impact the independence debate – isn’t that the most cogent argument to set the date for the referendum now, to get the arguments out in the open and deal with them (Claim Scotland can’t afford indy will be used to ‘frighten’ during indyref2, Nov 15)?

Inadequate ability to finance independence was used in each of the 60 or so cases where nations wrested themselves free from British control. Doesn’t it speak volumes that none of them “failed” sufficiently to abandon their independent status and begged to return to Westminster control?

This referendum will be different, because we know we were lied to last time; none of the promises made were kept.

WATCH: Presses start printing historic pro-independence paper

We are not in a UK Union “partnership”; being sucked out of the EU against our will and the Scottish Parliament being ignored and denied any input to such a major economic measure proved the lie.

As for the cost of the pandemic somehow being a disincentive through financial insecurity and fear for the future, isn’t it entirely the opposite?

We know that much of the extraordinary cost involved was incurred through the incompetent funding and abject failure of the systems and procedures financed, and considerable sums were squandered through “largesse” to this Tory government’s pals – misappropriation is the kindest way to describe it (public inquiry now, please).

So, how many of the 118 countries smaller than Scotland are seeking to abandon their independence because of the pandemic? Zero, zilch, nada, none!

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Removing the blip of pandemic, shouldn’t we remind ourselves this UK union has had 314 years to demonstrate how it is working for Scotland?

Don’t we just have to recount its historical disregard for Scotland, look around us to see those continuing failures and then realise how we could do things so much better with full control of our own affairs?

Perhaps Dr Patrick should recognise that through its own failure, this UK Union is a dead Union limping?

Let’s start the debate – set the date!

Jim Taylor

DR David Patrick is no doubt correct that Unionists and their media supporters will try to frighten Scottish voters in the next referendum by arguing that an independent Scotland faced with a future pandemic could not afford to sustain a debt level comparable to that incurred by the UK Government to fund its Covid mitigation measures.

But such a claim is demonstrably false. A high proportion of the money borrowed by the UK Government in recent years is now credited to a Bank of England account through the “quantitative easing” mechanism. It is not debt owed to the external financial markets. An independent Scottish Government, as long as it has its own currency and Central Reserve Bank, could pursue a similar approach. That was not the position in 2014, when the policy set out in the independence White Paper Scotland’s Future was to retain the pound sterling.

John Randall
South Lochs, Isle of Lewis

TO some extent, the issue of indyref2 and the choice of currency of Scotland has progressed pretty much continuously since 2014, though not always apparently in the same direction, for various reasons.

The first real choice, however, is one of timing, in respect of austerity, and when should Scotland seek to slow its UK-generated acceleration, halt it, and then reverse it.

Hence the need for a central bank, and a Scottish currency, and the need to set a date for these items at the same time as setting the date for indyref2.

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It may well be prudent to also highlight that future membership of the EU would likely be dependent upon Scotland initially having its own currency.

There is of course the possible later use of the euro, but this would probably only be possible after austerity had been sufficiently reversed, for the economy to be relatively stable, and for the economy to be progressing for the benefit of the citizens of Scotland.

The second real choice is just how long Scotland can allow its citizens to be subject to GBP-driven austerity, as the burden of the UK upon Scotland is being unlocked. This choice sets the date for the central bank being functionable and the Scottish currency being in place.

The issue of Section 30 not being forthcoming, and the UK refusal to accept democracy, clearly necessitates both a referendum that allows the citizens to record their wish to offload the UK, if they so choose, and also to record their choice of currency and its expected date of implementation.

A Section 30 being democratically forthcoming would perhaps only require a Yes2 vote for Scotland becoming an independent EU nation state, leaving currency issues as manifesto commitments, leaving some flexibility in any proposed cross-border currency arrangements.

The UK trade deals, chlorinated, hormone-laced meat and GM product would remain with the UK as it is offloaded by Scotland, as would UK national debt, and Trident.

Should the UK choose to skulk away from democratic reality, then the currency issue may well have to default to Scotland using the euro as a freely traded currency, until a Scottish currency is put in place and becomes recognised internationally.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow