NEWS that London has lost its crown as Europe’s largest stock market to Paris should hardly come as a surprise. The French capital has successfully closed a trillion-dollar gap since the 2016 vote on Brexit. This was further hastened by recent currency movements following Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-Budget, which saw the pound sink to its lowest ever value against the US dollar.

Former Bank of England policy-maker Michael Saunders recently reinforced this, restating what we already knew, that the UK economy has been “permanently damaged by Brexit” and had this act of economic self-sabotage not taken place we wouldn’t be talking about an austerity Budget this week.

READ MORE: London overtaken by Paris as Europe's largest stock market

The UK economy is now the weakest performer of the G7 economies, with Brexit significantly reducing the economy’s potential output, and the only one not to have recovered to pre-Covid levels.

Leaving the EU has been an unmitigated disaster for the UK, and by fundamentally weakening the economy the Brexit chickens are simply coming home to roost as we enter a new era of austerity.

Alex Orr

PROFESSOR Ronald MacDonald claims a Scottish currency would be worth 20-30% less than the currently weak pound Sterling. This is simply not credible.

2019 Office for National Statistics data reveals Scotland had a balance of trade surplus of £20.5 billion, comprised of £12bn in goods and £8.5bn in services, far greater than any UK region apart from London. By contrast, England had a £43.3bn trade deficit. London’s trade balance was £28.7bn, comprised of a negative £33.4bn in goods and a positive £62.1bn in financial services.

But Brexit has knocked the London stock exchange from its top European position. Paris is now the most valuable European stock market and London’s declining financial services sector will worsen its trade balance.

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A positive trade balance is how a nation earns foreign exchange reserves – by selling its goods and services to other nations. Without Scotland’s large contribution, the UK balance of trade deficit would balloon by a third, further weakening Sterling, and it’s likely the Scottish pound would be worth considerably more than Sterling.

It’s ludicrous to think that an energy-rich nation of just 5.4 million which is self-sufficient in food production, with huge fish stocks, an enviable global drinks industry, the most highly educated population in Europe and a magnet for tourism, would somehow be an economic basket case.

The palpable fear MacDonald and other Unionists have is that when Scotland ends this Union, England will lose its cash cow. Why isn’t the Scottish Government exposing MacDonald’s gaslighting?

Leah Gunn Barrett

JOHN Swinney has to be commended for his defence of the Scottish Government’s management of the NHS after more than a decade of Conservative rule! Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Conservative leader Douglas Ross have a cheek to complain about the state of the NHS after the Tory starvation of funds, privatisation, poor management and lack of long-term planning for the NHS across the board.

Yes, the SNP have a responsibility in Scotland but the million of pounds diverted in mitigation of brutal Tory policies also takes away from Scottish health efforts.

Sarwar and Douglas Ross must think Scottish voters are daft if they haven’t noticed what is going on.

READ MORE: Scotland's largest health union rejects the Government's final pay offer

The question is, how long can we go on mitigating these Tory acts of anti-working-class venom before the Barnett Formula allocation of cash leaves the Scottish economy in a state of limbo?

As an Alba Party member I welcome all SNP efforts to expose the hypocrisy and propaganda of the Unionist autocracy in Westminster.We should be working with all indy parties to do this. But we need to do more than fulminate and complain. We need strategies that take us into the future of an independent Scotland.

I would be over the moon to hear the SNP leadership declare clear plans that make our economy secure and positive after independence. I would love to hear a clear declaration of support for a Scottish central bank supporting a Scottish currency which would begin in a very short period after the declaration of independence.

We should be planning for this now, as Andy Anderson and the Campaign for a Clean Scottish Currency Group have been recommending for the last five years. SNP economic experts including Tim Rideout and the Scottish Currency Group have been promoting this with well-argued evidence.

This progressive approach would bring many No voters over to the Yes side in the light of the current Tory financial chaos! Carpe diem, SNP leadership (“Seize the day”, for non Latin students!)

Maggie Chetty

THERE seems to be some debate over Scotland’s renewable energy generation potential. A simple google search of “Wind resource map of Western Europe” brings up a map from the Danish Wind Industry Association. This non-partisan map clearly illustrates Scotland’s uniquely favoured position for power generation from wind. I leave it up to your readers to decide whether the Tory party 4% figure or the SNP 25% figure is correct.

Kerr Walker

READ MORE: SNP face 'misinformation' claims over wind power – here are the facts

“DOUGLAS Ross accuses Nicola Sturgeon of ‘sharing republican statement’” (Nov 11). Does Douglas Ross think the First Minister and the Taoiseach would not discuss the situation in the north of Ireland, where the UK Government agreed to put a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK so that the EU didn’t have to put a border between Ireland and the rest of the EU?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry