I HAVE to take issue with two of your correspondents who have been hypothesising on an independent Scotland (Letters, February 15).
Russell Vallance claims that an independent Scotland would have to accept its share of the UK national debt, but would not be entitled to any share of its public assets, even those situated in Scotland. It seems that the fundamental principles of international law would not apply in this case, and that, like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, the terms of the Treaty of Union would mean only what the Unionists said they meant.
Peter Russell believes that Scotland, which has given the Tories a majority of votes only once in the last 100 years, is a "socially conservative" country. He therefore claims that an independent Scottish Government would never have given women the vote, legalised abortion or established a national health service. If this is the best the No campaign can come up with as arguments against independence, the referendum vote next year will be a landslide.
This week's performance of UK Government Minister David Mundell on Newsnight Scotland was bizarre. He was happy to agree that Scotland had been "extinguished" by the Treaty and Acts of Union and had not existed for the past 306 years. If that is so, what are 59 Scottish MPs including himself doing at Westminster representing nothing, and why is Mr Mundell accepting a handsome salary out of public funds as Under-Secretary of State for a non-existent country?
The illogical and unsupported interpretation of the Treaty of Union published this week by "independent legal experts" for the UK Government reminded me of the dodgy dossiers and the reluctant legal advice of the Attorney-General prior to the Iraq War ("State 'extinguished, by 1707 Treaty", The Herald, February 12). It looks as if the Tony Blair/Alastair Campbell technique of re-writing advice until it gave them only what they wanted to hear is being re-created by David Cameron and his ministers. But this time it is not a whipped and deceived House of Commons that will make the final decision, it is the people of Scotland, and we are not so easily conned.
Iain A D Mann,
7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.
The No campaign tries to shock with suggestions that an independent Scotland would have to set up numerous agencies.
If this means that independence would require the replacement of the London Government's two useless FSAs (Financial Services and Food Standards), I think most of Scotland will join in the chorus of "bring it on".
70 Culzean Road, Maybole.
RECENTLY I visited Spain for a few days, landing at Alicante airport. Once through customs I proceeded to the nearest Bureau de Change to convert £100 to euros. Imagine my disbelief on being told I would get 92 cents for each pound. I asked why it was so low; the reply was it was because they were Scottish £20 notes.
If they had been English I would have received 1.07 euros for each pound. Despite remonstrating that it was sterling just the same, they were not for budging.
Whilst Alex Salmond tries to persuade us that independence is the answer, what guarantees would there be that such discrimination would cease? Is this another reason why many, myself included, feel that remaining part of the Union is the better option?
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