Colin Allison claims the First Minister has decided that when Scotland applies for EU membership it would “adopt the Euro ... at some point in the future” (Letters, July 4). Clearly Mr Alison’s understanding of the processes of joining the EU on the one hand and joining the Euro on the other is limited as the former does not in practice inevitably lead to the latter.

Any application to join the EU must make a commitment to join the Euro at some point in the future when the necessary financial tests have been satisfied, including maintaining the value of the current domestic currency within the limits of the European Rate Mechanism II (+/- 15%against the central value of the Euro) for a period of at least two years. It was the UK’s inability to fulfil this requirement of what was then the European Rate Mechanism which led to Black Wednesday in 1992. Bulgaria has been in ERM II since 2013.

Therefore, joining the EU and adopting the Euro are not in practice an automatic process. Indeed, while by joining the EU a state is expected to join ERM II, the fact is that a number of countries such as Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Sweden never have. Indeed, the Swedes held a referendum which came out against joining the Euro.

However, neither is Mr Allison’s preferred alternative of continuing with Sterling sound as this would continue to subordinate the needs and interests of the Scottish economy to the wider and, to a significant degree different needs of the UK economy. Leaving aside that by using the currency of not only another state but one that has left the EU, could well be an insurmountable obstacle to joining the EU at all.

A better alternative would be our own currency. The view of Glasgow University’s Professor Ronald MacDonald is that continuing with Sterling “fails to recognise the reality of the Scottish economy post-independence” recommending a Scottish currency with “flexibility against our main trading partners”.

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton

I understand the tiredness too

I am a constituent of Mhairi Black and I do admit am still to be persuaded about the benefits of independence and am not a member of any political party.

Ms Black has many fine attributes; she is a good orator and I believe she cares genuinely about the plight of ordinary people. As my Member of Parliament for the past eight years I have never had to call for her assistance and have never witnessed her presence in my town of Johnstone, unlike her predecessor Mr Douglas Alexander.

Mr Alexander I saw frequently in local shops and he had an open surgery in Morrisons every month which meant Johnstonians did not have to travel to Paisley to seek advice. Some of Ms Black’s supporters prior to her first election stated in social media that Mr Alexander was never seen in Johnstone, an untrue and unfair statement. Unfairness is something I personally detest.

As a retired nurse and a former carer, I too can understand tiredness; many days were full of unpaid long hours and a feeling of dissatisfaction at the end of it. But my generation also experienced the opposite and when I retired after 43 years I was grateful to be able to a job that was worthwhile. This is so unlike the experience of staff today, who, whilst not receiving the financial remuneration or perks of an MP, not only experience tiredness but exhaustion and burn out and still manage to go to work the next day.

I have no experience of the toxic experience of Westminster, but so-called grown-ups and our supposed leaders should know how to behave with respect for each other. I genuinely wish Miss Black well for the future. I am sure whatever she does she will have success.

Margaret Lavery, Johnstone

Majority don’t want this pantomime

When last asked, 40% of Scots supported the monarchy; in England it was 55%. Bearing these statistics in mind, why were those who attended the royal pantomime in Edinburgh on Wednesday determined to express the opinion held by the majority of Scots, corralled into areas specifically allocated to them by the police? Why, at a completely unnecessary royal pantomime funded by the Scottish taxpayer, was freedom of speech and freedom of association curtailed for those who were actually paying the bill? The impression given by the media was as usual one of “there’s nothing to see here, move on” when that is obviously not the case.

Most Scots would happily break the ties to an institution that is the lynchpin that holds together the archaic UK class system that fosters and perpetuates the iniquitous distribution of wealth in the Union. Does it not strike you as bizarre at a time when the vast majority of us are experiencing varying degrees of financial hardship, that one tiny section of society floats on by in their own wee carefree world of baubles and fancy hats while we pay their bills?

Not one of them has done anything to justify their currently exalted position other than be born in the lucky bed, yet, like it or lump it, we are supposed to bend the knee to them as if we were peasants in the Middle Ages.

David J Crawford , Glasgow

A very silly fantasy indeed

Thank heaven for David Leask’s good sense in his analysis of Orkney’s governance. As a fellow exiled Orcadian, I see the objective of this initiative is to raise the profile of Orkney in the political and public consciousness. If successful, I applaud the council for so doing. We retain very strong cultural and even emotional links with Norway but as Mr Leask says “the talk of rejoining Norway is a very silly fantasy”.

Willie Towers, Alford

Players like McEnroe can be serious

I note Neil Stewart’s disappointment with the BBC Wimbledon commentators (Letters July 6). I have seen little of 2023 Wimbledon yet, but having watched it avidly for years I credit John McEnroe with being excellent both with a racquet and then a mike in hand.

In his autobiography, You Cannot be Serious, he explains that when starting out as a commentator he took his new job very seriously, recognising the value of learning from those who were experts in this field.

Fair play to McEnroe, as a player and commentator he has delivered a first class service.

Alison Ram, Helensburgh

Second-hand solution to ferry crisis

I have read with interest the correspondence printed over the last weeks regarding the lack of ferry provision to the islands due to ageing ships and continual breakdowns. Very few of your contributors have mentioned the possibility of a quick fix, by looking at the market for second hand ships that would meet a short term provision.

I have had a look at the current market for Ro Ro ferries, and while I do not have the technical skills to determine the supply/need, especially regarding depth of water and berthing requirements, there are plenty of ships available. Cost of purchase vary from £35,000 to £20m and put the current costs of the Ferguson Marine pair in comparison.

By making use of this market, CMAL could remove the pressure on its current fleet and borrow time until new ships come on stream. It would also allow the islanders some breathing space during the high season for tourists.

Martin C D Greig, Bishopton

Proved right about the NC500

It is gratifying to learn that the NC500 is now “top for newly wedded couples” (Letters June 29 ). Our honeymoon was in November 60 years ago in Inverness, now the start of the famous 500-mile scenic route. My anticipation was somewhat strained by the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, a measles epidemic, and then doubt because the A9 was blocked by snow the week before.

Fortunately all went well, mission accomplished, and as the saying goes we lived happily ever after. But from time to time my dearly beloved will cast up my choice of Inverness, tho’ lovely, for November romance.

Rest assured, I have happily drawn her attention to the fact that today’s young romantics are not so fussy.

R Russell Smith, Largs