The garish claims of Unionist politicians that there is “no border in the UK” are factually incorrect; the border between Scotland and England was ratified by the Treaty of York of 1237 and enshrined in the Act of Union of 1707.
The continued existence of this border today benefits ordinary Scots in many ways – including free prescriptions, personal care and higher education, a higher NHS / caregiver salary, and a more progressive tax system. higher tax on high incomes but significantly lower tax on average Scots) compared to our neighbors to the south.
Unsurprisingly, a future independent Scotland will indeed have a border with all other countries, including England. It is international normality. Everyone knows that most of the borders within 21st century Europe do not have checkpoints or barriers to manage customs / excise and immigration matters; they are soft, intelligent and managed through cooperation and digital.
Thus, like all other nations, an independent Scotland would manage our national border with policies on trade and immigration, which would benefit our citizens and our businesses. Scottish businesses know that their ability to trade on an equal basis with our European neighbors (the world’s largest single market) and the rest of the world is as important as our existing trade with England.
It is absurd for Conservative, Labor and Liberal trade unionists to suggest that trade with England should take precedence over the rest of the world. Neighboring Ireland – with its rapidly growing economy and close, close ties to the EU and the US – exemplifies the alternative connected future that awaits an independent Scotland.
Dr. Jamieson, Dunbar, East Lothian
In a time of pandemic and economic uncertainty, one of the main hot topics seems to be the difficulties of a tennis star trying to enter Australia.
Is this really the most important event of our time?
William Ballantine, Bo’ness, West Lothian
Dr Mason (Letters January 7) asks how an independent Scotland would have survived the pandemic without the support of the UK government.
The short answer is that we would have survived like every other independent country of a similar size faced and survived, much with less financial impact and fewer deaths. Or are they saying that Scotland, among the countries of the world, is the only one incapable of going about its own business?
In another bizarre and acrobatic turn of reasoning, Pope Francis suggested that people who choose to have pets over children act selfishly, adding that “it is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity “. So, even Catholic humanity does the doctrine then deny its clerics?
Remembering that the Vatican regularly “blesses” Fido but absolutely not same-sex couple love, we must once again ask ourselves why this religious subgroup is getting taxpayer money to run schools.
Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society
Your report “Johnson rejects calls to remove VAT from household energy bills” (January 5) is interesting to read. Electricity bills almost doubled between 2004 and April 2021. The increase over this period had nothing to do with world gas prices but had everything to do with the privatization of the electricity industry in 1990.
The article quotes the prime minister’s official spokesperson as saying “ministers will consider any proposal.” I find this statement difficult to take seriously. There are a number of proposals that could be considered effective but would require abandoning what appear to be political ideologies.
The National Grid Co could become public property and all new plants could be built by a national energy authority at government borrowing rates. For this to happen, the government would need to establish a statutory body with expert staff to work independently from the government to plan and develop the energy sector in the long term. The results of these decisions will take two or three years to affect electricity prices.
The government could act immediately to lower the price of electricity by removing the carbon tax on gas-generating plants (currently £ 28 per MWh) and removing the government’s 12% environmental tax. These two taxes would reduce the price of electricity by about 17%.
It must be recognized that low-carbon, low-cost electricity is part of the solution to global warming and imposing taxes on electricity can be detrimental to achieving net zero by 2050. If the government is really concerned with lowering household fuel bills, it will remove these two taxes immediately and electricity bills will not need to be increased in April 2022.
Of course, WWF Scotland’s Lang Banks and former managing director of the Scottish Renewables Wind PR organization has to step in and suggest nuclear is dangerous and renewable electricity will fill the void.
He knows that wind power is unreliable and owners are paid to generate electricity and paid not to generate it and that over £ 1 billion in duress payments have been made, to mostly foreign owners, since 2010 and added to all UK electricity. invoices.
In the past 12 months in the UK, gas has provided 41.8% of our electricity, nuclear 16.4% and wind 18.7%, but Lang Banks wants the public to believe that a wind unreliable will bridge the Hunterston B.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothan
The fact that senior SNP officials have already dismissed devo-max (Scotsman, January 6) on a future fictitious referendum speaks volumes. The attitude appears to despise an option that many Scots would likely find appealing.
Devo-max is more of a threat to the SNP than to Scotland. This would, for the first time, make the cost of the SNP’s policies realistic to the electorate. This would force them to take real fiscal responsibility and not just the virtue-signaling “bread and circus” election giveaways that occur every few years.
Of course, the SNP would always claim, predictably and lame, that it doesn’t have the “right levers” to do anything constructive, but some things never change.
David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire
Your article “SNP figures reject calls for devo-max option on Scottish independence ballot” reminded me of that time, before the 2014 independence referendum, when a poll showed that support for independence reached 52%.
This was followed by the then Prime Minister and other ‘big guns’ from Westminster who descended on Scotland to implore us to ‘lead us not to leave’, as well as Gordon Brown’s pledge. of devo-max as a reward for voting no – not to mention being kicked out of the EU if we voted yes.
A majority were persuaded to vote not on this occasion, but if anyone thinks the Scots – not just the ethnic Scots, but those who chose to settle in Scotland – would be duped twice, anytime soon, with similar promises so they’re delusional.
Westminster, confronted with the Northern Ireland Protocol, has subsequently made it clear that any ‘deal’ it comes to, with anyone, is only good if it continues to be okay at Westminster. Likewise, the already passed “Home Market Bill” makes it clear that Westminster will overturn any deal with decentralized nations, at all levels, at the proverbial hat drop.
I note the discussion regarding whether or not to include devo-max as an optional inclusion in any future referendum on independence.
What about, in addition, a “devo-mini” option to reflect the appalling performances of the nationalists since they came to power?
David Edgar, Symington, South Lanarkshire
On December 20, the BBC report in Scotland included a report by Lisa Summers, health and social services correspondent, in which she presented projections on the growth of Covid infections. The report relied on ‘academic modeling’ and the graph identified the source of the data as the Scottish Government.
The report noted that the current level of infections is over 6,500 new cases per day. He then presented projections to January 3. These have been reported as a best case scenario of 20,000 per day, a central estimate of 50,000 per day and a worst case scenario of 130,000 per day.
Public Health Scotland has now released the actual figure for January 3: 16,405 new cases per day. That’s about 20 percent lower than the best-case scenario presented.
It is hard not to conclude that such modeling and its alarmist and indiscriminate reporting contributes to a collective neurosis, the impact of which is worse than the effect of the virus itself.
George Rennie, Inverness, Highland
We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we will not print all details. Keep letters under 300 words, without attachments, and avoid “letters to editor / readers” or the like in your subject line. If you are referring to an article, include the date, page number and title.
A message from the editor
Thank you for reading this article. We depend on your support more than ever, as the change in consumption habits caused by the coronavirus is having an impact on our advertisers. If you haven’t already, consider supporting our trusted and verified journalism by purchasing a digital subscription. Click on this link for more details.