Letter in Herald 24th April 2014

Scotland should not give up its influence at home and abroad

KM Campbell (Letters, April 23) is correct to point out that there are no certainties regarding the future, whatever the outcome of the independence referendum.

 However, there is a massive difference between the ways in which the two sides of the argument see how such uncertainties can best be faced.

For the Nationalists, facing the future appears to be a matter of leaving the big decisions up to others, with the most glaring example being their models for use of the pound after independence. The preferred option is a currency union with the core rest of the United Kingdom (rUK) having complete control over peripheral Scotland’s monetary policy, and second best is use of sterling in the same way that Panama uses the dollar. Both of these options remove any Scottish input into the governance of its currency.

The same applies to international institutions and organisations such as Nato, the EU, the UN and the World Bank, where Nationalists wish Scotland to stop being amongst the main players and join the ranks of the smaller, less important countries.

In contrast, those of us who support the continuance of the United Kingdom see Scotland as having a confident and accomplished integral role as part of one of most influential members in these organisations, with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, established authority as one of the leading big countries at the EU, and massive institutional authority at the IMF, the World Bank, and Nato.

Nationalists would give all these up, along with any say in the running of the pound or any other aspect of UK social or economic policy. (The same applies with defence: the truth is that multilateral disarmament can rid of the world of nuclear weapons, unilateral disarmament can rid it of a few nuclear weapons, and indepen­dence would rid the world of none whatsoever.)

The choice for Scots is not one between a future of certainty and one of uncertainty; it is rather the choice between retaining hard and soft influence domestically and globally – or abandoning responsi­bility for shaping and creating a better future for itself, the UK and the wider world.

Peter A Russell,



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