AS Andy Anderson points out in his letter (December 3) there is no “Scottish national debt”. There is also no reason to expect an independent Scotland to accept a share of the UK national debt which has accumulated under UK governments.

To get some perspective, from 1969, when oil was discovered in the North Sea, up until 2015, the UK revenue generated from this resource was $470 billion (£367bn). As a Scot living in the UK, your share of that would be about £5,500 per person, which perhaps doesn’t seem a big amount. However, that is with Scotland as part of the UK.

Had Scotland taken the opportunity to be independent, about 80% of that oil resource would have been within Scotland’s geographical area. 80% of that revenue would be $399.5bn (£293bn). That would have been equivalent to about £54,000 per person in Scotland ie almost ten times your share staying in the UK.

READ MORE: There is no basis for claims Scotland could not pay its own way

That assumes the resource was exploited in the way dictated by UK governments, including full privatisation by a Conservative government which Scotland didn’t vote for, resulting in only $11 of revenue per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE), in comparison with the $29.8 per BOE achieved by the Norwegian Government which retained public ownership. Had an independent Scotland exploited this resource as Norway did, the revenue per person could have been about £141,500 per person. That is almost 25 times your £5,500 share staying in the UK.

What our national financial position might be had we been independent is clear from the Norwegian economy, which currently has accumulated a sovereign wealth fund from oil and gas revenue equivalent to about £114,500 per person. Instead, the UK Government decided not to set up a sovereign wealth fund and Scotland shares the UK national debt, equivalent to about £35,000 per person of debt.

Scotland’s current economic position is due to remaining in the UK and subsidising the rest of the UK with our oil and gas resources, and due to the political decisions about exploiting these resources made by incompetent UK governments which Scotland didn’t vote for.

Considering what we have already given, there is no reason why an independent Scotland would be expected to take a share of the UK’s national debt.

Jim Stamper

WHILST I normally enjoy reading Billy Scobie’s contributions to letters page, I have to take issue with his letter of December 3. He acknowledges that it is “the right of the Scottish people to decide whether to retain the monarchy after independence has been won”, he goes on to say that “the very crown itself is surmounted by a cross which symbolises that the power of the monarch derives from God”. Not only are the two statements contradictory, but I recollect that the last British monarch to claim such power lost his head!

Mr Scobie brings up the age-old monarchists’ argument that alternatives to constitutional monarchies lead to raising presidents from failed politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Not necessarily so.

READ MORE: Letters, December 3

One need only look across the Irish Sea to Eire, which has elected seven male and two female heads of state since independence, and they comprise some of the most respected presidents in the world. (though the British press won’t tell you that). To name but a few, Michael Higgins – recently re-elected for a second term – Mary Robinson (1990-97) and Mary McAleese (1997-2011).

The respected writer Fintan O’Toole stated “I would not trade any of our recent presidents for all the crowned heads of Europe”.

One need only look at their speeches to see that they speak eloquently and incisively of the world’s problems. If only our “royal family” had such nous. So come on Billy, into the real world.

Paul Gillon

IN his letter of December 3, Billy Scobie writes that he is in favour of the monarchy because it is a Christian institution. However, we have to be mindful that the monarchy only represents those Christians of the Protestant faith, and that to those Christians who profess the Roman Catholic faith the monarchy is in fact a sectarian institution.

When seen from this perspective, it would actually be a strong argument against retaining the monarchy in an independent Scotland, where we suffer so much from sectarianism.

I have to admit that although I am only a republican by default, I do not think there is a single credible argument for retaining the monarchy in Scotland, certainly not post-independence. However, I do completely agree with Billy that this is something for the Scottish people to decide.

Solomon Steinbett
Maryhill, Glasgow