I WOULD like to thank you for publishing two recent articles. The first, on Sunday, was part of James Kelly’s series on the forthcoming electoral prospects of various parties in the regional or list vote, focusing on Highland region.

It gave me precisely the information I needed to decide how I should use my own list vote, which on this occasion will be a “both votes SNP”. I have considerable respect for Andy Wightman, but on this occasion I think his presence on the ballot will be a distraction and lessen the chances of the Greens obtaining any success.

READ MORE: Other pro-independence parties may hit SNP vote share in Highlands and Islands

The second article was by Anthony Salamone on the topic of EU membership by an independent Scotland (If we want to be part of Europe, it has to be via EU, April 5). I found it disappointing, although it may be useful in sparking a fuller discussion on that topic, which I would welcome.

He did not discuss that matter in any detail at all – restricting himself to sweeping generalities, such as “the obvious pitfalls” of EEA and EFTA membership meaning “being outside the room when EU decisions are taken”. My problem with this is that although Greece was a full member of the EU, when it fell on hard times it was in effect outside the room when it needed sympathetic treatment by central EU financial interests.

He also disparages the idea of Scotland “standing on the sidelines as the EU moved forward without us”. Where I ask, would that move “forwards” take us? To a more tightly and centrally controlled EU, governed by bankers? Clarification of that type of detail is required before we take these arguments seriously.

READ MORE: If independent Scotland wants to be part of Europe, it has to be via the EU

I would also like to ask, would the current rules of the EU (or of EFTA) tolerate an independent Scotland transporting short-lived export goods directly by air from Prestwick to airfields in the channel coastal region of the EU, and which method of transport would be subsidised to cost no more than transport by lorry through England and thence to a Channel crossing (plus a long wait)? It is an important question and one that needs serious negotiations and a serious answer. Here is another question – would membership of EFTA bar us from eventual membership of the EU, if the EU developed in a way that was acceptable to ourselves? In that circumstance, would Spain be likely to ban our (eventual) application for EU membership?

Hugh Noble

IN his column on April 5 (“This was the giant elephant in the room at BBC leaders’ debate”), George Kerevan rightly calls out the failure to discuss the economy and how Scotland seeks to recover after the pandemic and continue to develop our post-independence economy.

The article in the Financial Times to which he refers is another example of a Unionist assault on the Growth Commission and Scottish Government proposals for independence. The truth is that the Unionist onslaught on this version of Scottish independence has thoroughly routed the Scottish Government position.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: This was the giant elephant in the room at BBC leaders’ debate

The Scottish Government and the Growth Commission have been defeated because they have chosen to fight the battle on the turf chosen by the enemy. We have to find a new independence narrative and a new battlefield of our choosing.

That means rejecting the narrative of neo-liberal economics.

Unfortunately George does not do this – at best he is equivocal on the matter. He needs to make up his mind. The equivocation is apparent when he discusses the role of government borrowing. A fiscal stimulus to promote a major housebuilding programme is most certainly important in the post-independence economy (and tackling climate change in the process). George (and presumably the Alba Party) are suggesting this can be done by heavy borrowing by an independent Scottish Government. But borrowing from who and in what currency?

If we have our own currency then the Scottish Government can borrow in its own currency and can never run out of the money to pay back what it has borrowed because a Scottish Central Bank can always provide any new money the government needs. Having our own currency also means that the Scottish Government. can borrow from its own citizens – government borrowing is actually an important mechanism for citizens to keep their savings secure and risk-free. The Scottish Government can issue bonds which can be bought via savings such as ISAs and by pension funds. Pension funds like to hold government bonds, as they are a low-risk financial asset.

With our own currency every Scottish citizen and our economy will be a winner. So, the truth is that there are two elephants in the room and George has only managed to track one of them down.

The Scottish Banking & Finance Group

I AM sure the vast numbers of voters living on Universal Credit and having to use food banks to feed their families, on reading the Tory leaflet attacking the Greens, will be terrified into voting Tory by the threat that the Greens are going to tax their wealth. In these difficult times, I suppose we all need a laugh. So we must thank the Tories that their infantile leaflet provides it.

L McGregor