THE National published a letter of mine on October 22 about a Scottish currency.

In the letter, I laid down a challenge to the SNP leadership to take part in the debate and respond to three simple, but very important, questions.

Two other readers’ letters have been published in The National since then, on the subject of currency, that I’d like to address – both expressing the lack of understanding on this issue, but the SNP leadership have said nothing, as is their usual response to this important issue.

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Nicola Sturgeon has, in this period, shot down the Unionist claim that Scotland would need to join the euro in order to have access to the single market. This ridiculous claim was of course easy to shoot down, but the questions I posed appear to be too difficult for the SNP leadership to deal with, so let me try again.

The Scottish Currency Group (SCG), after some years, have reached a position where we agree with the SNP public policy on currency, ie that Scotland will have its own Central Bank and its own domestic currency after independence. We agree with the SNP that after a vote on independence, the Scottish Government will not be able to issue its own currency immediately, it will need to establish the financial institutions including the Central Bank before it can issue its domestic currency and therefore will need to continue to use sterling as our domestic currency until this work is completed.

Now, this is a fairly substantial level of agreement – what remains to be agreed is the time required to continue to use Sterling as our domestic currency. We believe that this time should be as short as possible and we have a number of important seasons for that belief. I put forward three of these reasons in my letter, these were:

(a) That the longer we are using sterling as our domestic currency, the longer we will be open to currency speculation damaging our domestic economy.

(b) The sooner we have our own domestic currency, the sooner we will be able to make heavy investment in renewables, the NHS and other vital public investments.

(c) We need to have our own domestic currency operating for at least three years before we could join the EU if the Scottish people wanted to do that.

It seems to us that these are very significant reasons for moving as quickly as possible towards setting up our own currency.

If the SNP leadership do not agree with the above points, then they should explain to us where we are wrong, or they should give us equally strong reasons why we should delay setting up our own currency.

We acknowledge that these issues are open to discussion and that there may be grounds for friendly debate, we are very open to this. However, ignoring this issue and refusing to discuss it at all is not an acceptable option for the SNP to maintain, indeed it is not even possible, because the Unionist media will wait to just a few weeks before the voting then they will confront the SNP with their currency weaknesses, as they did last time. We will help in this debate as much as we can in order to secure our common objective.

The wise course of action is to have this discussion in the Yes Movement now, since it would help our supporters to see the advantage of us having our own currency and how this would enable us to do all the things we want to do in an independent Scotland while the UK debates a new austerity period.

Andy Anderson