Last week in our referdendum item we featured questions put to the Yes Scotland campaign. The Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, supporting the Better Together campaign, visited Arbroath and we quizzed him on the issues you have raised over the past few months.
The rise of availability of legal highs, or NPS, are a concern for the local Community. What is the Government doing about the growing issue?
“It is a real concern and especially when you see the tragedies that have come out of the use of these things but it will be a problem whether we vote for Independence or not. One of the most dangerous aspects of this debate is people are being encouraged to think that all our problems can be left by cutting the link with the UK. The truth of the matter is the experience of the families in Arbroath are not that different from the experiences of families in Liverpool, Cardiff and Belfast, so if you can tackle these problems you do it by reaching out across the borders in the UK and making common cause with people who share these problems rather than just drawing a line on a map.”
Currency is key topic for people in this area.
“The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who is an independent Civil Servant, in advice to the Chancellor said he would not recommend a currency union because it leaves people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland exposed to the risk of banks over which they have no control, regulated in a foreign country, as Scotland would be. If it’s so important that we take control of our own affairs, why would we on day one hand them back to the Bank of England? That’s what we’re being offered, it’s a contradiction in terms.
“They know that keeping the pound is one of the things that really matters to people in Scotland, so they come up with this convoluted mechanism of a currency union which goes to great lengths to recreate what we already have. If you want to keep the UK pound keep the UK. Nobody should vote on the basis that you will keep the pound and the Bank of England because frankly that would be reckless.”