REGARDING national debt, as we approach Brexit, the UK’s debt is £1920 billion, according to the National Debt Clock website.

The clock is running up so fast – £5,180 per second – it’s eyewatering. Interest per year is running at £43bn – yes, interest alone; interest per second, £5170. Debt per citizen, £31,000; debt per taxpayer is £53,000 while debt as a percentage of GDP is 88.53 per cent.

The question is, how are we going to pay back £1,920bn, and rising fast, in a contracting protectionist market? The picture is actually much worse when all liabilities are factored in. Including pension liabilities, the real national debt is closer to £4.8 trillion. This is criminally incompetent governance.

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Moody’s, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1. It said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty at a time when the UK’s debt reduction plans were already off course.

Our public schoolboy clowns stick two fingers up to our main European trading partners. And America’s president gives every indication of increasing protectionism in his country, one of our most important traditional markets.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, an independent think tank, says Britain could meet its energy needs and its climate-change targets with existing technologies and without the teetering nuclear development at Hinkley Point on the Somerset coast.

Its report found that the UK would be able to replace the power Hinkley would have provided with as few as four big wind farms (if they were in addition to those already planned) although a multi-faceted approach would be preferable, for obvious reasons: the wind doesn’t always blow, after all.

Adopting its alternatives, the think tank says, could save the UK as much as £1bn a year. Remember, French energy firm EDF and its partners have been guaranteed a fixed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for Hinkley’s power for 35 years. That is nearly double the current wholesale rate. The National Audit Office warned that the plan might cost as much as £30bn in top-up payments, shortly before Hinkley was given the green light by EDF. The NAO also raised the issue of renewables, pointing to the speed at which the technology is improving.

Its missive came just a week after the Infrastructure and Projects Authority had put the potential cost of the new nuclear development at a staggering £37bn.

Yes, the Scottish people have done remarkable things in the past: soldiering, sailing, wool weaving and knitting, engineering to the world, shipbuilding to the world, thread-making to the world, linoleum flooring to the world, jam-making, fishing and agriculture, oil extraction, etc ... All squandered by Westminster policies and financial manipulation.

Our land and sea assets, drinking water, renewable energy production, and hydrogen fuel supplies should remain, or be, in public ownership. A prosperous Scottish future with public services can be funded by these resources.

Ernie Hasler, Old Kilpatrick

REGARDING Shona Craven’s piece (Knowledge is power, so let’s talk about abortion honestly, The National, September 29) I am disappointed National readers who are pro-life are portrayed as ‘frothing anti-choice readers ...’

Shona, I am a woman. I’m a feminist. I have three daughters. I’m pro life. I’m very much pro women. Being pro-life does not make me anti-women as you assert.

Anne Smith, Via iPhone