Theresa May’s Threats 87

The problem with not being independent is that Scotland would continue to be ruled by people like Theresa May. Her threat to close the border is a patent bluff, and motivated by racism.  Her fear is that “Buried deep in Alex Salmond’s white paper is the admission that, just like the last Labour government, a separate Scotland would pursue a looser immigration policy.”

It is neither hidden nor an admission.  Scotland welcomes immigrants who contribute to its economy and its culture.  Scotland doesn’t have a politics of pandering to racists. That is one of the things which so many Scots want to get away from.

There is no way that independent Scotland will be forced out of the EU.  First, there are no grounds for the assumption that WENI will be the successor state and Scotland a legal new entity; the Czechs and Slovaks, for example, both inherited the entire treaty obligations of the former Czechoslovakia.  But even if Scotland did have to reapply – which I doubt strongly – Scotland already meets the acquis communitaire, by definition.  The Commission report establishing that would be prepared in the transitional period between the referendum and actual independence, and Scotland’s application and acceptance would be a same day process.  If Spain wanted to stop that – and many anti-Catalan Spanish politicians are intelligent enough to realize that extreme hostility to the Scots would provoke more, not less, Catalan nationalism – Spain does not have the political clout within the EU, and is in too dependent a position to isolate itself by a veto.

I worked for four years as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Warsaw specifically on Polish preparations for EU entry, and I know what I am talking about – indeed I have no doubt I know a great deal more about EU accession than Teresa May.  I also know that there is enormous sympathy for Scottish nationalism right across the EU’s international relations community, be it national politicians and diplomats or EU staff.  You would be surprised just how much ground has been quietly prepared by Scottish diplomats and civil servants in advance, sotto voce, in our spare time! With Scotland firmly committed to the EU, and the Conservative Party committed to a referendum on leaving, those who believe the EU’s sympathies lie more with May than with Scotland are deluded.

Actually nobody does really believe that, the propagandists of the mainstream media merely want you to believe it.


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87 thoughts on “Theresa May’s Threats

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  • Richard

    Craig, I live in Central England and do you think I want to be “led” by the Teresa Mays of this world? They are worse than useless and I loathe them, but like every other person on this island there is nobody I can vote for to get rid of them. We have identikit, self-serving, pompous, homicidal kleptocrats at the top of all main parties and we’re stuck with them. It is almost impossible for anyone honest, sensible – and certainly not nice – to get elected, so such people simply don’t bother. I can only guess what May has said by reading your post above, so though I haven’t heard about it I can judge that it is quite horrible and downright silly. I suggest that people put their heads together on what can be done to rectify our political system. There can be no separatism in fact or practice. It is little more than a fantasy, however many parliaments we dot about the place. All that does is get us even more politicians – Oh, goody! What for? This island is too small, nobody is going anywhere and everybody here is stuck with each other whether we like it or not. We should have administrative systems which reflect that reality and not get side-tracked by non-issues which do nothing to address the real problems either of this country or the globe and which will do nothing to benefit the people of this country.

    I was reading ‘Murder in Samarkand’ last year, and there is a bit in there where you recall sitting in a café or something in London, watching the crowd go by. I can’t remember exactly, but you said something about the bombing of the war and ‘my people’. What went wrong?

  • Nobby

    Could we not make this referendum more inclusive by allowing anyone north (or west) of Birmingham a vote on ‘independence’? Ramsgate would be truly doomed.

  • pete fairhurst

    There are 2 massive problems with Scottish “Independence” as currently on offer:

    1. The Queen will still be head of state

    2. Scotland will not have its own currency

    What sort of independence is that? Still tied to the corrupt Saxe Cobury Gotha’s? Still tied to the corrupt Money Power? Its certainly not Sovereignty. Its certainly not Freedom.

    Wake up Scots. “Independence” is not enough

  • craig Post author


    Of course you are right. But independence is a necessary step towards getting rid of the Queen, the pound and NATO. How do we do that without independence?

  • N_

    First, there are no grounds for the assumption that WENI will be the successor state and Scotland a legal new entity; the Czechs and Slovaks, for example, both inherited the entire treaty obligations of the former Czechoslovakia.

    A closer analogy would be Russia, which inherited all the treaty rights and obligations of the USSR.

    Can Alec Salmond please declare as soon as possible that the first £85000 in people’s bank accounts in Scotland will continue to enjoy the protection that they do now, under the UK government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

    Salmond needs to say explicitly that his guarantee does NOT depend on anything the rump UK government, or the EU, might do.

    You cannot expect people to vote to make their bank accounts less safe.

    If Salmond is telling the truth when he says that the Scottish economy is as sound as a rock and as buoyant as a beach ball, he needs to put his mouth where his…er…where his mouth is, and issue this guarantee right now.

    Otherwise even the lard-arsed nationalism aroused by the Commonwealth Games won’t save him.

    I mean all the credit ratings agencies are wrong…and the EU lawyers are wrong…and of course “Westminster” and the “London media” (euphemisms for ‘FEB’ of course) are all wrong…

    …so…will people’s bank accounts stay as safe as they are now? Yes or no?

    The ‘promises’ on this matter in the ‘Scotland’s Future’ document are obviously worth nothing.

    People should demand a guarantee at least as strong as the UK government’s one, right now.

    Meanwhile, is that a giraffe I just spotted, flying past my window? 🙂

  • pete fairhurst

    Well said Richard at 8.28.

    Ordinary people should stick together. Its the only chance that we’ve got against this corrupt, psychopathic, kleptocracy that pretends to run the show now. Divide and rule has always been their game.

    Democracy is in crisis because our so called representatives, whose theoretical job is to represent our views to government, actually do the exact opposite – they represent governments views to us. We have the worst of all worlds. We are ruled by an unelected elite, who are largely invisible and who are entirely unaccountable

  • pete fairhurst


    Do you seriously believe that you will get rid of the Queen and the Money Power and Nato if “Independence” is achieved? You surely know better than that? You know how these people work far better than I do I think.

    Freedom is not on offer. And never will be in my opinion. We need to stick together not split apart. One look at the map tells you that

  • fred

    “Of course you are right. But independence is a necessary step towards getting rid of the Queen, the pound and NATO. How do we do that without independence?”

    Wouldn’t it be dishonest and undemocratic to say Scotland would keep the monarchy before the referendum then abolish it afterwards?

    I’m no great fan of the monarchy myself but I know they are immensely popular with the masses, you can tell by how many newspapers they sell.

    If Scotland is planning on becoming a republic then shouldn’t it say that on the manifesto?

  • The Numbers

    Out of a 5.3m population, with a voter registration of 74% and a 65% expected turnout, only 1.25m YES votes are required. Any good politician could target the following segments to reach the magic total.

    1) Nationalists
    2) Unionised workers re guaranteed rights
    3) Civil servants and Local government workers
    4) Teachers
    5) Students
    6) Pro-internet anti NSA anti USA
    7) Anti-war
    8) Anti-nuclear weapons
    9) Pro BDS Pro Palestine
    11)ring fence pensions
    12)ring fence NHS
    13)In fact Cameron already lost Scotland with his tribal speech in the Knesset, no Scot really wants to be part of the emerging NWO

    All the uncertainty may be removed by reminding the voters that the parting will not be less than a slow steady five year process, not some overnight chaos.

  • N_

    @The Numbers. Anti-NSA? How about anti-GCHQ? But take a look at the Scottish Government’s Lilliputian Scotland’s Futuredocument.

    As for anti-USA, they could easily say they’re going to be neutral. They love mentioning NATO members Denmark and Norway. How about mentioning neutral Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland?

    Their weasel words about nuclear-armed US naval vessels are worth reading for their amusement value. Basically yes, they are planning to allow the US military to bring nuclear weapons to Scottish ports whenever it wants.

    Here you go:

    282. Will NATO members with nuclear-armed vessels be allowed
    to enter Scottish waters or dock at Scottish ports?

    It is our firm position that an independent Scotland should not host nuclear weapons and we would only join NATO on that
    basis. While the presence of nuclear weapons on a particular vessel is never confirmed by any country, we would expect any visiting vessel to respect the rules that are laid down by the government of an independent Scotland.

    While they are both strong advocates for nuclear disarmament, both Norway and Denmark allow NATO vessels to visit their ports without confirming or denying whether they carry nuclear weapons. We intend that Scotland will adopt a similar approach as Denmark and Norway in this respect.

    That is horse-shit. Denmark and New Zealand both used to insist that no US vessels could come to their ports unless the US assured them they were not carrying nuclear weapons.

    Scotland could do the fucking same. Instead you get horse-shit about being ‘strong advocates’ of nuclear disarmament, which is utterly worthless.

    Oh and they boast (page 488) that they will continue after ‘independence’ to work “very closely” with GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

    What kind of ‘independence proposal’ is it that says ‘we will work ever so closely with a foreign country’s spies and receivers of information gained by torture‘?

  • N_

    @Peter Fairhurst – I agree: divide and rule has indeed always been their game, and that is certainly what’s going on here.

    All nationalism is xenophobic. No exceptions. There’s no ‘clean’ nationalism based on human values.

    All nationalism stinks, even if some Scottish nationalists like to put stickers on their cars saying ‘Ecosse’ and ‘Skottland’.

    All nationalism encourages an alliance between working class people in an area and their exploiters – or more exactly, between working class people in an area and the idiots in the national assembly or on the telly who do a ‘local’ job for what is a centralised global dictatorship.

    Every nation is a brand and is consciously managed as such.

    If I didn’t think things would be worse in Scotland if the vote went ‘yes’, I would continue the position I’ve had on bourgeois elections all my life, which is ‘don’t vote – it only encourages them’. As it happens, I may make an exception and vote…vote ‘no’.

  • N_

    Off-topic: Ukraine:

    OSCE official Dunja Mijatović has said that

    national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.

    I read that statement on RT. It’s so incredibly stupid that I checked whether it was genuine. It is.

    Everyone has the right to receive information from as many sources as he or she wishes,” Mijatovic said.

    I am a card-carrying cynic, and even my jaw is dropping at the sheer level of idiocy of Mijatovic’s statement.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    @ Roderick Russell, Juteman and Resident Dissident

    @ Roderick Russell

    “If Scotland’s standard of living reached Norwegian levels, nearly doubling as a result of the oil, then she could well afford to pay a little more to the EU.”

    The first part of that is hypothetical and in my opinion, unrealistic. Be that as it may, though, Scotland would be paying a lot and not a little more; this is a function of how the receipts side of the EU budget operates. Furthermore, there will be no chance of an independent Scotland obtaining a UK-style rebate on its budgetary contributions.


    “Re Barruso, this might answer a few questions.

    That particular squib has already been aired on a previous thread; its repetition means that it deserves some comment, all the more so since it is not serious.

    Firstly, the two MEPs in question – Lemaire (PS) and Garriaud-Maylam (UMP) spoke in a personal capacity (they are of course perfectly entitled to do so) and not on behalf of their European parliamentary groupings.

    Secondly, when Garriaud-Maylalm said “If Scotland votes for independence, it will stay in the EU”, she did not mean to say – as Craig seems to believe – that Scotland will just carry on as if nothing happened. She meant that Scotland will wish to stay in the UK, that it will undergo the normal application procedures governing accession applications (these are likely to be rapid, because as has been said, Scotland already applies the acquis communautaire), that it will be found eligible (again, rapidly) and that there will be unanimous agreement to admit her to membership. So, “stay in” in that sense: she will leave first and then rapidly (re)join.

    Thirdly, Lemaire citicizes Barroso as follows : “I don’t think it was up to President Barroso to say what he thinks about it”.

    This is nonsense. Barroso, as President of the Commission, is fully entitled to say what he thinks about not Scottish independence per se but about the (EU) legal consequences of Scotland leaving the UK and the process for rejoining.

    Lemaire then throws a bit of mud by hinting that Barroso wants to snuggle up to David Cameron because he might be angling for the NATO SG job. Well, this is her take on a political opponent and remains purely speculative. But even if it were the case that Barroso is after that job, he would be wasting his time: he has no chance (and not because of hypothetical opposition from David Cameron).

    Resident Dissident

    Your understanding – that Barroso was correctly briefed on the EU Treaty processes involved – is of course correct.

    Actually, I do not think that the Telegraph article you referred to was written in good faith. A good example of this is that it contains words suggesting that Spain blocked Kosova’s “accession”…whereas what in fact happened was that Spain has (still) not recognised Kosovo as an independent country. So – non-recognition and not blocking accession.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “What a curious non-point. The Czech and Slovak Republics each accepted all treaty obligations of the former Czechoslovakia. Of course that did not include not yet existent EU treaties, but had there been any, they would have been included in the process, which was by deposition at the UN.”

    Not curious at all, Craig, and I’ll explain why.

    Let us suppose that Czechoslovakia has been a member of the EC pursuant to a EC-Czechoslovakia Accession Treaty. Now, the Separation Law (or Separation Treaty, call it what you will) voted by the Czechoslovak parliament could have talked about the new Czech Republic and the new Slovakia assuming the obligations flowing from the obligations of the EC-Czechoslovakia Treaty as much as it wanted, but that would not have changed the fact that one of the two parties to that Treaty (ie, Czechslovakia) no longer existed. Hence that Treaty no longer had an object. Hence both the Czech Republic and Slovakia would have had to negotiate new Accession Treaties leading to membership.

    In the case of an independent Scotland , however, the position is different: the two parties to the EC (as was)-UK Accession Treaty subsist – ie, both the EU and the UK still exis – the only difference being that the geographical extent of the UK has changed.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “I don’t doubt that the EU’s policy is one of enlargement but it’s a bureaucratic juggernaut that moves at a rate that would embarrass a snail. How long did Poland’s negotiations take? Fifteen years wasn’t it?”

    To be fair, I think you’re making the same mostake as Craig and some others, ie, you’re making invalid comparisons. The accession processes for candidate states are indeed long, one of the reasons being that the process of verifying that the candidate state conforms to the acquis communautaire is a long and painstaking process. For example, the EU wants to see the appropriate legislation in place in the candidate state (there are over 30 so-called “chapters” which have to be successfully verified and concluded).

    Now, the Scottish case is not the same because, as has already been correctly pointed out, Scotland – as part of the UK – already applies the acquis communautaire. So what remains, essentially, are matters like budgetary contributions, fishing quotas, the setting up of various regulatory bodies, etc, etc; these are essentially technical points although some of them are of course likely to be the subject of hard negotiation. But nothing like the Polish process.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Craig writes

    “Her threat to close the border is a patent bluff, and motivated by racism.”

    Now it would perhaps have been helpful if we had got more detail from Craig on exactly what Theresa May said. To provide back up for the rest of his post.

    But let us assume that she gave no detail and merely said what Craig said (“close the border”).

    At present, EU member states are free, generally speaking, to conduct their own immigration policies vis à vis non-EU member states. Vis à vis other EU member states, the principle of free movement applies.

    Neither of the above two elements will change in the event of Scottish independence. Hence

    1/. If an independent Scotland were to remain outside the EU, the UK would be perfectly entitled to apply whatever immigration limitations it liked to Scottish nationals;

    2/. If it were to join the EU, then its nationals would be able to circulate freely throughout the EU, including the UK.

    As far as physical borders controls are concerned, the UK would be entitled to introduce these on the UK-Scotland border even if Scotland were to join the EU:this is because the UK is not part of the Schengen area.

    Conclusion : even if Theresa May is bluffing, she is on a solid legal foundation

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    This is the second time you have posted on the evasions and weasel words in the Scottish govt’s so-called comprehensive, tell-things-as-they-are document.

    You are absolutely right. I wonder if you would agree with me that those weasel words and statements – they are legion – demonstrate that those on this blog who think that Scottish politicians are a nobler, more moral and somehow higher order of humans than English politicians are just deluding themselves?

  • Hector

    Habakkuk says “In the case of an independent Scotland , however, the position is different: the two parties to the EC (as was)-UK Accession Treaty subsist – ie, both the EU and the UK still exis – the only difference being that the geographical extent of the UK has changed.”

    Except that one of the parties- the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland- will no longer exist. The original United Kingdom was the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Everything- every act, treaty, debt, agreement made, such as the membership of Northern Ireland- that followed stems from that and will have to be parcelled up between successor states if it divides. It’s something advocates for Scottish independence don’t like to discuss, though. Logically there either would be two successor states and both would be parts of the EU or neither would be.
    My own guess is that Barroso and others emphasise Scotland’s hypothetical departure from the EU and the rest of the UK’s hypothetical continuation because they think Scotland would apply for membership and accept new terms under these conditions if they were not in the EU, but the rest of the UK wouldn’t.

  • CanSpeccy

    You are surely correct, an independent Scotland would be, or would become, an EU member. But is that really what the Scotch want? Instead of having great influence within the democratic UK, they will have negligible influence within the undemocratic EU. Seems a truly bizarre choice.

    Better would be to promote maximum devolution of power within a UK confederation of regions including the Highlands and Islands, England North, Mid and South, both left and right, Wales North and South, London and Northern Ireland. That would be truly democratic and would provide every region greater freedom than can be achieved by busting up the UK and subordinating the parts to the EU.

  • CanSpeccy

    According to this source, the idea that Scotland’s going to be rich from N. Sea oil is a delusion:

    The SNP’s main economic platform is that Scotland should own the revenue from North Sea oil and gas, making it a petro-dollar paradise equivalent to Norway. Although they have similar populations (5.05 million for Norway, 5.3 million for Scotland), the hydrocarbon revenues are massively different. Norway’s government gathered $40 billion in 2013 (according to the BBC) while the UK made $10.8 billion (according to the Financial Times), a fall of 40 per cent from 2012. Current predictions? Further falls, to £3.3 billion ($5.5 billion) in 2016/17, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    There’s no amount of careful stewardship that is going to magic $5.5 billion into $40 billion, when many of the North Sea rigs are at the end of their life and production levels are falling.”

    Still, by achieving independence, they’ll get rid of the queen — maybe (as if it mattered) and go back to using nails for currency. As for Nato, they may be out of it but they’ll still have NATO military installations on their territory, including England’s nuclear subs.

  • Herbie

    It’s not very clear what all the fuss over Scotland and the EU is about.

    I can certainly see why some member governments are screaming; the UK, Spain, Belgium etc. These old sloths have a lot to lose as individual states on the world stage and within the EU.

    But why would the EU as a body or even its Parliament and Commission be bothered. Surely a Europe of the regions would be much better from their perspective.

    A dream fulfilled, as it were.

    It appears not even superannuated former employees can explain the problem.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “”Habakkuk says “In the case of an independent Scotland , however, the position is different: the two parties to the EC (as was)-UK Accession Treaty subsist – ie, both the EU and the UK still exis – the only difference being that the geographical extent of the UK has changed.”

    Except that one of the parties- the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland- will no longer exist.”

    No, that is incorrect. That was the point of my post. Both parties to the EC(as was)-EC Accession Treaty still exist.

    Take another example. Let us pretend that the Baltic states were to withdraw from the European Union (under Russian pressure, for example): would this mean that the EU no longer exists – and that all the former Member States would have to start all over again and renegotiate a European Union? Of course not. The EU would still exist, albeit with an altered geographical extent.


    “Everything- every act, treaty, debt, agreement made, such as the membership of Northern Ireland- that followed stems from that and will have to be parcelled up between successor states if it divides.”


    Again, incorrect. Most elements of the EU – UK arrangements (eg, the application of the acquis communautaire in the UK) would continue unaffected. To be sure, there would need to be adjustments, but these are essentially of a technical nature (to use my previous examples again, the UK budgetary contribution, fisheries arrangements and so on).

    Hope this clarifies.

  • OEM

    I hate it when people’s instincts are to raise the race card over a debate on immigration. Why must it be racist to discuss such a salient issue? I am black and I am not naive -I know certainly that there are racists in both the Conservative and UKIP parties- but racism becomes irrelevant when addressing the facts of such a big issue as immigration. The left immediately throws up the race card as a tool to side step the immigration debate and not engage with facts. You don’t need to study rocket science to know that unless the newly joining EU countries of Eastern Europe grow economically to be on par with the West, the immigration flow towards the West will be domestically economically unsustainable in terms of the welfare state and unemployment. The UK over the previous decade has experienced excessively high net immigration! So what is wrong with the Home Secretary pragmatically saying that if Scotland becomes independent, adopts a looser immigration policy, negotiates new treaties with the EU(which I am sure will contain an imposition by the EU Commission of all the latest integrationist policies due to Barosso’s federalist ideology) while the UK under the Tories will be doing the exact opposite of all of that, she will have to use checks on the Scottish-UK border to ensure Scotland isn’t exploited as a wide open doorway into the UK?

    Craig I want you to sincerely face the facts of the issue and not just throw up the race card. That’s a low blow. I have British citizenship but I have only just used it recently to come to the UK and study. So I am technically an immigrant. I think its only immigrants to the UK who can genuinely attest to the weakness of the UK’s immigration and asylum policy and how it has been mercilessly exploited by people of foreign countries. Yet the liberal left is dogmatically stuck to its universalist ideology and scared to engage in any debate which has just a tiny element of race for fear of appearing racist. Personally I think what UKIP says about immigration is logically sound- leaving the EU is the only way for the UK to genuinely have real control of its borders as a sovereign state. But, I think in the larger scheme of things, when all the economic benefits are taken into account, EU immigration and regulation, although economically disastrous are outweighed by the huge trade benefits the UK gains from EU membership.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    For what it’s worth, just to clarify further:

    1/. I have no strong feelings about whether Scotland should leave the UK or not. I should note in passing, however – this has already been touched on in previous threads – that independence would be likely to consolidate a permanent Conservative majority in the UL parliament (which could be an argument for saying that the entire UK should vote on the question).

    2/. It would of course be helpful if the voters of Scotland were in possession of all the pros and cons of taking such a decision, based on objective and clear information. This is unlikely to happen, as the pronouncements of the UK govt on the one hand and the document of the Scottish govt so far have made fairly clear.
    And, of course, certain implications will remain unclear by their very nature – there is the element of a leap in the dark.

    3/. Although the situation would be entirely unprecedented, the EU lawyers would certainly be able to devise a legal construction which would allow the “gap” between Scotland leaving the UK and its admission back into the EU to be reduced to a minimum. Negotiations could take place in the interval between a yes vote and Scotland (re)joining in order to so reduce. To be noted however that a new EU-Scotland Treaty needs not only to be signed but also – subsequently – ratified by all 28 Member States. Here, experience has shown that the time necessary varies considerably between Member States, procedures varying from lightening speed to quite a long time.

  • Herbie


    So now we can all agree that a secession of Scotland from the EU is not a real problem for the EU at all.

    Why did anyone bring it up.

    It’s purely a problem for the UK, and some other member states who are facing similar internal difficulties.

    For the EU it’s no more than an administrative problem.

    But interestingly, the EU has found cast upon itself the Gorby/Yeltsin dilemma.

    Those old drivers of the European project would not have found themselves in that position, and that tells you all you need to know about the difference between today’s crop of greasy pole bureaucrats and real leaders.

    There’s a lesson there in terms of comparisons between Obama and Putin as well, albeit of a much more dangerous kind.

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