Independence By 2016! 104

The right to self-determination of the people of Scotland is not in dispute. That right is enshrined in Article 1.2 of the Charter of the United Nations. Which peoples qualify to benefit from that right is a frequent subject of dispute, but the case of Scotland has been conclusively conceded by the government of the UK in agreeing to the 2014 Independence referendum and agreeing to abide by the result.

The people of Scotland thus have multiple citizenships. They are citizens of Scotland, and of two over-arching bodies, of the United Kingdom and of the European Union. Both UK and EU citizenship are very real, with EU citizenship in particular conferring a wide range of individual rights to the citizen enshrined in numerous international treaties. This dual citizenship is reflected on your passport. On both the cover and the inside page, it says European Union above United Kingdom.

This raises the question of what happens if the people of Scotland, with their right of self determination, experience an unwilling conflict between the two superior citizenships. This will arise if the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union while Scotland votes to remain in. The situation of conflict will be that a self-determining people will have voted in referenda to retain two overarching citizenships, but by force majeure be able to retain only one of them.

The position in international law given this outcome is absolutely clear. Being unable to follow both results of referenda of the Scottish people, Scotland through its government will have the right to determine which citizenship to retain. EU citizenship is arguably the superior citizenship, conferring much wider rights.

There is in any event no requirement in international law for a referendum on Independence before you declare Independence. In fact, the majority of nations in this world only became independent in my own lifetime, and over 90% of those became independent without a referendum.

In the event that Scotland votes Remain and the UK votes Leave, the SNP government which I hope and expect again to see at Holyrood should immediately make a Declaration of Independence to maintain the individual citizenry rights of Scots to EU citizenship. This is perfectly legal in international law and will, beyond any doubt, be welcomed by the large majority of states of the European Union who will welcome the decision of Scots to remain members.

As somebody who worked professionally for nearly four years on EU enlargement, it always scunners me that it is so little understood that the entire political mood and dynamic of the EU is expansionist. It seeks as a matter of principle to incorporate all Europeans. That is why Romania and Bulgaria were accepted with an analysis everyone knew to be farcical that they conformed to the acquis communitaire. The departure of any country, even the awkward England and Wales, will be seen as a tragedy and the adherence of Scotland will be a matter of rejoicing. Even Spain will be reconciled because the circumstance of the UK leaving the EU gives a plausible unique factor that is not a precedent for Catalonia.

Within the SNP, perhaps understandably the focus tends to be on the internal UK constitutional and political scene. This is actually an error. The Independence of any Nation is above all a matter of international law, and the test of Independence is recognition of the world’s other states and acceptance into international institutions, above all the United Nations. The success of a Declaration of Independence will rest in its acceptance in Brussels and New York, not its acceptance in Westminster.

Cameron will get nothing substantive from his EU renegotiation. He is not liked by other European leaders. Eastern Europeans, in particular, can recognise a snob who looks down his nose at them when they see one. I speak from certain knowledge – more than one Eastern European minister involved has told me so. It shows how low Cameron has sunk, that a minute circulating yesterday in the Cabinet Office described the atmosphere in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks as an “opportunity” to gain concessions on freedom of movement.

There is no gamechanger coming from Cameron’s “renegotiation” that will materially affect the dynamics of the EU referendum campaign, and opinion polls indicate that the UK leaving and Scotland voting to remain is a very probable outcome. The Scottish government should be starting now to make preparations for declaring Independence immediately in the event of such a result. Top priority in those preparations should be discussions in Brussels and EU capitals with all EU states to prepare them for such an event and garner discreet assurances. The Scottish Government is of course prohibited from such lobbying, but the SNP is not. I for one will offer my services without charge.

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104 thoughts on “Independence By 2016!

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  • Kempe

    ” The whole problem was that the USSR had these SS-23 missiles which it could rain down on NATO without it having a clue about their existence. ”

    Providing they were in range which for the most part they weren’t. Even your mate Urban concedes that US and British intelligence would’ve eventually located all or most of the 82 missiles deployed (only 18 of which were located in the GDR) as it was the Americans thought 40 had been deployed, the British “closer to 12”.

    Glad you benefitted from your geography lesson.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    At least you know now who belonged to NATO in 1986, and how they would have been destroyed if it had not been for Scot George Younger who tried to disconnect the UK from America’s covert government at the time by quibbling, like you, over details about whether London or Washington was correct about details regarding the USSR.

  • CanSpeccy

    Craig Murray’s idea of Scottish Independence is:

    First, separate Scotland from the geopolitical unit of which it is a natural part, which speaks the same language as the Scots, which has the same Celtic racial background as the Scots, which separates Scotland physically from the European continent, and over which the Scots have over the generations had a political influence quite disproportionate to their numbers, e.g., James I and the other Stuart rubbish, Harold MacMillan, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, to name but the most recent Scotch prime ministers of Britain, however useless they may have been.

    Second, reduce Scotland to the status of a small, remote province of the EU, which will make the majority of Scotland’s laws with essentially no consideration of Scottish interests.

    Third, confirm in perpetuity Scotland’s role as a US/NATO military base for the stationing of surveillance systems, nukes and air bases.

    All this, notwithstanding that a majority of Scots just voted no.

    Is this crazy or is it just neo-colonialism.

  • Pan

    Tony M
    20 Nov, 2015 – 5:47 pm

    Clearly an honest and heartfelt comment/polemic.


    Wish there were more like that.

    Intriguing statements re France and WWII. Haven’t heard the reasons for the ease of the German takeover expressed quite like that before (just saying I’m not a European history buff – no judgment intended).

  • Al

    Alex Bell’s opinion on the economic case for Indy is irrelevant. Notice that he could not provide a single piece of evidence to back up his argument. Not one.

    Regarding UDI, as much as I’d like Scotland to be independent, we can’t simply ignore the wishes of 55% of the people who voted no. That’s not democratic. If Scotland votes to remain in the EU and the UK votes to leave, we have a problem, but one which I believe must be solved democratically.

    Another referendum question like: Should Scotland remain in the EU as in independent country? Or should Scotland leave the EU as part of the UK? Or can we add a question to the EU ref vote? Something that decides what we do in case Scotland and UK vote differently?

  • canspeccy

    The question should Scotland remain in the EU as an independent country is nonsensical. Scotland can be independent or a member of the EU but not both.

  • canspeccy

    And as a member of the EU Scotland won’t survive as a nation. It will become part of mongrel Europe, swamped by immigrants whose posterity will replace that of the Scots. Only an innumerate or a person unaware of the rate at which immigrants are flowing into Scotland, with the full support of the (pseudo) Scotch nationalists, could fail to understand that.

  • CanSpeccy

    Here is Scotland’s future as an “independent” (LOL) country within the EU:

    By Count Richard N. Coudenhove Kalergi – published in Vienna 1925.

    Europeans to become negroid mongrels

    The man of the future will be a mongrel. Today’s races and classes will disappear owing to the disappearing of space, time, and prejudice.

    The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its outward appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals. [22]

    Christianity, ethically prepared by the Jewish Essays (John), spiritually prepared by the Jewish Alexandrians (Philo), was regenerated Jewry. Insofar as Europe is Christian, it is in a spiritual sense Jewish, insofar as Europe is moral, it is Jewish.

    Read more

    Naturally, anyone pointing out that this is the objective of the EU, as guided by people like Merkel, like Coudenhove Kalergi, a recipient of the Charlemagne Prize is called a racist, i.e., an opponent of the genocide of the European people and the destruction of human diversity.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now the MoD is going bonkers about a submarine, apparently Russian, being off the Scottish coast.

    Is Moscow planning just to go to war with Scotland, once it becomes independent, or is London just stoking up fears so that the UK, like Sweden back in the 1980s, can get more security expenditures for a future war with Putin?

  • CanSpeccy

    Is Moscow planning just to go to war with Scotland

    Nah, they’re just putting ashore some polite men in green who are handing out ballots for a referendum on union with Russia. A chanced to be grabbed, obviously, as an alternative to continued association with their stinking neighbours to the South.

  • Vronsky

    “Is Moscow planning just to go to war with Scotland”

    Technically, I think that bits of Scotland are still at war with Russia as the border moved around a bit and some folks were on the wrong side of the line when peace was agreed. However I believe that more recently Berwick has accepted the Russian surrender, so perhaps it’s not a problem.

  • Fiona

    Really hope this is the case. Was at Common Weal talk last night on benefits of remaining in EU as an independent nation. Huge benefits. WM currently siphon away vast amounts of Scotland’s EU subsidies. We have no Scottish voice to speak up for Scotland’s interests.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Has anyone who is interested – or even disinterested – in the European Project, read this long and interesting 1997 essay, by the UK Cabinet Office Consultative Group on Intelligence and Security member Professor Richard J. Aldrich?

    Prof Aldrich works in International Security at the University of Warwick. His main research interests lie in the area of intelligence and security communities. . .

    he gives gems such as GLADIO stay behind warriors being formed by the same group that pushed for the united government of Europe, Sir Winston Churchill very much pushing for the creation of the EEC, with “covert aid to European federalists” via Churchill & Fullbright initiatives. Churchill was of course in favor of the EU project preventing future wars, which it did seemingly until recently.

    British EU referenda

    [in 1950] they perceived a seemingly immovable obstacle, the growing resistance of the British to a federal Europe. . .The British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, had played a key role in emasculating the Council of Europe at Strasbourg.

    British resistance increased in late 1949 and early 1950 as the president of the European Movement itself, Duncan Sandys [Churchill’s son-in-law], working closely with Churchill, sensed that the European Movement was moving much faster than they, the British Conservative Party, wished. Although Sandys had previously made speeches with strong federalist overtones, calling for ‘a United States of Europe’ at Brussels as early as November 1945, neither had clearly thought out the implications for British foreign policy. The Sandys leadership was now uncomfortable and dragged its feet. The resulting dissonance had material effects upon the fortunes of the European Movement. . .

    British Cons dragging their feet in Nov ’45 ? Plus ça change. . .!

    GLADIOthis?, ‘very anxious that American financial support for the European Movement should not be known’ that?, ‘the funding for the first meeting, held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Holland in 1954, was provided by the CIAthe-other? YCNMIU

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