Continuing EU Membership for Indy Scotland is Possible – Special EU Status for Scotland in the UK is Impossible 164


Alyn Smith was excellent in the European Parliament yesterday. He was doing exactly what the SNP need to be doing – building sympathy in the European institutions for continuing Scottish membership of the EU.

The European Union is an institution which is based on treaties which have legal force. There is nothing whatsoever in any of those treaties, and nothing in any existing arrangement with any state, that makes it possible for part of a state, even a federal state, to be inside the EU, when the state itself is outside.

There is absolutely no way that Scotland can be inside both the UK and EU, if the UK is outside the EU. This question has been visited before by the EU in detail, in relation to Cyprus in particular . I understand that Nicola Sturgeon may feel a need to show that she explored all possibilities. But there is a serious danger of confusing the issue by asking for impossible things that will just exasperate people and lose sympathy.

It is very possible indeed to work out modalities for independent Scotland to join as an EU member at precisely the same moment the UK leaves. Indeed, the creation of a new doctrine of right to retain EU citizenship that makes it possible for recognised EU “regions”, of which Scotland is one, to achieve statehood and continue membership, only if the member state is leaving the EU, could alleviate potential Spanish opposition.

Such a solution can politically be stitched together. The reaction to Alyn Smith’s speech demonstrates that. Absolutely crucially – and I cannot emphasise the importance of this enough – no treaty changes would be required for Scotland as a newly independent state to continue membership. But any kind of special status for Scotland when it is not a state, would require treaty changes which we are just not going to get.

UPDATE – To answer a question three people have just asked me. The Greenland case is not in the least comparable because its relationship with the EU is based on the fact that it is an autonomous territory of an EU member state, Denmark. That is completely different from the situation of an autonomous territory of an EU non-member, which the UK will be.

UPDATING AGAIN Wow people are engaged in this one. The same is true of comparison with Monaco, Andorra, San Marino etc. They all belong to states INSIDE the EU. The UK will be OUTSIDE the EU. Scotland’s status will have no comparison at all to an autonomous territory of an EU member state.

I spent four years of my life as First Secretary (Political and Economic) in the British Embassy in Warsaw working specifically on Poland’s EU accession. I not only know this stuff backwards, I know a lot of key contacts. Alyn Smith shows that the SNP MEPs know what they are doing and are highly capable. I am consumed by desire to find a way to help my country at this crucial time. Having thought I had achieved some kind of acceptance that in the UK whistleblowers are forever excluded from public life, I today find it hurting more than ever.


164 thoughts on “Continuing EU Membership for Indy Scotland is Possible – Special EU Status for Scotland in the UK is Impossible

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  • iain taylor

    Agree 100%.
    I did a wee bit on Polish accession under Phare – for the telcoms ministry – but didn’t have any contact with UK Embassy. Did a lot more in Lithuania and knew your counterparts there.

  • John

    Seems to me that Scotland has Boris et a. by the ‘short and curlies’

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldeucom/138/13809.htm

    The role of the devolved legislatures in implementing the withdrawal agreement

    “We asked Sir David whether he thought the Scottish Parliament would have to give its consent to measures extinguishing the application of EU law in Scotland. He noted that such measures would entail amendment of section 29 of the Scotland Act 1998, which binds the Scottish Parliament to act in a manner compatible with EU law, and he therefore believed that the Scottish Parliament’s consent would be required. He could envisage certain political advantages being drawn from not giving consent.”

  • Anon1

    “But please, remember this: Scotland, did not let you down. Please, I beg you…”

    And this man, crawling up the backsides of his foreign masters, wants Scottish independence? What an absolute joke.

    • Alan

      On this topic I am in total agreement with Anon1. Alyn Smith is a total drama queen and a disgrace to the name Smith.

      Plus, even if article 50 had already been triggered both Smith and Farage would still be MEPs for another two years. They were both simply showboating.

        • supermuindane

          Indeed. Scotland may well hold a referendum as is their right however in the heat of the moment, what evidently hasn’t been considered by hasty Scots is that they would have to adopt the Euro as a condition of membership – hardly the poster-boy for a successful currency union. Rather, it’s an object lesson in how not to design and implement one: a currency that lacks automatic stabilisers and actually amplifies any non-synchronous shocks to the economy, leaving the affected naiton in an almost inescapable debt-deflationary spiral, made worse by the absurd SGP rules and the lack of fiscal equilisation within the union Scotland would effectively have less economic sovereignty (the one that really counts) than were they to retain the Pound Sterling.

          • Mark Harper

            “would have to adopt the Euro” Utter pish! You have to apply to join the Euro after being a member of the ERM for 2 years.

          • supermundane

            @Mark Harper. For some reason the comments section isn’t permitting me to reply directly to your post.

            So pray tell, which currency are you planning to use in the interval? I guarantee that the Pound will be off-limits but even if it were possible to continue to use the Pound of that 2 year period, your response doesn’t address the structural problems of the Euro.

            Adopt the Euro and in good time the SNP will be compelled to implementing withering rounds of austerity that make what the Tories have done look amateurish in comparison. The Euro is an abject failure that leaves states using it with internal devaluations as the only policy tool in the arsenal given deficit spending, fiscal equilisation and devaluing the currency are all off the table. But go right ahead. Just don’t pretend you haven’t been warned.

    • craig Post author

      It is very obviously a rhetorical device. So I suppose that Cromwell was being weak and pathetic when he said to parliament “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ…” ?

      • Alan

        Cromwell also said “A few honest men are better than numbers”.

        Why is it that 33% of Scots didn’t bother voting, and what will they be thinking right now after watching Alyn Smith on TV?

        • Alan

          So working out the real numbers for Scotland, like an honest man would do:

          33% Didn’t Vote

          Thus 41.54% Voted to remain
          And 25.46% Voted to leave

          This means that actually 58.46% of Scots either wish to leave the EU, or just didn’t care enough to vote.

          • fred

            The numbers in Scotland are well and truly skewed because many people were voting on a different issue than their wishes on Europe.

            Nicola Sturgeon undermined the Remain campaign south of the border labelling their arguments “Project Fear” then instructed her cult members north of the border to vote Remain if they wanted another Scottish independence referendum.

            It’s Farrage’s talk of millions of Turkish immigrants she should have been calling “Project Fear” not what is turning out to be the facts about the cost of a family holiday to Europe.

        • Alex Birnie

          Oh, here we go……the old “what about those who didn’t vote?” canard! YOU DON’T GET TO CLAIM NON-VOTERS FOR YOUR SIDE OF THE ARGUMENTS! CAPICHE? Nobody does!

          • Alan

            Didn’t you know, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” . Mark Twain alleged Benjamin Disraeli said that, but regardless, it is still true.

      • ASch

        True, a rhetorical device along the lines of ‘Please mummy, it wasn’t me’

        On another point, how do you reconcile your condemnation of austerity policies in the UK with the same being applied by the EU finance mob in Greece (etc.)? You think that can be stopped any time soon? Will an Independent Scotland not have to join the Euro Zone? Or should it indeed not be eager to do so given the uncritical love for the European federalist project?

    • Alex Birnie

      I hope that anon1 isn’t being serious and is winding people up, but if not, then this reply typifies the “heid up yer airse” attitude of British Natiomalists. Instead of going for cooperation as their first option, they go for arrogant confrontation. I’m fairly sure that Anon1 probably approves of Farage’s speech, but which man will now have a better chance of achieving their aims in any subsequent negotiations?

    • Republicofscotland

      Anon1.

      Alyn Smith feels passionate that Scotland should remain in the EU, he showed just how important it is in his plea. If only all MEP’s cared as much as Mr Smyth, who received a standing ovation.

      Which brings me nicely to Nigel Farage, who did nothing constructive in his speech, but he did however manage to rile and infuriate other nations representatives. Farage has more than likely made staunch enemies, who’ll make it difficult for England in the long run, with regards to Brexit.

    • Alex Birnie

      Someone being polite to Johhny Foreigner? That’s just not the way it’s done, old boy!

      • Alex Birnie

        Chiz – His stance wasn’t that of a beggar, and the tone of his voice certainly wasn’t. He was talking to his equals, not in a sneery-lipped way like Farage, but as a parliamentarian, calling upon fellow parliamentarians to speak up for Scotland in the coming debate about the Scottish people’s EU citizenship. NOT hurling insults at your colleagues and talking like an adult, doesn’t make you a beggar. The fact that you think he was begging, says more about your cognitive dissonance than him.

  • Clydebuilt

    BBC radio Scotland , morning Moanin Kay Adams subject, how is Brexit affecting immigrants. Just had on Alisdair Allan MSP (SNP) Hardly allowed to talk for interruptions. Then got rid off with “this is supposed to be a phone-in and we’re not getting to talk to callers” …..Adams has got two women on the studio , both are allowed to talk at length without interruption and ……are not callers.
    Are politicians treated like this in England?

    • John Goss

      Afraid politicians are treated like this here, unless they are funded or promoted by the establishment. “It’s the same the whole world over. . . Ain’t it all a bleeding shame?”

    • Ecosse Europa

      Interesting to see that Lord Puttnam has publicly stated that there is a need for a Scottish Six news programme to present world news for a Scottish perspective. Predictably, the BBC Director General has dismissed Puttnam’s call in the usual smug, self-satisfied BBC way.

  • Drew R

    Hi Craig,
    I don’t understand the workings of the EU or international treaties very well, but what if the UK was to technically remain and rather than Scotland and Northern Ireland being the exceptions, special status given for England and Wales to leave? Instead of a “reverse Greenland” scenario couldn’t there be a direct equivalent? Scotland and Northern Ireland would take the role of Denmark whilst England and Wales are the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
    The main reason against this idea is that the UK as a whole voted to leave, but could this work or are there other issues that I haven’t considered.
    Sincerely
    Drew R

    • craig Post author

      Thanks Drew

      Yes, the issue you haven’t considered is that it is the UK which is the sovereign state. You couldn’t have Greenland in and Denmark out, for example, because only states can be members according to the treaties. The Westminster parliament couldn’t be out and the Scottish parliament in. What you suggest would require treaty amendment.

      • Robin

        Craig, with respect I think you may have missed Drew’s point. Suppose the UK were to split; the question then is which part is recognised as the ‘residual state’ (is that the correct term?). So, for example when the USSR dissolved, Russia was recognised as the residual state. If Scotland and N Ireland were recognised as the residual state, then England and Wales could sail off into the Atlantic and depart the EU as autonomous region. In that case the Greenland scenario is a precedent.

        Now I don’t think this is likely because it’s very much the tail wagging the dog, although I could see some advantages, not least the wholesale decamping of businesses from London to Edinburgh.

        And talking of Russia, it was able to retain it’s seat on the UN Security Council. What, in your opinion, would be likely to happen to the UK presence on UNSC if Scotland were to separate?

        • craig Post author

          Robin,

          I don’t think I missed Drew’s point, I understood he was talking about an arrangement within a continuing UK.

          The successor state argument is not that clear cut. There can be two successor ,for example the Czech and Slovak republics were each successor states. As you say, the Russian example was different. Given the fact the UK was a union of two independent states, I would say the Czech/Slovak model is most appropriate.

          • Jonathan

            Given that it was James VI of Scotland that became King of England (as James I) and King of Ireland, then the Act of Union in 1707, merging the Scottish and English parliaments to form one of Great British, located in England… in it’s dissolution, it would seem Scotland + Northern Ireland would be the continuator state?

          • Why be Ordinary

            Indeed, so what stops a dissolution of the union with Scotland choosing to remain in the EU and England choosing to leave it?

    • nevermind

      Hi Drew. My point would be that it is more likely that NI is going to be an all Ireland soon, and Ireland will want to play its full part without the antagonism that is attached to such a new coalition.

      @ Craig Are you planning anything to raise public awareness before the Chilcot report is coming out? I feel that its going to be drowned out by the media who is part of/backs up any back stabbing campaign for column inches.

  • David ReayReay

    But wouldn’t Scotland have to have 7 years independent to show its finances are in good order otherwise it will have no currency backup..

    • IanF

      The biggest issue for an independent Scotland within the EU is which currency it uses. I believe new ascension countries are required to adopt the Euro. Perhaps Scotland may be given a choice by the EU? For it to use the GBP (as suggested previously by Alex Salmon) would seem very problematic. As for adopting the Euro that would be madness in my view as that is a surrender of too much control.

      • ASch

        Who said you get to pick and choose your Euro federalism? In case the wide-eyed hadn’t noticed, those actually running on the EU aren’t so keen on allowing independent fiscal, monetary or budgetary control, especially if Scotland needs bailing out at some point.

        • IanF

          Agree. I’m not suggesting the EU will offer a choice. But, they may – if they feel there is an advantage by shoring up the project with Scotland’s ascension. As I said, Scotland would be mad to sign up for the “straight jacket” that would be adopting the Euro. A country cannot be independent without it’s own currency.

  • John Goss

    Scotland in the Brexit referendum showed solid commitment to European unity. What Scottish people have realised that English people fail to grasp is the further you are from Westminster the less you get. As with roulette or blackjack in the end the banker takes all. Despite the city and its compliant career MPs enabling the continuum Scotland has managed to provide free education (where its graduates do not end up in interminable debt to earn their degrees) and has a much more socialist approach in sharing the wealth. It is in no way perfect.

    We used to have something similar in England during the days of nationalised key industries. We could have that back if people stopped being hoodwinked by the media and those lining their own pockets at the expense of decent people who perhaps never had the opportunity or desire to become a bankster. There is a child in Winifred Holtby’s “South Riding” who does well at school but because of poverty and the necessity of bringing up her siblings she cannot continue her studies. This is what the Tories (and Labour Tories) want us to go back to and why education is being starved of proper funding. I have had the privilege of knowing well, over many years, dedicated teachers who have their students best interests at heart. Maths and science teachers are leaving the industry at a rate of knots. This increases the workload exponentially of those who remain. Soon there will be very few, believe me. It is planned. The establishment wants an uneducated compliant workforce (slave-force).

    Jeremy Corbyn is our last hope.

  • Bert.

    Another question arise in my mind.

    You remark that Monaco; San Marino and Andorra belong to states inside the EU.

    I think that all thee of these states think they are independent sovereign entities. Although I appreciate that Monaco has a very close relationship with France: Monagasque law is based upon French law; there is no meaningful border between them; they share currency and Monaco’s financial institutions must be ratified by the French regulator; their economies are essentially locked together, Monaco insists up stating that it is an independent State.

    Andorra as a co-principality has the French President on one side and a Spanish Bishop on the their side; its government is supposed to be independent of either state. Of course, political reality dictates that Spain and France are both very influential in Andorran matters; and Monaco must submit its laws to France for approval (such as the princely law of 2005 which sought to avoid Monaco falling under full French jurisdiction by adjusting the mode of succession.)

    I am less familiar with the details in Andorra.

    Bert.

    • craig Post author

      Bert

      There are a number of such part-states, like the Channel Isles. The only test of statehood is recognition by the United Nations. But the one thing for certain none of them are, is territories inside the EU of a state outside the EU, that is the point. So none of them is in any sense a precedent for Scotland remaining in both the EU and UK when the EU leaves.

  • Michael Duignan

    The problems that the SNP have and should have been working on since September 2014 (when they failed to convince the population that they had the answers) are:
    – would the EU allow Scotland to join and on what terms?
    – what would be the currency of an Independent Scotland within the EU?
    – what institution will take on the role of Central Bank?
    – what would happen at the land and sea borders between an Independent Scotland within the EU and the rUK outwith the EU?
    – will there be free trade between an Independent Scotland and the rUK outwith the EU?
    – who will be entitled to Scottish Citizenship?
    – will there be any change to the single chamber nature of the Scottish Parliament? Will new checks and balances be put in place?

    These are the types of questions that will be asked at a Referendum 2. They need to be addressed and the answers should be aired long before the starting gun for Ref 2 is fired.

    • Lambchop (Ba'al, dodging spamfilter)

      …in fact, how about a comprehensive business plan? You’d need one if you were proposing to set up a company on its own.

  • IanF

    I have always found it interesting that the SNP want to be independent from the UK but dependant on the EU. They perhaps feel, on a pragmatic level anyway, more affinity to the EU project than the Tory project in the UK. But, still inconsistent in principle. Independence is somewhat binary. You have it or you don’t – depending on whether your parliament makes the rules.

    @Craig
    “Having thought I had achieved some kind of acceptance that in the UK whistleblowers are forever excluded from public life, I today find it hurting more than ever.”

    Craig. Recently found your blog and find it one of the best at informing me (and no doubt many others) on the issues you write about. That’s “public” service – even though not in a so-called official capacity. Yes, I understand it comes without the salary and the pension – but public service all the same. Many thanks and keep it up!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Well, hold another Scottish Referendum, which you will probably win, or simply declare Scottish Independence, join the Euro, and we will even pay you to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall. To be honest, I think you Scottish would be better off going back to your Groat worth 4 pence in old money.

    When you were having your Scottish Referendum, I went round my local, and asked numerous people what they thought. They were almost unanimous in wanting to get shot of you bloody Scottish…not just The English, but the Welsh, Irish – and Scottish ex-pats too.

    So get on with it.

    I wish you all the best.

    Goodbye.

    Tony

    • Neil Anderson

      Why thank you Tony. How kind of you. Glad the sodden lushes in your “local” were able to provide you with such a unanimous decision.

      Just for the record, we “bloody Scottish” would be glad to get shot of the kind of closed-mind and – frankly – bigoted attitudes which you have just described. We “bloody Scottish” people have been lambasted as anti-English for so long now, when everyone knows that it’s anti-Scottish sentiment which informs this whole sorry scenario.

      Glad you’ve cleared that one up for us.

      So get stuffed.

      I wish you what you deserve.

      Goodbye.

      Neil.

  • MJ

    “Continuing EU Membership for Indy Scotland is Possible”

    Indeed, provided all the member states agree.

    Securing independence may turn out to be an even greater stumbling block. Telling the Scots that they will have to join the euro could be very problematic indeed.

        • Neil Anderson

          I think you may find that we’re (the Scots that is) are already convinced. We voted Remain in great numbers.

      • supermuindane

        You evidently have no comprehension Craig of currency sovereignty or why the Euro fails and will very likely spell the end of the EU project. The debt-deflation crippling many of the peripheral Eurozone states is a direct consequence of the Euro as set down by the Maastricht Treaty and the handling of the crisis.

        The late economist Wynne Godley predicted the Eurozone crisis with great accuity in 1992. No right-winger he understood clearly the neoliberal assumptions that underpin the framework of the currency would spell ruin for any nation using the currency and hit by an non-synchronous shock. Her wrote this in 1992. I would highly recommend reading it:

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all-that

        • Neil Anderson

          “…the currency would spell ruin for any nation using the currency…” So, the Germans and the French and the Spanish and the Italians and the Dutch don’t use the Euro? ANY nation using the currency? Would that be ANY nation? Wasn’t it the greed and corruption, endemic in the previous “neoliberal” – for want of a better term than that tired and misleading misnomer – Greek administration which cause their current fiscal malaise (oh, sorry that seems to be a French word)? Or is it just a given that the Euro is poison?

      • supermuindane

        The fact that you argue that the the Euro is more stable based on the past few days because foreign currency speculators bet wrongly on the referendum betrays your ignorance.

        I bet the Greeks would love if they had a currency that could devalue to their level of competitiveness while the Germans simply love having a currency that is on average value about 20 percent lower than their actual competitiveness. This has greatly contributed to the hollowing out the periphery with no fiscal transfers to offset varying rates of competitiveness with the currency zone. The Germans wouldn’t have a bar of that. Scotland will undoubtedly be welcomed as another small, peripheral eurozone state.

        If you are going to be independent as least have your own currency that you can issue at will, that you cannot run out of, that cannot be withheld as the Greeks discovered and that floats, providing an automatic stabiliser to poor policy and external shocks.

      • IanF

        The Euro is a no no – for any country with any sense. Baked into the Growth and Stability Pact are the foundations of the neo-liberal project that the EU has become. In addition the the ridiculous, arbitray rules on % deficits and debt levels the project requires nation states to go to the “markets” to borrow from. That should be an option for a sovereign government not mandatory.

  • Mark Golding

    In the light of Craig’s experience and knowledge, I believe it was a grave and arrant miscalculation that resulted in the SNP hierarchy’s decision to veto Craig Murray’s candidature. Innumerable ‘hearts’ are still troubled by that determination.

    • michael norton

      Will you keep the two aircraft carriers that you are constructing for the Royal Navy

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Mark,

      There has to be a good reason for that, because Craig has all the qualifications. I suspect the reason is that most of the SNP hierarchy, are not in fact independent, and do not actually want Scottish Independence.

      That I am afraid is how politics has worked for most of the last 50 years.

      I found this very interesting. Obviously I cannot prove it is true, but it seems highly probable to me. It was written by Wayne Madsen Ex US National Security Agency. I cannot think of any possible motivation of why he should lie. Why should we think such practices (controlling both government and main opposition parties of foreign countries) have changed?

      “In order to counter neutralist tendencies within the UK Labor Party, the CIA financed an influence operation via the Congress of Cultural Freedom to provide the political leverage for such Labor Party leaders as Hugh Gaitskell, Anthony Crosland, and Denis Healey to move the Labor Party into a more pro-NATO position [3]. Conversely, when Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Labor Party leader Michael Foot took the party down a leftward path, the CIA arranged for the two leaders to be ousted by CIA implants within the party. For Wilson, the traitor du jour for the CIA was James Callaghan, a right-winger, and for Foot, it was Neil Kinnock, a committed globalist and European federalist, who played the role of Brutus. When Wilson was forced from power as prime minister in 1976, the CIA went on «red alert» to prevent longtime Labor leftist leader Tony Benn from succeeding him. The CIA’s efforts paid off when their man Callaghan took over from Wilson.”

      http://www.voltairenet.org/article190319.html

      Tony

      • Mark Golding

        Yes Tony thank-you interesting – I can also reveal I communicate with Wayne Madsen.

        A naval adjutant to a senior military commander has divulged and explained the recent putsch to oust Jeremy Corbyn by forcing him to resign. A small group of of very senior military officers likely sponsored by Trevor Chinn CVO, who opposed Brexit on the grounds that an EU exit by Britain would threaten the NATO alliance, engineered with help from a communication unit within our intelligence services, the coup, precisely timed after the seismic shock of Brexit. The US State Department and the CIA input to MI6 suggest a US concern for the Trident program already heavily funded with US involvement in a new nuclear warhead and a secret Mach 10 delivery transport unit.designed to evade ground based interceptors.

  • Richard

    Is trying to remain in the EU really the main thrust of the Scottish Government approach? No such words were uttered in Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in the Parliament. Several mentions of maintaining Scotland’s relationship with the EU; one mention of being “in Europe”; none of being “in the EU”. Doesn’t look much different from a bid to remain in the EEA (which UK may anyway try to do) while building some warmer diplomatic vibes than the UK is likely to enjoy.

    What would be the prospects for remaining in the EEA while also in the UK, if the UK doesn’t remain in the EEA?

    I’m sure a great many people in Scotland voted Remain more because they saw it as a tactic to secure an independence referendum than because of any particular view on the EU. But I’m not so sure that the SNP leadership puts the priorities in that order.

    • Michael Duignan

      Many SNP supporters (27%) voted “Leave”. More than any other major party. This was either as a tactic to lead to IndRef2 or because they really don’t want to be in the EU.
      Perhaps, even, both!

  • Geoffrey

    A boring question,I know.In the last referendum was their agreement on how Scotland’s share of the UK national debt would be treated ?and would it’s share be treated the same way in any further referendum ?

  • Eric Smiff

    It was made clear during the indyref that Scotland would not be allowed to join the EU as an independent nation. Particularly by Spain. That’s because Spain, like other EU members doesn’t want to encourage regions to become independent.

    This is typical mischief making and frankly idiocy from the SNP.

    I am a Scottish non voter who thinks the SNP are a bunch of two bit chancers.

  • James

    1. A “Far Right” caretaker government triggers Article 50
    2. An early election.
    3. A successful “win” for the Far Right caretaker government.
    4. A Scottish Independence Referendum “Yes” vote (after legal challenges etc)

    and 5. A guaranteed 10 years of gameful employment for Constitutional law experts at whatever rate they can get away with !

    • MJ

      1. A “Far Right” caretaker government fails to trigger Article 50
      2. An early election.
      3. A successful “win” for a left-wing Corbyn-led Labour Party, whose first task will be to trigger Article 50
      4. A Scottish Independence Referendum “No” vote because they don’t want the euro

      Is another scenario.

    • James

      And of course, all under the realisation that the Leave pledges for 1. Immigration, 2 The NHS and 3. Self righteous access to the single market they have just left, cannot be delivered.

      That’s already started. Those “campaign pledges” have already been “altered”. They will be further “adjusted” as time goes on.

  • RobG

    I’m staying out of this one, but I’ll just say that the EU is the most powerful economic bloc in the world, and you have to put the Euro currency in that context.

    In 2002 Iraq abandoned the petrodollar and started selling its oil in Euros. Guess what happened next?

    And on another note, PMQs starts in about 20 minutes. Don’t miss it, folks.

    • michael norton

      Very good point Rob

      I can’t imagine the Americans would stay out of Scotland, I expect they would want a Nuclear warship base in Scotland, to help them destroy Russia.
      I expect the Americans would like to site their Predator Drone center in Scotland as well.

      • michael norton

        When Donald Trump becomes President of America and he wants to build a new bomber command
        based at Glasgow-Prestwick
        and he continues to want water-boarding and special rendition to carry on at/from Glasgow-Prestwick
        ( which the Scottish Government bought for a pound)

        how are you going to say no, will you get the E.U. to say no for you?

  • Ecosse Europa

    Scotland staying in the union with England will mean no EU membership, loss of jobs and the continued squandering of our natural resources, as well as a lack of proper development of our renewables industry. Not to mention having to be part of a state that has a big problem with a large number of far right supporters augmented by a large number of xenophobic fellow travellers.

    The reception for Alyn Smith’s speech shows that we have an abundance of friends in Europe. But that is because Scotland has consistently been friends to the other European peoples.

    Spain will not try to veto Scotland remaining in the EU as that would be a major strategic blunder by Madrid. The reason being that Spain denies Catalonia an independence referendum on the grounds that under the Spanish constitution all of Spain gets to vote in a referendum on Catalan independence. Since a Scottish independence referendum with only Scottish residents voting is not unconstitutional in the UK – the Westminster government signed the Edinburgh Agreement – the Spanish government cannot stop an independent Scotland remaining in the EU without making it obvious to all that their denial of a Catalan only referendum based on constitutional arguments is a sham.

    • Eric Smiff

      ” the Spanish government cannot stop an independent Scotland remaining in the EU without making it obvious to all that their denial of a Catalan only referendum based on constitutional arguments is a sham.”

      You mean the opposite. They cannot recognise Scotland as an EU member which voted for independence in a Scotland only referendum.

      Reminder

      In 1975, a pre dumbed down Scotland heavily voted NO to the Tory EU treaties. The left have traditionally opposed the EU. Also due to distance from Europe being a disadvantage to Scotland…

  • James

    Then again, MPs must signal their consent by passing an Act of Parliament.
    Of course Article 50 could be forced through without an Act.

    Previous analysis pointed to there being 186 Tory in favour of Remain and 216 Labour in favour.
    The next biggest party being SNP, I’d image there would be another 54 added to that list.

    However, Lord Ashcroft Polls looks at the voters and how they voted, not their MP’s.

    A majority of those who backed the Conservative in 2015 voted to leave the EU (58%).
    As did more than 19 out of 20 UKIP supporters.

    Nearly two thirds of Labour and SNP voters (63% and 64%), seven in ten Liberal Democrats and three quarters of Greens, voted to remain.

    A confusing picture !

    • MJ

      “Of course Article 50 could be forced through without an Act”

      It’s not a matter of forcing it through, it’s a question of fulfilling the instuctions signalled to parliament by the British people. Article 50 can be invoked by the PM simply saying so in a speech. It should have been done on June 24th.

      • James

        Last time I looked, we still had a Parliament.
        We hadn’t gone to “mob rule”. Not just yet.

        • MJ

          It’s called democracy. There was a referendum. Perhaps it didn’t go the way you wanted. Tough.

          • James

            …and when the United Kingdom breaks apart, we just say “tough” then to ?

            Democracy ? Are you sure ?
            There were lies and (already) broken pledges. But then again, what did we expect !

    • michael norton

      An S.N.P. member of Parliament just asked the current Prime minister about letting the country hear the truth about special rendition
      especially the United Kingdom’s part in it for the Americans.

  • Mo

    What if, considering the EU referendum was only advisory, the UK remained a member, but – through proper federalisation – allows England and Wales to exit the EU (mirroring the Greenland situation more closely) while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar remain in?

    There is precedent for it, and no treaty changes required either. Not sure whether it will keep Spain happy, mind.

    • michael norton

      There is only one answer

      We are leaving.

      Anything would be the subversion of Democracy.

      We might as well become Turkey if we dismiss the will of the people.

      • Mo

        Actually, no. My proposed solution would respect the expressed democratic will of people in *all* home nations.

      • James

        It wasn’t the “Will” of the Scottish
        Nor was it the Will of the Northern Irish people.
        Just the Welsh and the English.

      • James

        Subversion of Democracy !

        Ever heard of Socrates ? They voted to kill him, in the end.

  • David

    I’m English, voted to leave,( in order to return power to Westminster and nothing to do with immigration !) and 100% support Scotland’s claim to independence. What I am struggling with though is the fact that Scots will not be asked if they want to be an independent nation state. They will be asked if they want to be citizens of the UK or citizens of the EU. At no point are they being asked if they want to be citizens of Scotland – This worries me.

    I personally don’t think the EU can continue in its current form, it has to change, but that change may well be further integration into political union, which may or may not please the Scots. I would imagine that any deal with Scotland will exclude the UK negotiated opt outs, but that is simply conjecture, if Scotland does lose the opt outs, they will almost certainly be in the Euro. Once in the EU as a “separate country” you will not be able to get out without the EU making life hard ( They will slam the UK, politically they have too in order to scare other EU citizens into staying, do you really want to be a member of a club that essentially threatens economic warfare against you if you express your democratic will to leave ?)

    If or when the Scots are given a referendum again its important that Ms Sturgeon presents the full case, what will EU membership look like vs UK membership ? I hope and pray that Project fear is rejected by the Scots as it was rejected by the English and Welsh.

    The politics of fear is loosing its grip on the European populations, will this mean simply more rhetoric and more fear, does the EU even know how to engage with its people anymore.

    If you choose independence then please please make sure your independence is real and not an EU illusion.

    • James

      Project Fear !

      So far, Leave have “u turned” publicly on 1. Immigration, 2. the NHS and 3. Single Market Access.

      For me, it doesn’t matter. I live and work in a country that requires 1. Qualifications 2. Work Visas.
      I guess I am lucky to live outside the mess that the UK (if it even remains together) has brought upon it’s people.

      What doesn’t seemed to be “getting through” to “the man on the street” is, the UK (in whatever for that is) will have to do a deal with the EU to get access to that market.
      Just like Norway. Just like Switzerland.
      Market access costs.
      And they will charge.
      And they make you follow their rules.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I’ll take your word for that Craig. I’m not quite as keen as some people for Scotland to rush for independence in the EU. We’re getting all this talk of “sympathy for Scotland” from the EU, but i’ve not noticed any sympathy for them for Greece or Spain as they impose levels of austerity on them that make tory Austerity in the UK, as bad as it is – and some of it is very bad, look mild by comparison.

    The EU is still refusing Greece the same 50% debt forgiveness that Gereece as a creditor granted to Germany in th 1950s, while having issued 1 trillion Euros of QE money straight to private banks – not a penny of that spent on debt relief for Greece, while people in publicly funded hospitals in Greece are often refused treatment unless they can pay.

    They’re demanding Greece reach a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP by 2018 – Germany’s highest ever budget surplus was 0.6% of GDP

    With that kind of sympathy for existing members, i’m not so sure Scotland would be better treated if we got into some kind of financial or currency crisis as an independent country in the EU.

    So i’ll wait and see how the results of the EU referendum pan out first – could well end up with a second referendum on the final terms negotiated for a UK outside the EU Vs Remaining (as opposed to the fairy stories sold by the Leave campaign on what the deal would be), or else to the UK leaving but getting an EEA style deal like Norway or Switzerland, with free trade and Freedom of Movement of people, and maybe even rejoining the EU in 5 or 10 years time.

  • James

    The “Norway Model” for those that don’t know.

    338 Million. EEA and Norway Grants Scheme
    447 Million EEA Projects (Horizon 2000, Erasmus+, Galileo, Copernicus….and so forth)
    25 Million Euros for programmes under the European Territorial Cooperation (INTERREG)
    6 Million Cooperation with EU in the field of Justice and Home Affairs

    896 Million Euros in total.

    The population of Norway is 5 million people.
    The population of the UK is 64.1 million people

    Based on “per person”
    12.6 x 896 million Euros = 11.3 billion or approx £9.3 billion GBP

    ….and no voting rights.

    • MJ

      There’s no point re-running the campaign, the vote was last week. Did you miss it? Leave won.

      • James

        Merely pointing out what the UK has to look forward to….
        …and why the sovereign decision of Parliament may be applied.

  • Mike Harland

    Rajoy, fretting over the independentist Catalans and having been demoted to temporary leadership of Spain while the country tries to find a government, has just played the “Union is union” and a “state is a state” card by declaring any agreement with Sturgeon would meet with his veto: like Cameron he is looking to his own personal future and not his people’s in doing this, hoping to instil fear and doubt and thereby save his party’s reputation and survival, but especially his own. Having introduced many laws from the Franco era I lived through in my university days, like Cameron he is very skilled in manipulating and dividing the Spanish populace despite 25-49% unemployment and austerity we have never seen here. I just hope the left there come to their senses and push the PP out …

    At the time of Indyref1, an opinion expressed in June 2014 to the Royal Belgian Academy by Philippe de Schoutheete (now Director of European Studies at the Royal Institute for International Relations (IRRI-KIIB) in Brussels and former Permanent Representative of Belgium to the EU) regarding the processes and problems of EU accession suggested that Article 49 would be a possible route, provided it had a favourable EU response and approval by the UK government.

    I am sending you the original French version and the English translation I was asked to do at the time, but knowing your experience I suspect you will probably be familiar with it already. I would nevertheless be grateful for your comments.

    Personally, I think Scotland are in an even better position now than then for remaining in the EU should the worst comes to the worst in this whole sad farce.

    I am originally an English Tyke, but after 36 years in Scotland an admirer of their greater common sense and internationalism – I am therefore a Scottish citizen and a European citizen with family both in Scotland and 4 other European countries. I shall therefore be doing all I can to make sure Scotland stays in.

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