As I set about debunking all the spurious assertions that Better Together have been making about the supposed doubts and uncertainties of an Independent Scotland, or Separation as they prefer to call it. Today I will briefly address the question of the EU, will Scotland be in or out?
Contrary to their allegations, Scotland will not have to apply to get in, we already are in, and we have all been Scottish/British/EU citizens for the past forty years, ending our political arrangement with the rest of the UK will not alter that. There is no mechanism to throw an existing member out of the EU, in fact the opposite applies, you have to apply to get out! Take Greenlands autonomy from Denmark as an example. Greenland had to specifically ask to leave the EU, they were not removed. Scotland likewise would have to negotiate our way out if we wanted to leave.
Yes..The British government have been delighted to work with their Spanish friends to try and debunk this simple fact, and the media has made much of such negative pronouncements. Bear in mind however that Spain has its own particular interest in this issue, as they are hell bent on stopping Catalonia leaving Spain, so they are not warm to the idea of Scotland providing precedence for the Catalans, should we become independent before Catalonia.
What is clear however, is that an Independent Scotland would have to negotiate fresh terms and agreements with the EU, and these negotiations from within the EU, would and could only take place once we have declared independence. This is a perfectly understandable scenario, the negotiations will be of a political nature, and will take place between 2014 and 2016.
Let us understand something else, It is not at all in the EUs interests for an Independent Scotland to walk out of the EU. Why on earth would they wish to see the major oil nation of Europe to depart? Not only that but also lose free access to the largest fishing grounds in Europe,which would hurt the likes of Spain and Portugal particularly hard. With Scotland fast becoming the Saudi Arabia or renewable energy in a world of depleting resources, they would be off their heads to want to see Scotland leave. These are but a couple of reasons out of many that the EU would be reluctant to see Scotland depart. So the bunkum that the Better Together has been coming out with, is exactly that…pure manure!
The threat to Scotland leaving the EU is not Scottish Independence, but rather Scotland remaining with the UK after 2014, with increasingly Right wing europhobic views predominant In Westminster, we are in far more danger of separating from Europe under the proposed EU referendum, even if we all in Scotland voted to stay in.
If there is doubt and uncertainty on this matter, It is not from the implications of an Independent Scotland, but from a Scotland that votes to remain in the union. At that stage Better Together does an about face and renames itself Better Apart…from the EU that is.
Where my views differ from the current SNP Scottish government stance, Is that I do not believe that the first independent Scottish government should be in quite such a hurry to remain in the EU, I believe that we would have a far better negotiating hand if we considered remaining in Europe but not the EU, rather examine the possibilities of joining the ETA (European Trade Alliance) alongside the likes of Norway and Switzerland, this would provide in my opinion more autonomy and the best of both worlds, ready access to the European market,but with greater world trading options, and opt outs from some EU directives which we might not like as much.
In any case however, Scotland will remain In Europe, and Independence will not change that. Instead we will contrary to British Government assertions, have much more clout and representation as an Independent country, automatically more than doubling the representation we have currently. We get to speak for ourselves, and for our own interests, particularly in areas where we have little to none from the British government at present, such as with the fishing industry.