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Currently Scotland has very little of sovereignty and …

Comment posted Scottish Referendum must ask us three questions by Ànne Baird.

Currently Scotland has very little of sovereignty and has no seats on the EU table. With independence we will, whilst being junior partners, have gained an entitlement to speak which has been sorely lacking since the UK joined the EU. Hence, minor nations have derogations to suit their particular conditions and problems which Scotland has not obtained because UK ministers have no interest in arguing for them.

Far from becoming more junior, Scotland would have gained the merit of its own wee seat at the table. Whether it wants to keep it is a matter that deserves its own dedicated debate.

Ànne Baird also commented

  • In the context of the SNP it has always been the view that the Scottish people should decide on matters like the EU, the monarchy, immigration and a host of other things that will be changed by independence. The SNP may argue one way or another but it’s unlikely to simply impose its will on a resistant public. That’s how we got into the union in the first place!

    Independence will bring the opportunity to have those debates and make those decisions without the influence of UK politicians whose arguments are based on a different circumstance. The EU is not the sole issue to be settled and so I think it sensible to have these debates, one at a time, from the new context.

    The EU was demonised by Thatcher and has been blamed for many things that were actually the policies and actions of the UK government. It will take more than we few to really examine how intermeshed we are with the EU and whether we win or lose from being in it post-independence. Trying to do that as we unravel ourselves from the UK would, in my opinion, be too complex a job to do well. Once we’re independent, I may well be the first to argue that we’d be better out of the EU. I just don’t think the two things are bound together or should happen at the same time.

  • It wouldn’t be new! It’s there already. We’re IN the EU.
  • My comment had nothing to do with past or present, just the legal position.

    I have mixed feelings about the EU but recognise that there are strong existing links and companies and communities who depend on those. If we are to leave the EU we need to do it with careful planning having debated it properly and created support systems for the losers. I think that’s best done by a Scottish government that is able to evidence the running costs of Scotland. No-one will be in that position until independence is actually here.

  • The late Prof. Neil MacCormack devoted many hours to establishing the post independence situation vis a vis the EU. The fact is that the UK is already in the EU and post-independence its component parts, Scotland and England plus Wales, would have to negotiate their way OUT of it if they saw fit.

    I think the EU is a quite separate question which ought to be asked of the Scottish people once they’ve decided on independence. We have too many economic roots in the EU to yank the tree out without consequence and it would take careful planning to remove them safely.

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