Scotsman sees EU letter indicating independent Scotland would have to apply to join

National daily newspaper, The Scotsman is reporting that it has seen an EU letter on the matter of the position of an independent Scotland and the EU.

The papers quotes the letter as saying: ‘If a territory of a member state ceases to be part of that member state because it has become an independent state then the treaties would cease to apply to that territory’, going on to state that an independent Scotland would become ‘a third country’ on independence. This is the technical term used to describe a European state outside the EU – one which would need to apply to join it.

The letter is not accepted by the Scottish Government as meaning what it appears to mean.

Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney, distinguishes between ‘application’ and ‘negotiation’, focusing on the two year period the First Minister has set between a hypothetical vote for independence on October 2014 and resulting independence ion 2016.

Mr Swinney sees this two year limbo – widely considered to be unrealistically short – as the period within which Scotland would ‘negotiate’ EU membership ‘from within’. The problem here is that if the BBC’s Gavin Hewitt is correct in saying that: ‘There would be a negotiation which would only start when it was clear what the relationship was between Scotland and London.’ – this would not be the case in the proposed two year scramble to unpick and rebuild all of the arteries of government and administration which bind Scotland in the Union.

During this period all of the sharing out agreements on the allocation of assets and responsibilities wold also be ongoing. The relationship between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would not be clear until all of this was completed – and that is very unlikely to be within the proposed two years.

The reality is that this is a pointless issue.

The UK as a whole – including many Scots – now see a stronger, more independent, less restricted future outside EU membership. This may well accelerate as the continuing crisis in the eurozone unravels.

The EU does what it likes. It is likely to need new members to prop it up. We would happily bet that an independent Scotland wishing to be a member would be a shoo in – whatever the protocols – and the door would clang shut behind it.

As we have said before. the issue is not whether an independent Scotland will have to reapply to the EU – but whether it should be considering this membership at all.

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26 Responses to Scotsman sees EU letter indicating independent Scotland would have to apply to join

  1. Newsnet Scotland reporting an EC spokesman as denying the existence of the letter “seen” by The Scotsman.

    Hmm. Who to believe? The EC itself, or a paper known to possess a unionist agenda?

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    • The EU apparently admitted the existence of the letter but said it had not yet been sent to the House of Lords committee which had requested the situation assessment.
      The reality is that there no straight-batters in this situation. They will all dissemble when it suits them as we have already seen.
      The EU will find a way to have Scotland as a member – because it will suit themselves.
      If the Scottish Government had what it takes to try to govern a newly independent country in very hard times, it would be looking at NOT being a member of the EU; at taking back control of its fisheries; at freeing itself from expensive restrictions of all kinds; at removing the certainty of opting to become a dependency culture as all of the post-foundation members of the EU have become; and at opening up possible membership of EFTA, a trading arrangement with no political controls or loss of fiscal sovereignty – and four pretty sound economies in its current membership.

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  2. who wrote the EU letter? … stronger outside EU? laughable unless you are solely thinking about city of London financial district or are a UKipper

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  3. It now transpires that no letter as been uttered.

    The Czech Republic and Slovakia split in six months. Not every issue required to be agreed as a protocol was put in place through which they could be resolved.

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    • You have quoted this fact a few times Graeme. Worth mentioning there was no vote on this and it was not something that was necessarily the will of the people. And neither was a member of the EU. Important points to miss?

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  4. I think the EU needs Scotland a lot more than Scotland needs the EU. If they don’t want us, so what? I don’t think many Scots would be bothered one way or the other.

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  5. The UK seems to want out of Europe but there is no clear path. Scotland wants to stay in Europe but there is no clear path. Ironic or what?

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    • .Who said anything about Scotland wanting to stay in the EU……its a choice for the people not the government…do we as Scottish citizens get a say in the matter, I seem to remember the UK as a whole did !

      So SNP want de-centralisation to the max from London and the rest of the UK (Indy)… yet they want to be ruled from Brussels…do we as Scottish citizens get to vote on whether we stay in the EU too ? I for one would vote to leave the EU…
      If a vote went to the citizens of the UK tmrw, there would be a majority vote to cut our losses and leave the EU to their interfering manipulation of fiscal policy, and their inadvertent distillation of cultural integrity and geographical boundaries.
      Though under some circumstances indy for Scotland was to me appealing…many of those reasons were the very same reasons why the breaking away, by the UK from the EU, is also my personal preference….
      To cap it all off nicely…how dare Salmond spend “X” amount of TAX payers money on a Ryder cup visit, when we have folk who are sleeping on the streets, losing their homes, losing their business’s… yet another self seeking individual who cannot see further than his next slice of pie, a pie he now hopes at a later date will be provided by the EU…

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      • Are you not a golfer then Karl? The Ryder Cup is worth over £100m to the Scottish economy.

        When Labour were in power at Holyrood ‘Jack the Skirt’ and his merry men spent more than this on Tartan Day trips to the States during each one of their last three years in office.

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        • I am not talking about Labour !!! I am talking about the waste of TAX payers money by the SNP leader in a time where we have 22,000+ folk in fuel poverty…the whole world already knows Scotland is the home of Golf…they do not need our ilustrious nationalist dictatorial leader to reiterate the point !!

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          • Whose money do you think Jack the Lad was spending if not the taxpayers’ ? One man’s foreign trade mission is another man’s unjustified jolly.

            The Ryder Cup has a formal handover ceremony from the current host country to the subsequent host country in the same way as the Olympics.

            The global TV audience of 500 million attracted by the event presents an unmatched opportunity to showcase Scotland as a nation to an unprecedented number of people.

            With a predicted return of 200x the expediture of the FM’s party I think this particular trade mission represents reasonable value for money, don’t you?

            Or do you just hate golf?

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          • I agree with whoever said that golf was a good walk ruined, but I recognise that golfists are often big spenders so I have no problem with Eck and his entourage attending the Ryder cup.

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  6. Possibly the ONLY factual sentence in this Scotsman story is “… the European Commission has written to a House of Lords committee stating that if Scots voters back independence, existing treaties which cover the UK’s EU membership will ‘cease to apply’,”
    Exclusive: Scotsman EU membership story ‘incorrect’ says EC
    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/6388-eexclusive-scotsman-eu-membership-story-qincorrectq-says-ec

    OT On fracking….
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/13136-bayou-frack-out-the-massive-oil-and-gas-disaster-youve-never-heard-of

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  7. Describing the Scotman as a daily national newpaper is a touch over generous.

    In fact, with a circulation of something around 30,000 copies daily, it is no market leader at all. Indeed, by comparison the Scottish Sun had daily sales reported in May 2010 at some 340,000.

    For those of a mathematical disposition the Scotsman sales equate to a miniscule 8% of what the Sun sells.

    Of course it might be important to reflect on why the Scotsman’s sales are falling to the extent that this National Newspaper’s very existence is under threat.

    Like the Tories before them it does seem that the Scotsman’s decidedly anti independence pro union stance is being rejected by the paper purchasing populace, whereas the Sun’s much more balanced approach is boosting sales to the extent that it outsells the Scotsman 11 to 1.

    And maybe the editorial at the ForArgyll would wish to reflect on whether or not the FA on average scores more hits than the Scotsman sells papers.

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    • Well, Willie, have you reflected on why ‘reality’ stuff such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘I’m a celebrity…’ tend to apparently be held as so much more interesting by the Great British Public than real stuff on the telly.

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    • Unlike the Sun, there’s a reasonable chance the Hootsmon’s contents might be read; I’ve never seen any Sun ‘reader’ do anything other than look at the pictures and fill in the puzzles. Plus, there will be many who read the Hootsmon’s content online, as the dead tree press is sooo last century, darling!

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  8. The SNP are fast losing all credibility and it is now case of when the infighting will begin…they are a group with one sole aim independance…they are not a political entity…when a NO vote arrives they will disapear.

    So what will be the initial concequence of an ethereal vote of ‘YES’, well the concequences are enough to re-enforce a tick in the ‘NO’ box : There will be an election in 2016 for a Scottish Parliament !!!

    By which time the SNP will, by their own claims, already have concluded negotiations to join the EU, will have already joined Nato and will have already concluded negotiations to retain the pound and the monarchy.

    “we can decide in Scotland about the monarchy”
    No we can’t, the SNP are going to force us to keep the monarchy without giving us a choice.

    “we can decide in Scotland about shared currency”
    No we can’t, the SNP are going to force us to keep the pound without giving us a choice.

    “we can decide in Scotland about a lender of last resort”
    No we can’t, the SNP are going to force us to use the BoE without giving us a choice.

    “we can decide in Scotland about the EU”
    No we can’t, the SNP are going to force us to join the EU without giving us a choice.

    I intend now to vote NO to indy simply because NO in this poll now means YES to democratic process.

    C U at the poll’s

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    • Ref:SNP suffers defeat after MSPs reject call to back its budget
      “”The SNP are fast losing all credibility and it is now case of when the infighting will begin
      “The SNP’s budget started to unravel the day after it was delivered. That unravelling shows no sign of stopping.”
      And so the house of smoke and mirrors begins to topple.

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  9. Gorach states that “The global TV audience of 500 million attracted by the event presents an unmatched opportunity to showcase Scotland as a nation to an unprecedented number of people”. He does not highlight that the handover event allowed the world to see Alex Salmond being roundly jeered by those at the handover event. How humiliating.
    Gorach also states: “With a predicted return of 200x the expediture of the FM’s party I think this particular trade mission represents reasonable value for money, don’t you?” He totaly misses the point. The Ryder Cup had already been secured for Scotland so there was no return on the £500,000 that this jolly cost the scottish tax payer. Salmond and an official could have flown over for the handover at a cost of less than £3,000 but no, he needed to drag along enough SNP politicians, civil servants and other hangers on that could have made up more than three football teams (with reserves). He should hang his head in shame.
    If this is how the SNP treat public money, then they can forget their separation / independence hopes. Thay aint got a chance.

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    • They ain’t got a chance anyway !
      For anyone wanting to read the bile which spews forth from SNP supporters in the Scotsman just log on to the online version
      I read it quickly every morning because I spent the bulk of my life over there but I am totally ashamed of the poor quality of the reports but even more so the posts from the readers

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