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Scotland and the European Union

Are some unionists being Janus-faced by scaremongering over Scotland's future EU membership when they really want out?

There has been a great deal of discussion and argument over an independent Scotland’s status in the European Union.

UK, Scotland, and EU Flags

The BBC reported that the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso said that any new independent country would have to apply to join the European Union, though during interviews he uses words like negotiate at the same time as re-apply.

Newsnet Scotland reported that John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, described these claims as having no foundation.

Professor of Law Tom Mullen has stated that “there is no provision that expressly deals with the situation of a member state breaking up and both parts wanting to stay in…”

We could ask ourselves:

  • Will the remaining parts of the United Kingdom wish to remain within the European Union after a referendum in favour of independence?
  • Would the United Kingdom cease to exist and would the remaining parts need to re-apply?

We all are aware that in the last two or three years the European Union has been less popular within the whole of the UK.  Just look at the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party and the continual rising of the tensions within the Conservative Party over European membership.

It could be said that a large number of unionists would love to be outside the European Union. Perhaps the same could be said of a number of Scottish independence supporters?

European Union member states may want to consider the disadvantages of Scotland leaving:

  • loss of access to Scottish fishing grounds
  • financial effects on visitors accessing health care
  • financial effects on students


Mr Cameron has recently intimated that he has a new policy for the European Union, which will be announced in the near future. There are reports that he is planning to hold a referendum on European Union membership. These reports have been taken as an indicator of the possibility that the United Kingdom may be planning to leave the European Union.

So we can ask ourselves: why are the media and unionist politicians utilising the European Union debate as a stick to beat independence supporters with, while a number of unionists are hoping to leave Europe?

Answers please …


  1. Image sources: UK, Scotland, and EU Flags
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