Why the EU should welcome an independent Scotland

von Sionaidh Douglas Scott

With the Scottish referendum vote imminent, every issue of relevance to the debate on Scottish independence takes on crucial significance.

In the context of Scotland’s EU membership, there has been a polarisation of approaches, which in the arena of politics is probably only to be expected. The UK Government and ‘Better Together’ view may be roughly summarized as arguing that standard rules of international law would govern the process of an independent Scotland’s EU membership, and that Scotland would have to apply through the standard accession provision in the Treaty, Article 49 TEU, in the same way that totally new countries, such as Croatia, have done. This view assumes that in voting for independence, Scotland would also be voting to leave the EU, an approach vehemently denied by the Yes Scotland campaign.

In contrast, the Scottish Government argue that an independent Scotland’s EU membership could take the form of an ‘internal enlargement’ of the EU, using the procedure for treaty amendment in Article 48 TEU. Alex Salmond’s, characteristically trenchant response to arguments that emphasize the difficulties of Scotland’s EU membership has been to argue that,

the only threat to Scotland’s place in Europe comes from David Cameron’s in-out referendum as Westminster dances to a UKIP tune and flirts with the exit door of the EU.

My approach, set out at length elsewhere, has been to examine the issue from the perspective of the EU itself and EU law. Writing as a Scot who lives in England, and thus is not entitled to vote in September’s independence referendum, I aim to be neutral on the issue of independence, seeing good and bad arguments on both sides of the debate ...

Zum vollständigen Artikel

Cookies helfen bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung erklären Sie sich mit der Cookie-Setzung einverstanden. Mehr OK