“Brexit/Scot-in”: could a non-independent Scotland stay in the European Union in case of a Brexit?

von Sébastien Platon

So this is it. The Tories have won, by far. That puts the United Kingdom on track for a Brexit (short for “British exit”) referendum. However, another important result of these elections is the impressive rise of the Scottish National Party, from 6 seats in 2010 to 56 (out of 59 seats for Scotland in the House of Commons) in 2015 – the highest performance of the SNP since its creation in 1934. The famous French newspaper Le Monde called this situation an “electoral secession”, which is quite a good way to describe the situation. This may have important consequences for British politics. David Cameron will clearly have a hard time imposing his policy to a region that rejected his party with such a clear majority. However, I would like here to focus on the European aspect of this result.

Scotland, would it seem, is quite attached to the European Union. Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP, already made it quite clear that Scotland would not agree to being dragged out of the European Union by the English. A Brexit referendum might therefore trigger another Scottish independence referendum. That prospect clearly puts David Cameron between a rock and a hard place. Is there a way around? A lot has been said and written about the Scottish independence referendum and the question of whether an independent Scotland could stay in the European Union. A lot has also been said about the potential consequences of a Brexit. However, another question seems to have remained undiscussed. Would it be possible for a non-independent Scotland to stay in the European Union if the United Kingdom were to leave it?

This question may seem absurd. Only a State can be a member of the European Union. As long as Scotland is not an independent State, its fate is linked to that of the United Kingdom ...

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