UPDATED DECEMBER 2016
Since writing this blog the UK voted to leave the EU. Nothing has really changed other than tone and spin.
The blog below explains how, if we had voted Yes that we would have automatically removed ourselves from the EU on the date of independence. The SNP knew this while asking for a Yes vote. Voting No was the ONLY way, as at 18/9/14, for Scotland to remain in the UK. This was a factor in some decision making but post poll analysis shows it wasn’t significant.
The SNP post Brexit vote erroneously claim Scotland voted to remain in the EU at the expense of the UK, that Scots prefer the EU, patent nonsense when 33% of SNP voters voted leave. Their efforts at campaigning to remain were very poor and the whole gambit by them is to use Brexit as a lever to further separation with the UK.
There will be no Indyref2 before Brexit proper. If we subsequently voted to leave the UK, everything below remains true.
This is my third Europe focused blog post, the EU continues to generate huge interest generally and sheer horror and panic from separatists. (I doubt this will be the last EU post before the vote).
The UK position is that after Scotland leaves the UK will still be the continuator state (cUK). This position has been determined after published and unpublished advice. Most independent commentators support this view. From everything I have researched and read I am convinced this will be the case. Research links are included below.
There is a belief that Scotland leaving will dissolve the UK, that will not happen unless the UK agrees to it, it won’t happen because it would compromise every international institutional arrangement the UK currently has, unthinkable and with consequences for the remaining elements of the UK.
What has not been said, and let’s be very frank about this, the cUK will have significant international clout, in the EU UN NATO G5 G8/7 G20, who seriously thinks iScotland can stand against that level of influence? With a potential EU “out” referendum in the cUK after the next GE, do you honestly think the EU will go against the UK? Wind them up to support a new fledgling state? Insist that the UK is dissolved? No. therefore the cUK will be the continuator state as the Scottish government has tacitly agreed.
The upshot is iScot will need to “reapply” for EU membership (via Articles 48 or 49) and require probable transitional status (whatever that means), everything subject to a unanimous Yes vote by the 28 member states.
New entrants (49) must adopt the Euro, allowing a new state to opt out would create EU legislators huge future problems by setting precedent, so if Scotland joins via 49 it gets the Euro. See YouTube link below for clarity on 48/49. See Pierre Schmitt link later re why it will have to be membership via 49.
48 is iScots preferred entry route, which means handing over negotiation of treaty amendment to the hated “Tory” government! This at the same time the cUK is resolving any EU downside aspects Scotland’s independence might cause it? I think that is somewhat paradoxical and problematic.
The cUK may well “kindly” intervene on Scotland’s behalf during either route of negotiation leading up to independence, pushing for Scotland to remain in some sort of quasi membership until a full application is processed, but that will still be down to the politics and unanimity of the 28 member states. The timescales will very likely extend well beyond the stated indy date, meaning gap arrangements or postponing the date with cUK agreement.
Not surprisingly the separatists vehemently disagree with much of the above, In particular having to use Article 49, saying millions of EU citizens
can’t be “expelled”. “We are european citizens, have been for 40 years”.
Trouble is we are NOT being expelled, we are making an informed choice, leave the UK state (which is the EU member) and we leave the EU. This is the same type of logical disconnect that separatists have with the difference between having and using the £, but that’s a previous post.
With regard to iScotland leaving the UK and due to that self exile also leaving the EU, I don’t understand what they don’t understand about such a simple concept. They say “it just can’t be right”, they are Incredulous, “we took advice”, well, not enough and from a Scottish expert. I’m not knocking Prof Avery’s credentials, just his not entirely convincing arguments, latched onto because it’s what the separatists wanted to hear. The faith they have that independence will solve all the problems and that iScotland can sort everything out is coloured by the biggest set of rose tinted spectacles in existence.
They refuse to hear it because it is one if the key arguments against entering a currency union cited by Macpherson. It means trade barriers or new treaties to prevent them, it means no representation in the EU for a number of years if ever.
Scottish lawyers can’t agree and indeed a specific conference on the subject is under way with Carmichael and Sturgeon as opposing opinion speakers, the fact this is happening at all shows the massive doubts surrounding the issue. Update post April event. Seems Scottish Lawyers resolved nothing, self interest the issue of the day? Judge for yourself
nothing new on EU here!
The whole matter is entirely unprecedented, previous secessions such as Greenland and Algeria are completely different and since the Lisbon treaty a member state can leave by negotiation OR unilaterally, meaning the EU are careful about treading on continuator states rights. iScot is not a state, is not a member, it would only become a state on the day of independence, some time after a Yes vote.
The EU commission will be very interested onlookers. They are likely to want to start negotiations in parallel if approached, but at their timescale not the Scottish Governments. We will be doing this while negotiating long and hard with the cUK over conditions for separation. Anything that harms cUK EU relationships, representation, rebate or conditions will be defended to the hilt.
The latest letter from the EU in June is quite clear
Seems pretty clear cut.
Will iScotland be a member of the EU on 26/3/16? Definitely not. Perhaps in 3,5 or 7 years? Probably, but it will likely have to Join the Euro.
See a July 14 independent none UK report by Pierre Schmitt
and written evidence to ScotGov by Piris
Looks like it’s Article 49 new state accession process.
This extremely serious doubt, which is self evident, is in itself a good enough reason to vote No.
Our own Scottish fishermen also have some doubts and unanswered questions;
Of course all of the above is for clarification only, because Scotland is too established, too well resourced and too intelligent to vote for separation.
Below are a number of links to the issue from many sources and both governments, you need to read them all to get the obvious conclusion, UK will be continuator state, iScotland will have to negotiate and it will be political not legal, have fun…
7/7/14 new pro Article 48 report backing Avery view, writer a edinburgh born and bred, EU law expert and barrister, read it carefully.
See what Juncker has to say courtesy of David Coburn Scottish UKIP MEP
Latest ScotGov report 23/5/14 read conclusion page 82
UK Gov publication on Borders and Citizenship