Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Why not publish the advice?

The SNP claims that an "independent" Scotland would automatically accede to membership of the EU.

You would think that they would have taken legal advice on the possibility of this being so, any legal or constitutional problems or obstacles in the way of immediate accession identified by this advice and any arguments for or against that they have thought of, heard of, or have been advised might apply.

If you had a difficulty, perhaps unprecedented situation or problem that you were wrestling with, wouldn't you take advice? Legal advice if approriate? 

Maybe they have taken advice, but they refuse to tell us if they have. And if they have sought such advice at public cost, they will not tell us what advice they got.

So it's not clear to the voters whether the Nats are telling the truth or not: would an "independent" Scotland have to/not have to apply for EU membership.    

But we don't have to speculate any more. This week Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission, commenting on the situation in Catalunya, said that any secessionist region (Catalunya, Scotland) would have to re-apply for membership of the EU. They would not automatically accede to the Union, they would have to apply and meet any pre-conditions that would allow EU membership.

So there's the answer. An "independent" Scotland would not automatically be an EU member. It would have to apply and meet membership criteria. This would, of course, take time, maybe years.

So much for for Eck's "Och it'll be all right. Nae bother. No need to worry".

When will the Scottish Government tell us if it has any legal advice? And will it let us know what that advice tells them ..and us?

In the meantime...??


  1. Agreed they should publish their advice. All that will happen if they don't is that during the latter stages of the campaign (if there is a referendum and its not "delayed") that the EU will make it plain that there is no automatic membership. Another disaster to join all the other ones. (So far I cannot think of one thing that's gone right for them). I heard Barroso on Radio 4 wahat he also said was that the member states would have unanimously agree. Now how likely is that leaving aside rUK that France and Spain will agree to that. I'm off to a bettertogether event...

  2. Anon, if Spain is so against "separatist" states not getting into the EU then why did it let Slovenia - whose secession from Yugoslavia kicked off the road to its dissolution and the civil war - in?

    Ditto the Baltic States who held illegal independence referendums in 1990. I suspect you approved of the killings of the sepratists in the Vilnius TV tower in 1991 by Gorby's troops

    (I do not expect this to be published - see Welsh Labour is embaressing Scottish Labour again so definately will be censored like last time)