Scotland and the EU – hot and cold – and what of the latest polls February 15, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
A majority of those asked in the BMG survey, 51 percent, still opposed independence, the survey showed, but that number fell by three and a half points while the number supporting secession rose by the same amount, to 49 percent.
The proportions were calculated after “don’t know” votes were removed in the survey of 1,067 Scottish residents, which was conducted for the Herald Scotland newspaper. Without removing the “don’t knows”, the proportions were 43 percent for independence vs 45 percent against.
Which compares with…
In 2014, Scots voted roughly 55 percent to 45 percent to remain in the United Kingdom. But last year’s Britain-wide vote to leave the EU changed the landscape because a majority of Scots backed staying in the EU.
Now, I’m not going to make any solid predictions as to how robust those figures are. I’d think if a referendum were held tomorrow anti-Independence forces would carry the day. But a year out, two years? We’ll see. And yet another reminder of how dynamic this situation is.
For those of us supportive of independence for Scotland these are undeniably fascinating times. The SNP and Sturgeon have been notably astute in their approach both before and after Brexit and cleverly used it as a teachable moment in relation to what sovereignty means for Scotland inside the UK, and indeed in relation to the EU, and outside it.
“The position in Scotland hasn’t changed,” Minor said. There is a clear process for any applicant country under article 49 of the European treaties. “That would also apply to Scotland. If Scotland became an independent country I think article 49 is the normal starting point,” she said.
Which would imply it would join the line with a range of other states seeking entry.
There are a number of official candidate countries – Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, [but] they are still quite some way away from meeting the criteria for membership. And obviously were Scotland to become independent, they would join that list.
“Now, it might be easier for an independent Scotland to meet those criteria. The fact that all your legislation has to be in alignment with existing European rules would presumably not be too difficult for Scotland, compared with, say, Montenegro. And that might enable them to move faster than others.”
Which puts her comments somewhat adrift of those of former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt who is…
now the European parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, implied he was sympathetic to giving Scotland automatic membership. “It’s wrong that Scotland might be taken out of EU, when it voted to stay,” he tweeted after the referendum.
But not wildly so. Interestingly Scottish Labour is trying to spin this in quite a different way:
Her remarks fueled a fresh spat between Labour and the SNP, after Scottish Labour’s Europe spokesman Lewis Macdonald said Minor had meant an independent Scotland would need to join the queue behind the four existing candidates.
“As the SNP was repeatedly told during the referendum campaign, an independent Scotland would have to apply to join the EU like any other country,” Macdonald said.
“Alex Salmond tried to dismiss this, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Now it’s time for the SNP to be honest with voters – an independent Scotland would have to join the queue.”
An SNP spokesman said that was a “remarkably selective account” of Minor’s views. “We are focused on protecting Scotland from the catastrophic effects of a hard Tory Brexit which would cost 80,000 jobs in Scotland over the next decade – meanwhile, Labour failed to secure a single concession from the Tories on the article 50 bill, yet they voted for it anyway. At every level, Labour’s response to the EU referendum has been pathetic.”
I think any fair reading of Minor’s comments would suggest Scotland likely at the head of queue of incoming states. A position an independent Scotland would probably find quite attractive. Though a point in comments is well worth considering, that an independent Scotland could potentially join EFTA and the single market as a stepping stone or even a long term position. Makes a lot of sense.
And the point about Spain and the antipathy of Madrid to allowing Scotland in for fear of encouraging its own independence movements is neatly addressed by another comment which points out that in this instance the UK would have left the EU if Scotland were attempting to join it.