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Scotland - another independence referendum
#1
Scotland - another independence referendum

So Nicola Sturgeon announced that the SNP will seek to initiate another independence referendum should Britain leave the EU. My first impression is that this is intended to up the pressure on May by suggesting that leaving the EU will be the end of the UK.

Let's assume that Brexit finally occurs and the Scots push for independence. Would they win a referendum? What would be the ramifications? What would the EU's attitude be?

Could the SNP win? I think they could because Scotland voted to remain and it is quite clear that the Westminster has completely ignored Scottish sentiment. In the last referendum the unionists sold staying in the UK as the only way to stay in the EU. That won't work anymore.

Ramifications: if separating the UK from the EU is more complex than people imagined, I think the complexity of separating Scotland from the rUK would be even bigger. How do they define who is Scottish? How do they work out pension entitlements? What about currency? Many of these issues were raised and fudged last time around and will surely come up again;

If Scotland leaves the UK, what happens to Northern Ireland's attitude toward the Union?
If Scotland wants to rejoin the EU - bearing in mind it satisfies the acquis - would they accept to join the euro and Schengen? And how would they manage their border with an non-EU state? 
Will the EU be sympathetic to a Scottish application? Spain was negative last time because of fears of encouraging Catalonia. Will leaving a non-EU state be considered differently?

Lots of questions, very few answers. Thought anyone?
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#2
(25-04-19, 04:21 PM)Blackbeard's Ghost Wrote: If Scotland leaves the UK, what happens to Northern Ireland's attitude toward the Union?
If Scotland wants to rejoin the EU - bearing in mind it satisfies the acquis - would they accept to join the euro and Schengen? And how would they manage their border with an non-EU state? 
Will the EU be sympathetic to a Scottish application? Spain was negative last time because of fears of encouraging Catalonia. Will leaving a non-EU state be considered differently?

Lots of questions, very few answers. Thought anyone?

The EU has a Prodi/Barosso doctrine:
  • Prodi argued that a region/territory that opts to secede from a member state, automatically ceases to be part of the EU.
  • Barosso added that thus having become a third country, this seceded region would have to apply for EU membership and follow the same procedure as any other third country that wants to join the EU. Barosso also added that secession is an internal matter (so that the EU cannot be dragged into such disputes).
This was also reflected in the press release of the Commission under President Juncker in response to events in Catalonia, for instance:

Quote:European Commission - Statement
Statement on the events in Catalonia
Brussels, 2 October 2017

Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday's vote in Catalonia was not legal.

For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.

We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.

Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.

We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STA...626_en.htm


There have been several written communications to the same effect before, for instance in the reply of the Commission to a written parliamentary question by Mara Bizzotto (ENF), who asked:

Quote:Subject:  Right to self-determination of peoples: referendum on Catalan independence and Spain's opposition to it

In October 2016, the Catalan Parliament adopted resolutions calling for a referendum on Catalonia’s secession from Spain to be held by September 2017.

Spain’s constitutional court, in response to an application by the Spanish Government, declared the Catalan resolutions unconstitutional, forbidding the authorities in Barcelona from calling the vote and threatening them with criminal penalties.

Over the last few years, the Catalan Parliament has repeatedly offered to negotiate the terms and conditions of the independence referendum with Madrid, but the Spanish authorities have always declined. Against the wishes of Madrid, an advisory referendum on Catalan independence was held on 9 November 2014, with a turnout of 2.3 million people, 80% of whom voted in favour.

In spite of the Spanish diktats, the Catalan President Puigdemont intends to hold the referendum in 2017.
Also in the light of its answer to Question E-007453/2012, in which it states that in the hypothetical event of a secession of a part of an EU Member State, the solution would have to be found and negotiated within the international legal order, does the Commission not agree that the EU treaties and other international treaties are preventing Catalonia from calling a free and democratic referendum to allow Catalan citizens to exercise their inherent right to self-determination, which is also provided for in the UN Charter?

Should it not take action — and if so, how — to safeguard the rights of Catalan citizens and institutions which, as President Puigdemont told the European Parliament, want to exercise their right to self-determination and remain in the EU?

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/docu...l?redirect

To which President Juncker answered on behalf of the Commission:

Quote:As already explained by the Prodi Commission in its answer to the written question P-000524/2004, and as recalled lately by this Commission, in its answer to the Written Question E-011776/2015 , it is not the role of the Commission to express a position on questions of internal organisation related to the constitutional arrangements in the Member States.

Concerning certain scenarios such as the separation of one part of a Member State or the creation of a new State, these would not be neutral as regards the EU Treaties.

The Commission recalls that the process for the accession of States to the European Union must be fully in line with the rules and procedures foreseen by the Treaties.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/docu...SW_EN.html

The same would apply to Scotland should it become independent from the UK.
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#3
I have followed the run-up to Scotland's independence referendum in September 2014 quite closely (loads of popcorn consumed).

Here is the white paper from the SNP government:

Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland (November 2013)  Big Grin Exclamation Exclamation  
https://www2.gov.scot/resource/0043/00439021.pdf

This white paper of 670 pages was posing as SNP's 'plan' for independence. It is no such thing. In reality, the SNP have NO IDEA whatsoever what establishing an independent statehood actually comprises, and NO IDEA about how the EU works. The SNP had and still have NO PLAN for independence. Nothing. Zero. Except an unicornist wishlist.

The SNP propaganda campaign was an exact copy of the Brexiter propaganda campaign (or rather vice versa, since Scotland came first) - serial shameless lies, ridicule and screaming 'Project Fear' and 'scaremongering' whenever anyone pointed out the REALITY, serial deliberately-manipulative selective data quoting, idiotic slogans, total ignorance about very basic things, delusions of grandeur and huge importance of Scotland, unicornist ignorant exceptionalist supremacist cherry-picking approach to both Scotland's disentanglement with the rUK (rest of UK) and the future relationship with the EU etc.

The SNP leaders (including Sturgeon) have demonstrated that they are deeply anti-EU - while shouting how much they 'love' the EU.

Indeed, Scotland's behaviour in the UK union is rather similar to UK's behaviour in the EU union. Scotland keeps demanding special treatment to itself, e.g. more autonomy. It has never ever proposed in any serious way any reforms of the WHOLE UK - such as converting the UK into a proper federation with a proper written constitution. But then the Scots are blissfully clueless about basic democratic principles.

I recommend to fellow EU27 citizens who are interested in Scotland's attitudes to the EU to have a look at the EU chapter in the SNP white paper - Scotland in the European Union on pages 216-224 in the above pdf file. The whole chapter is a rabid anti-EU pamphlet. The SNP claim that glorious iScotland (independent Scotland) will inherit all UK's opt-outs plus UK's rebate AND get some major additional opt-outs!!! No Schengen, no euro for iScotland.

The SNP also kept claiming that iScotland will 'remain' an EU member, even if the EU repeatedly explained (also in official letters sent directly to the SNP government) that iScotland will be OUT and will have to apply for EU membership as a new member under the usual procedure under Article 49 TEU. Yet the SNP leaders kept ridiculing official EU statements and letters as 'personal opinions'; the SNP kept nebulously insisting that iScotland will sort out its 'continued' EU membership under Article 48 TEU - where the EU leaders have repeatedly specifically pointed out that Article 48 cannot be used in the case of independence. But, you see, the arrogant ignorant SNP leaders know more about EU legislation than the EU leaders and the EU legal service.

By the way, according to the SNP the head of state of independent Scotland would be .... wait for it .... Queen Elizabeth II.  Big Grin  

Oh, and the SNP dictators have written the draft of Scotland's constitution to be used after declaration of independence all by themselves, in total secrecy. The ruling party writing the constitution all by itself is beyond totally anti-democratic.

And ... wait for this one ... the SNP claimed that iScotland will NOT pay its share of UK's debt!!! Sounds familiar? You know, like 'We will not pay the divorce bill'.

Just like Brexit, Scotland's independence is based on selfish arrogance, blissful ignorance and delusions of grandeur.

Just like in the case of Brexit, it is not the people who are overwhelmingly demanding Scotland's independence but rather the politicians (who are only after their OWN POWER) are trying to persuade the people using dirty lying methods that they need independence. This is completely wrong - historical cases show that when there are serious reasons for independence, people KNOW it, a high national unity is generated and the people are demanding from their politicians to go for independence rather than vice versa.

Scottish separatists = UK Brexiters = US Trumpists
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#4
(25-04-19, 11:35 PM)Real European Wrote: The EU has a Prodi/Barosso doctrine...
The same would apply to Scotland should it become independent from the UK.

Indeed. The EU leaders have been repeatedly saying the same thing for 15 years!!! (since the time of Prodi’s commission), yet the SNP and Catalan demagogues keep ignoring the REALITY.


This explanation was published in 2004 (!!!) in the Official Journal of the EU:

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(1 March 2004)

The European Communities and the European Union have been established by the relevant treaties among the Member States. The treaties apply to the Member States (Article 299 of the EC Treaty). When a part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state, e.g. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a newly independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory.

Under Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European State which respects the principles set out in Article 6(1) of the Treaty on European Union may apply to become a member of the Union. An application of this type requires, if the application is accepted by the Council acting unanimously, a negotiation on an agreement between the Applicant State and the Member States on the conditions of admission and the adjustments to the treaties which such admission entails. This agreement is subject to ratification by all Member States and the Applicant State.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/E...004E000524


Here are some OFFICIAL EU statements, all of them written and all of them with reference to iSCOTLAND (and Salmond has serially ridiculed all of them):

* BARROSO’S LETTER  from December 2012 (= two years before the independence referendum) with reference to Scotland and sent to Westminster (the House of Lords)
http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords...101212.pdf

* MEP QUESTION from 26 November 2013 with a specific reference to the SNP white paper and Article 48 vs 49
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=WQ&reference=P-2013-013409&language=EN
and 
WRITTEN ANSWER FROM BARROSO on behalf of the EU on 20 December 2013
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=P-2013-013409&language=EN

* LETTER FROM VIVIANE REDING, Vice-President of the European Commission for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship  in March 2014 sent directly to Holyrood
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Eur...4__pdf.pdf


Using Article 49 of TEU for Scotland’s EU membership means that iScotland will need consent of ALL 27 EU members (including the NATIONAL parliaments of ALL 27 members) to become an EU member, which will take YEARS. Only the ratification procedure AFTER the ‘negotiations’ are finished and the EU membership treaty is signed by the new member and all current members takes TWO YEARS.
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#5
EU membership procedure

Coming from a recently independent  EU member and being old enough to remember what establishing an independent statehood comprises and the procedure for EU membership, I think these issues need some clarification because there is a lot of misinformation going around.

To join the EU, iScotland will have to go through the whole procedure and fulfil all the criteria just like all other candidate countries. Whereas there is indeed no 'queue' and each EU candidate progresses at its own pace, it will take iScotland YEARS to become eligible to be an EU candidate and YEARS to go through the whole EU membership procedure.

After declaration of independence, iScotland will first have to go through the whole complex procedure of establishing a fully functional independent statehood (including launching own currency, membership of the UN, WTO, Council of Europe, own diplomatic service and military?, a load of legislation and institutions needed for independence, ratification of the basic international treaties etc. etc.). This will take YEARS even if everything runs smoothly. Where Scotland’s preparation for independence is much worse that that of any European nation which recently declared independence - because Scotland is much less autonomous and much more deeply entangled with the UK compared to those other nations who all emerged from FEDERATIONS (and also knew how to handle written constitutions etc.). 

Re EU membership: To start with, EU membership comes as a non-negotiable package (including a legal commitment to join the Schengen zone and the euro). No ifs and buts. The so-called EU ‘negotiations’ are not negotiations but rather a complex lengthy procedure during which the EU checks in great detail whether the candidate complies with all EU rules – not just via national legislation, but also whether these rules have been fully implemented in practice. The procedure includes the candidate sending to the EU its constitution and a lot of other legislation, providing evidence about EU-aligned functionality etc. etc.

New EU members never get any major opt-outs – it is a take-it-or-leave-it EU package. The ‘negotiations’ are not about IF the candidate will apply all EU rules, but rather about WHEN (during the procedure of drawing closer to the EU) and HOW (via which national legislation and which mechanisms in practice). Usually candidates are able to ‘negotiate’ a few minor temporary derogations from the EU rules, that due to national specifics they are allowed to keep some ‘old’ arrangements in specific fields for a short time after becoming EU members, but there is also a firm deadline by which they have to fully comply with the EU rules (the derogation is temporary).

Major opt-outs such as opt-out from legal commitment to the Schengen zone and the euro are very few and very few EU members have them (the UK has absolutely massive opt-outs). Note that these major opt-outs came to be when the EEC/EU applied major new policies and some old (!!!) member states managed to negotiate to be exempt from these new policies.

So the SNP claims that iScotland will 'inherit' UK's opt-outs and get additional major opt-outs are ignorant delusions.

To see the outline of the whole EU membership procedure, have a look at this diagram:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=170]
Image URL (larger version): http://debateuncensored.co.uk/attachment.php?aid=170
Image from EU ENLARGEMENT FACTSHEET
https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlar...eet_en.pdf

Re the SNP lie that iScotland will automatically fulfill the EU membership criteria because the UK has been a long-term EU member: iScotland will be a NEW state and will first have to establish a fully functional independent statehood. A fully functional independent statehood is a precondition for application for EU membership.

After iScotland applies for EU membership (step 1 on the above diagram), it will first get an EU membership questionnaire with thousands of very detailed questions (step 2). The EU questionnaire contains many standard questions which all applicant states get, but also some specific ones which address specific issues of the applicant.

To get an impression about the nature and the detail of questions, have a look here:

(1) The EU membership questionnaire for Iceland (September 2009)

.pdf   Questionnaire_-_ICELAND_(final).pdf (Size: 1.09 MB / Downloads: 12)
Iceland has been an EEA member for many years and is already applying many EU rules. Yet when it started the EU membership procedure in 2009 (which it later suspended), it got thousands of questions.

(2) The EU membership questionnaire for Bosnia and Herzegovina (December 2016)
http://dei.gov.ba/dei/media_servis/vijesti/default.aspx?id=17741&langTag=bs-BA
This is an example of a country which has not had a close association with the EU before. Note that questions for Iceland and Bosnia are very similar.


Contrary to the SNP claims, immediately after declaration of independence Scotland will NOT be able to provide answers to a majority (!) of these questions.

And yes, iScotland will get a very similar questionnaire to Bosnia because the EU will have to assess the WHOLE statehood functionality and ALL relevant Scotland's legislation.

About Bosnia’s questionnaire:

The Questionnaire contains 3242 questions, of which 516 relate to political criteria, 74 to economic criteria and 2652 to the acquis, grouped into 33 chapters. Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to submit answers to the questions in English within six months. The Commission’s recommendation for granting a candidate status depends on the answers to the Questionnaire.
http://euinfo.ba/european-commissions-qu...n-english/

Here is an EU explanation about the questionnaire procedures:

FROM EU MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION TO ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does the process last?
The entire process – from inviting the European Commission to draft the opinion and its actual delivery – may last for up to a year or longer. The process is directly linked to the administrative capacity of the country to deliver high quality coordinated replies to the Commission’s inquiries on the situation on the ground both regarding the replies to the Questionnaire as well as through the specific expert missions and peer reviews. 
https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlar...09_faq.pdf

So the FIRST step for the EU to assess whether an applicant can become an EU candidate takes about a YEAR. Where iScotland will have to first sort out its independent statehood before it can hope to get a positive assessment of its EU questionnaire.


And after a country becomes an official EU candidate (= after getting a positive opinion about the questionnaire), the assessment with opening/closing the 35 EU acquis chapters (the so-called ‘negotiations’ = the EU checking that the candidate is functioning in accordance with 100,000 pages of EU rules) is even much MORE detailed and lengthy.

To get a general impression about the procedure, have a look how assessment/'negotiations' for Iceland (a long-term EEA member, hence already respecting many EU rules) progressed a few years ago (check the dates of opening/closing the acquis chapters) before Iceland suspended its EU membership procedure:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accession_...n_progress

And after all issues are settled, the EU membership agreement is finalised and signed by the candidate and all current EU members, the agreement goes to the ratification procedure (step 7 on the above diagram). Ratification alone takes TWO YEARS (according to the EU treaties). Have a look here for the most recent new EU member:

Ratification procedure for Croatia’s EU membership agreement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_...tification

Croatia's EU membership treaty was signed in December 2011 and came into force (= Croatia joined the EU) in July 2013. So ratification took a year and a half. The ratification procedure (ratification from each of the current EU members needed) cannot be realistically shortened, because there has to be enough time for for example an EU member running a national referendum about whether to allow the candidate to join, some EU members may be in an election campaign or have only a care-taker government (which cannot make such important decisions as who is or is not an EU member) while negotiations for a new coalition government are in progress etc.

You can see an overview of Croatia's whole EU membership procedure here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_enlar...pean_Union

Oh, and then it took Croatia some more time to negotiate its EEA membership with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Namely, a new EU member does not automatically become an EEA member – this is subject to approval by the three non-EU EEA countries, each setting its conditions (and each holding a veto right). See here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_E...ber_states

Croatia signed its EU treaty in December 2011 and became an EU member in July 2019. Croatia started its EEA membership procedure in September 2012 and reached an agreement (which was then sent to ratification to all EEA members = the new member plus 30 EEA members plus the EU) in November 2013, with provisional application in April 2014.

So contrary to the clueless delusional SNP claims, iScotland will be OUT of the EU for many YEARS. The SNP have NO idea whatsoever what establishment of independent statehood and the EU membership procedures comprise.

Hey, but the Great SNP Leaders are always right and the rest of the world is always wrong. Reality does not exist – it is all just 'scaremongering’ and 'Project Fear’. It is all going to be ever so simple (you know, the easiest deal in history and all), and the glorious iScotland will be able to handle at the same time:

* establishment of independent statehood
* exit negotiations with the rUK
* the EU membership procedure

Back in the real world, EACH of the above is a HUGE national project. Scotland does not even have negotiators/ experts/experienced civil servants to sort all this out.

And iScotland's EU membership may well be vetoed by Spain or others. (There are several other EU members with separatist problems, e.g. France- Corsica, Cyprus – divided island, Greece – supporting Greek united Cyprus, Slovakia and Romania – problems with Hungarian minority. Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus and Greece also refuse to recognise independent Kosovo due to what they regard as a dangerous precedent.) And the veto is dead easy to use. It does not have to be related to EU membership issues at all. When an EU member uses its veto to block an EU membership procedure (for whatever reason), nobody can force it to lift it. It is that simple.


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#6
Scotland Out of UK ?

UK Out of EU ?

I can tell you from long experience that the Scots like nothing better than to complain about the English.
I can tell you from long experience that the Enlish like nothing better than to complain about what they call The EU.

In my time, the pubs in Edinburgh would be full for football matches. No, not to watch and cheer on the Scottish team, but to watch England play in the hope they lose.  What a pathetic, wasteful way to live a life.

So, what could be better; the Scottish Nation oot of UK, and the English out of EU ?

Rolleyes
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#7
Anyway, what normal country would choose its national flower to be The Thistle  ?  Speaks volumes.

For a definitive overview, read this very carefully,  https://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland
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