Thursday, 10 November 2011

The SNP Have Some Questions To Answer And Soon

In the past few weeks, suddenly the Unionists have woken up to the idea that Scotland could divorce, separate, break asunder from being governed from London and become an independent nation once again.

Two issues have concerned me in the past few years; one being the SNP's determination to be part of the European Union and the other is Alex Salmond's renewables policy. This post relates to the former.

I continue to search for evidence that joining the EU would be best for an independent Scotland, particularly as the present situation in Brussels is showing the EU and collaborators are installing their own men to lead the Greek and Italian governments. Greece and Italy are no longer democracies and will be under the full control of Brussels.

The unionists are quite clearly going to run a negative independence campaign and there are few unionist politicians more negative than Michael Moore, who is the anti-Scottish Secretary based in Westminster. Today the out-going Labour leader questioned the First Minister on the cost of joining the EU and the responses and further questions created little confidence in me.  It was a war of quotations from either side when what the people need is facts, not fiction or personal opinions, from which they can make their own decisions.

Of course the unionists have rolled out their propaganda which has been expertly analysed by Hazel.  I call it propaganda because what else could it be when the same organisation, which vilifies an independent Scotland as a risk to business and inward investment, is reported to have bought a Scottish business only this week.

While Nick Clegg expounds the benefits of the EU, Bill Jamieson of the Scotsman says:

This searing crisis has exposed the European Parliament for what it is: one of the most useless institutions ever devised in the history of Europe.

I agree with Mr Jamieson and the SNP government should ignore such opinions at its peril.  Many SNP supporters are greatly concerned about their policy of joining the EU without the agreement of the people and it's imperative Alex Salmond is aware the issue could well be the difference between a majority and minority result for independence. The public should be told the options an independent Scotland would have with regard to the EU.

To sweep such a serious matter into the long grass is creating mystery and allows the anti-independence lobby to spin their yarns with more and more bravado. If the SNP decided to put their EU cards on the table then, not only would they gain respect for the transparency, but they may even gain a few more votes.

Thanks to Elby The Beserk for the motivation.


Joe Public said...

"Two issues have concerned me in the past few years; one being the SNP's determination to be part of the European Union and the other is Alex Salmond's renewables policy. This post relates to the former."

In preparation for your inevitable "Part 2" Rosie, this will make interesting reading:-’s-unevidenced-energy-claims

It might even nullify the former.

Edward Spalton said...

"Independence" in the EU is a myth. Whether Scotland is a region of the UK within the EU or nominally independent would have much the same effect bar a little flag waving.

Of course, there would be a few goodies (much reduced) from Brussels to start with, as there were for Slovakia. Poor Slovakia, having kept strictly to the rules, is being made to contribute to the bail out fund for much richer countries which played fast and loose. The cost is equivalent to around 300 hours work from every worker. The parliament's refusal to contribute was overturned in a couple of days - just like a Greek prime minister!

Of course, the weakening or break-up of the UK has always been an EU objective - just like that of every other would-be dominant European power since 1707.

A Foreign Office paper of 1971 did not go so far as to advocate independence but did say that democratic regional bodies should be set up to distract people from their powerlessness vis a vis Brussels, It then went on to say that they would implement "Community" (i.e. EU) policies! So not very democratic really.

Dubbieside said...


You may like to read Ian Macwhirters take on this.

Particularly this part.

I've just been looking at the latest report to hit the front pages. It came from the House of Commons Library and it is a background briefing note, not an authoritative assessment of the Scotland's legal status within the EU. It carries its own health warning "[This briefing note] should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice or as a substitute for it. A suitably qualified professional should be consulted."

Is it propaganda? I think the answer is clear.

TartanSeer said...

With all due respect to your anti EU stance Subrosa, the reality is that upon Scottish independence this country will automatically be a member of the EU. Of course, with the resumption of national sovereignty it will be up to the people to decide as to whether we stay in or withdraw.
Personally, not withstanding the current travails of the EU, I take the view that it will be in Scotland's long term strategic interest to be in the EU, along side most of the other small & mid-size European nations. But this is is something that can only be thrashed out once we are in a position to decide. Soar.

Anonymous said...

Good article Subrosa, and one with which I concur on many points. I suspect though that TartanSeer is correct.

I'm still sceptical we'll vote for independence though.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I meant to say TartanSeer was correct in his/her first para.

Apogee said...

Hi SR,I'm thinking that if Italy comes apart, which looks increasingly likely,and Spain likely to follow, there will probably be no EU to worry about,by the time we get independence. Problem solved !
There will be others, but at least we might get a chance to make our own decisions on solving them.
And like yourself and others I would also like to know the SNP idea of where they think they are going with this.
Independence in the European Union is a contradiction in terms !

William said...

Joining the EU is the least of the SNP's worries. They (we) will be forced to join the Eurozone as well. Salmond is a brilliant economist after all (!).

I can only imagine that Scottish Nationalists are so full of nationalist vigour and zeal (like Germans in the 1930's) that they no longer care about the long-term consequences of their actions.

English Pensioner said...

I suspect that before Britain joined the EU, Scotland had far more independence within the Union than it is likely to have as a sovereign state within the EU. Would there be a "Scottish Grand Committee" set up in the Strasbourg parliament to safeguard Scottish interests?
Surely "Independence within the EU" is an oxymoron as more than 80% of our laws now emanate from Brussels. Even the Scottish Legal system, of which most Scots have rightly been proud for centuries, is now subservient to the European Courts.

Perhaps Salmond would care to explain sometime.

Woodsy42 said...

Leaving the UK and staying in the EU would be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
But as a southerner that's thankfully not my problem!

Apogee said...

I don't know the legal situation but considering the oil, alternative energy, and yes, coal wealth in this country, we may have more grief shaking off the claws of the EUSSR than we will have getting shot of the UK.That of course depends on the continued existence of the EUSSR and in what form.
But we are of more use to them than they are to us,as they are currently striving to prove.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I rarely agree with Bill Jamieson nor the paper he writes for, but in this respect - with the insertion of dangerous in place of useless he has my wholehearted support.

The present crises has shown the EU as the undemocratic, coercive, and fundamentally corrupt and doctrinaire oligarchy that it is.

As a supporter of Scottish independence it remains a disturbing mystery to me why Salmond and the SNP would even consider joining such an institution.

My only hope is, while he may consider it beneficial to be 'pragmatic' until such time as independence is a fact, that he really does mean it will be for the Scottish people to decide whether they want to be in or out.

Salmond is on the brink of earning the title of Statesman - this could be the issue that proves or disproves his credentials.

footdee said...

What a lot of Victor Meldrews.
The answer to your concerns is in front of you .After independence vote for the party that offers what you want,The SNP have already said that there will be a referendum on these matters.
As it stands Scotland is locked into Europe with the UK and none of the UK parties offer a referendum on membership.

pa_broon74 said...

What footdee said. Alex Salmond said exactly that on the first edition of Scotland Tonight on STV.

More over, as a point of order, comparing being subservient to the EU as an independent Scotland or being subserviant to Britain in the UK is a non-argument because currently we have no say whatsoever in Europe.

Luxembourg with a population 1/20th (I think, fractions were never my strong point) has more MEP's than Scotland does.

My own opinion is to keep the whole thing at arms length, its a massive mess. Norway as far as I can gather has the best balance available.

subrosa said...

Joe, unfortunately your link doesn't work. :(

subrosa said...

Some good points there Edward, although I don't see why Scotland becoming independent would have such an impact on the rest of the UK. After all, 'we're subsidised' by our southern friends.

subrosa said...

Dubbie, thanks for the link. I'd already read it but hope others do too.

My problem is not whether the EU would accept Scotland as a member but if Scotland should become a full member.

There is lots of conflicting 'evidence' out there and I think the SNP should show clearly the options we have.

subrosa said...

TartanSeer, I would like to see Scotland take a position similar to Switzerland. I'm not anti the EU per se or as it was back in the 80s, but it's become completely out of control.

subrosa said...

Bigrab, has the SNP ever mentioned a referendum on the EU? I've never noticed that. Alex Salmond says there will be one regarding joining the Euro but nothing about whether we should be full members or not.

subrosa said...

I can't see it folding Apogee but I'd like to see it reshaped so as the countries involved still have some control and responsibility for themselves.

It is a contradiction.

subrosa said...

To be fair William, Alex Salmond has repeatedly said there would be a referendum re an independent Scotland joining the Euro.

subrosa said...

I hope he does EP. There are plenty Scots like myself who would like clarity on this and not only from the SNP stance - the unionist parties should lay their cards on the table too.

subrosa said...

The EU is a problem for all of us right now Woodsy and not a pleasant one either.

subrosa said...

You've a good point there Apogee. An independent Scotland should be able to strike a hard bargain.

subrosa said...

I rarely agree with Bill Jamieson either Crinkly, but his article was one of the few occasions I did.

subrosa said...

I've never heard Alex Salmond say the Scots would be offered a referendum on EU membership, only a yes/no for joining the Euro footdee.

subrosa said...

Pa-broon, I too suggest that the Swiss and Norwegian positions would be more suited to us.

Sorry, didn't hear STV news tonight. Are you sure he didn't only mention the Euro?

William said...

SR, my understanding is that membership of the EU, now or in the future, has an undertaking of adopting the Euro as a condition of membership.

So Alex Salmond can promise a referendum if he likes but entering the Eurozone will be a prerequisite for a newcomer like an independent Scotland.

footdee said...

William, a cut and paste from Drew Scot, a professor at Edinburgh uni.

Unfortunately, the paper then becomes muddled, nowhere more so than in an independent Scotland’s obligations vis-√†-vis the euro. There is simply no precedent or mechanism under EU law whereby an EU member state can be dragooned, unwillingly, into membership of the eurozone. Before being eligible to join, the currency of the country must have been inside the EU exchange rate mechanism (ERM) for at least two years. ERM membership cannot be required of any country, and even countries whose currencies are inside the ERM voluntarily (such as Sweden’s since 1995) have never been requested – far less compelled – to join the eurozone. It will fall entirely to the government of an independent Scotland to decide its own currency arrangements. Your readers should rest assured that an independent Scotland inside the EU (but not the eurozone) will not be confronted with a multi-billion pound bill to support eurozone countries currently in difficulty with sovereign debt

subrosa said...

William, I've also read that but I've read contradictions too.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that footdee. That's the type of information which should be included in public debate.

RMcGeddon said...

I've not been able to comment for a few weeks SR. Some mencache fail whatever that is. Wee test with IE instead of Firefox....
Seems to work :)

subrosa said...

Hi RM, was just thinking the other day if you were ok. Pleased to see you.

I'll ask around about memcaches.

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