Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An Independent Scotland And The EU



Yesterday's post from Apogee produced some excellent comments and one of the main points was the SNP's policy regarding membership of the EU.

I've yet to hear of any SNP MP or MSP questioning the policy in recent times and this gives me cause for concern.

Why is the SNP so determined to be dependent upon Brussels yet so determined to be independent of London?

After the financial crash in 2008 Iceland's politicians hurriedly made application for EU membership in the belief that they would gain monetary security.  Now the Icelanders are rethinking their politicians' knee-jerk reaction.

If the SNP and the Yes campaign offered their supporters a referendum on EU membership once Scotland is independent, I'm sure their support would increase.  The SDA's position is one held by more supporters of independence than politicians wish to believe.  Many people don't see the point in severing ties with London only to create them with Brussels.  Neither do I.

At Apogee's request I have created a poll in the right hand column. Please do give your opinion.


35 comments:

JimS said...

The reason the SNP love the EU is that they are Marxists at heart.

They know that once a policy has been worked into the EU machine it is virtually impossible to revoke; they might lose their majority in EU region UKM but never in the EU as a whole.

A simple UK example: The UK government was free to NOT levy VAT on gas and electricity, but now that it is being applied EVERY party in the UK could declare that it is wrong to have such a tax in a cold country, 'fuel poverty', much wringing of hands, but 'Oh so sorry, there is nothing we can do about it (snigger), it's EU law now!'.

Captain Ranty said...

Visitors to my blog know that I have been in Lawful Rebellion since July 2009. One aspect of LR is a deep study of the law and the ramifications of it. I am talking about ancient law. The good stuff. Not these plastic statutes that we allow to ruin our lives.

If one lesson stands out against all the others it is this: when the monarch gave Assent to the European Communities Act in 1972 she technically (if not actually) abdicated.

What does this mean for Scots?

It means that Scotland left the Union in 1972. The monarchs' Coronation Oath was to all the peoples of the UK. She swore that no law, other than that created by Britons, would hold sway in our nation. When she violated that Oath, all of us were released. She breached her contract with the people and all that that implies.

It renders all EU law meaningless. It renders the police, the judiciary, and everyone who swore an oath of allegiance, powerless.

The easy thing to do now is to ignore this information.

The right thing to do is to find out more for yourselves.

What will you do?

CR.

Oldrightie said...

The poll so far shows a resounding NO to EU membership. That resonates with England. So, ergo, when threatened with !invasion" we are better off united.

Key bored warrior. said...

With regards to the EU the fact is we are in it and will not be kicked out just because we become independent. The scaremongering myths change by the hour regarding Scotland and the EU.

The SNP needs to behave in a manner that will not alienate business in the run up to independence, pulling out of the EU at the same time as gaining independence would do just that. Can you imagine the hooting and screeching from the unionists if that was policy?

We have been very poorly represented in the EU by Westminster. Not least in one of Scotland's most important industries fishing.

Scotland would be much better served as an independent country with in the EU, as the fishing debacle shows. Here is why:

Denmark, population 5,529,888 has 13 MEPs.

Scotland, population 5,222,100 has 6 MEPs.

A massive democratic deficit within the EU, which on secession would be rebalanced to a much stronger voice with at least 6 more MEPs.

Scotland would also gain enough status as an independent country to conduct it's own negotiations, and not have England conduct them for us, making Scottish representatives sit in the corridor. England sold Scotlands fishing industry to gain better concessions for England.

But, in an apparent rush to swap frying pan for fire, the new proposals, while ending the insanity of 100,000 tonnes of discards each year, also propose that quotas can be traded. Eilidh Whiteford, MP for the core of Scotland’s fleet said: “the Commission is advocating an expansion in the international trading of fishing quotas. Selling quota to Europe’s highest bidders will erode Scotland’s historic rights which in turn could spell doom for our fragile fishing.”

The limited quota sales of the last thirty years have halved the Scottish deep sea fleet from 800 to 400 (out of our total of 2,800 boats, most of the rest being inshore). Spain, on the other hand now operates 17,000 boats, 8,700 from Galicia and 1,300 out of Basque ports. Many are ocean-going 165-ton boats which work Scottish waters with such gusto.

Greenpeace fingered them in a damning piece of research last year entitled “The Destructive Practices of Spain’s Fishing Armada”. That armada has been boosted over the last two decades by buying-up of Scottish fishing quotas while their government subsidised ship building (€1m each for 27 boats between 2000 and 2005 at a time when EU policy was to reduce fleets). Over that same time, Spain received 46% of all EU fishing subsidies—€1.6bn—while Scotland’s fleet got under 2% (€65m), much of it for de-commissioning boats! In the same period (Spanish fishermen were given access to the North Sea only after 2003), cod, haddock and whiting stocks went through the floor, even as Scots chafed under CFP draconian actions “to maintain stocks”.

Several captains have been prosecuted for flouting CFP quotas, with HM Customs and Fisheries Protection nabbing UK miscreants. But no Spanish boat has suffered such ignominy. They eke several loads from one trip by landing in different Scottish ports like Lerwick or Kinlochbervie, loading the catch onto waiting freezer artics that then get the goods to Spain faster than they could be sailed there. Then out to fish again.

That is why we need a strong Scottish voice at the table in the EU to prevent any further damage like that.

If the EU and the Euro survives there will be no compulsion to join the Euro check Sweden's recent entry to the EU. They have categorically stated that they do not wish to be in the Euro and the EU have accepted that, so another myth is nailed.

The SNP and Alex Salmond have stated time and again that Scotland will never join the Euro until the economics are right and never with out a referendum on the subject.

However once independence is achieved the Scottish voters may decide they want another kind of government, perhaps one that wants to pull out of the EU who knows? But here is the gold medal, it will be a Scottish decision taken by the people who live and work here not in London for London. That is what independence means.

English Pensioner said...

"Why is the SNP so determined to be dependent upon Brussels yet so determined to be independent of London?"
This is a question I've often asked about Ireland, and never received a logical reply. Are they genuinely better off now when they would have been under British rule, probably with a similar degree of independence that Scotland has now?
I can't see any point in fighting for independence and then signing up for the EUSSR.

Captain Ranty said...

KBW,

Have you ever read the Lisbon Treaty?

This sentence of yours:

"...perhaps one that wants to pull out of the EU who knows?"

Suggests that you have not. Don't worry though, the then Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint, didn't bother to either. When asked, she said "I've glanced at it".

I have read it several times. It is an horrendous document and I will never figure out why the UK parliament numpties signed it.

Perhaps if you read it you too would spot the binding clause that says, very, very clearly "No member can leave without the express permission of all other member states".

So your line is a non-starter.

You naively think that once Scotland is a fully paid up member of The Stupid Club she can leave at any time.

Ain't gonna happen. But the SNP and its supporters would never dare to tell people that.

If you really want Scotland to decide on independence then the truth, and nothing but the WHOLE truth will do.

CR.

JimS said...

KBW,

If the UK with ten times the population of EU region UKM can't get what you want re. fishing policy why should an independent, smaller EU region be able to do any better?

You imply that the UK got a bad deal on fishing because 'England' traded it off against something else to its advantage. What then is the independent UKM going to trade off to get a better deal?

The number of MEPs is an irrelevance, the commission does what it wants regardless.

Key bored warrior. said...

Aye Aye Capn, methinks you have put one splice to many in the mainbrace. The delicious irony here is that like all anti Scottish Independence commentators you are actually calling for the truth whilst concealing most of it.

However in the very unlikely scenario that an independent Scotland would call for and vote for withdrawal from the EU, there is legal mechanism built in to the Lisbon Treaty to facilitate the withdrawal of states. It was put there to keep and reassure the sceptics, like you who imagine nothing but the worst for it. I am not surprised you should chose to not mention this as your post is typical of so many we see these days on the subject. Either that Scotland will be expelled from the EU on independence or that we will suffer such penury under the legislation coming down the like that we will all live in caves and have to eat mud. The schizophrenic nature of unionism is quite fascinating.
___________________________________
"The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an exit clause for members who wish to withdraw from the Union. Under TEU Article 50, a Member State would notify the European Council of its intention to secede from the Union and a withdrawal agreement would be negotiated between the Union and that State. The Treaties would cease to be applicable to that State from the date of the agreement or, failing that, within two years of the notification unless the State and the Council both agree to extend this period. The agreement is concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council and shall set out the arrangements for withdrawal, including a framework for the State's future relationship with the Union. The agreement is to be approved by the Council, acting by qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. A former Member State seeking to rejoin the European Union would be subject to the same conditions as any other applicant country.

This system gives a negotiated withdrawal, due to the complexities of leaving the EU (particularly concerning the euro).

However it does include in it a strong implication of a unilateral right to withdraw. This is through the fact the state would decide "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements" and that the end of the treaties' application in said state is not dependent on any agreement being reached (it would occur after two years regardless)."


http://tiny.cc/a5g4jw

___________________________________


What would the EU have done to Ireland should they have chosen to leave the EU on the second ballot? Invade? Ireland despite all the cries of woe and insults flung at that much abused country are actually rated much higher than the UK on the UNs HDI system, as is incidentally Iceland. The sky is still up and both are recovering rapidly. On a recent trip to Dublin and a fortnight touring the SW, I found the Ireland I know and love. Happy carefree and taking life at full throttle. Yes times are tough, they cannot be classed any other way in the UK or the USA either.

You will pardon me if I resist the urge to debate further with you as someone who calls for truth whilst concealing it can hardly be classed as a credible debater.



JimS, the statements you made are very naive. It is in fact the small states of the EU that are doing rather better, that is blindingly obvious. Their voting MEPs have the same powers as every one else. Scotland going from 6 to 12 or 13 will double the influence we will have. Also the fact that we will not be humiliated by the UK ministers insistence that we are only there as observers and told to sit in another room whilst our industry is sold under our feet, will never happen to us again. We will hold our heads up on level par with the rest of the EU, not the dog under the table. That is the gold medal for Scotland. Independence from a Westminster government that governs only for Westminster and London, and throws Scotland to the Spanish.

Captain Ranty said...

KBW,

For and on the record, I want Scotland to leave the Union if that is what the majority of Scots desire.

I am on your side.

But not unconditionally.

I have never made a secret of the fact that I hate the EU with unbridled passion. It is all that is wrong with the UK. Because of complicity by that bastard traitor Heath and his cohorts, we were bamboozled into the EU 40 years ago. It has cost us many, many billions to stay in The Stupid Club.

That is why I would never support an Indy vote that did not clearly exclude membership.

You accuse me of being disingenuous, yet you failed to clarify the conditions for leaving the EU.

I bet you read this line...

"...a withdrawal agreement would be negotiated between the Union and that State."

...and assumed that the Union is just some unelected drone in Brussels. It isn't. The "Union" has a legal personality. In this case, the "Union" means ALL OTHER MEMBERS. All 27 of them.

I did not mislead in my earlier comment.

They ALL have to agree to a member state leaving.

One abstention or one "No" vote is all it takes to keep Scotland in.

No-one with any credibility whatsoever would use Ireland as an example of a successful member of the EU. Ireland is in deep shit. Ireland, much like the UK, has promised the earnings of grandchildren to pay back the debt she owes. Her credit rating is mince, and the people are suffering badly. House repossessions are astronomically high and food kitchens for the poor are on the increase.

Hardly a success story.

Sometimes, to see clearly, you have to take a step back. Evaluate. Question. Confirm what you think you know is actually true.

Try doing that.

CR.

Delphius1 said...

One thing I haven't seen in this debate is anyone highlighting the irony of Scottish politicians debating casting themselves adrift and independent from what's seen as an ancient overlord, to enslave themselves to a new foreign overlord in the form of the EU.

I just wonder, are there degrees of independence? And if so, who gets to pick and choose what level is the right level?

Should independence mean total independence as in free from the UK and the EU?

Are the public being informed of exactly what "independence" means when the politicians use the term?

Anon said...

Scotland will not be independent if it is in the European Union or in NATO.

- Aangirfan

Key bored warrior. said...

Captain Ranty good at handing out the advice which he then fails to take. This rahter suppers your particuolar boat sir good luck to you.


"However it does include in it a strong implication of a unilateral right to withdraw. This is through the fact the state would decide "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements" and that the end of the treaties' application in said state is not dependent on any agreement being reached (it would occur after two years regardless)." "

Peter A Bell said...

"Why is the SNP so determined to be dependent upon Brussels yet so determined to be independent of London?"

Without accepting the pejorative, "dependent", I would point out that this question only makes sense if the two unions are equivalent to some significant extent. This is not the case.

The difference can be summed up in one word - subsidiarity. The EU explicitly acknowledges and protects the sovereign status of member states. This stands in stark contrast to the centuries-long project to subsume the nations of the UK into a contrived entity called "Britain".

The question is also only meaningful if there is some viable alternative to membership of the EU. And that is a case which has yet to be made.

Key bored warrior. said...

Peter you have put the case perfectly but it will go over the heads of those who have posted on here as in the Capns case, he seems to blow of with out reading anything, he claims to have read the Lisbon treaty several times yet he has not been able to see the gaping holes in his arguments.

The fact is the EU does not tell us that our referendum may be illegal, London does. The EU does not take our revenues and hand back less in a block grant London does. The EU does not force us to accept WMDs 30 miles from our most densely populated area, London does. The EU does not send our youngsters to die in foreign wars, London does. The EU does not sneer that we are subsidy junkies and cannot be trusted to govern our selves and handle the volatile oil price, London does. The EU would not have us sitting in the corridor whilst our fishing industry was being sold, London did.

JRB said...

… and prithee tell me, how a simple man as I, am to form a balanced judgement on so important an issue, when faced with the equally unacceptable extremes of opposing opinion.

Captain Ranty said...

I think I have it now.

If you disagree with independence you are a numpty.

If you disagree with any aspect of the means to gain independence you are a numpty.

If you agree with everything KBW says, you are okay.

No need to doubt, folks. No need to question anything at all.

KBW says that an "independent" Scotland reliant on the EU numpties is better than being reliant on the Westminster numpties.

Not much of a choice, is it?

Either set of numpties will do infinitely more harm than all of the WMDs that reside on Scottish soil.

Put me down as a "No".

CR.

footdee said...

CR

"I think I have it now.

If you disagree with independence you are a numpty."

Ah poor didums

J. R. Tomlin said...

This would be one of those things which, it seems to me, would be well put up for a referendum if Scotland becomes independent. That a political party now in power should decide that seems unwise.

And I will repeat what I said to Apogee in the last thread. I get tired of the assumption that I believe in self-determination except in the US. If the majority of people of Texas (or a more apt example of Hawaii which was seized illegally) wanted independence, they would have every right to it.

People have a right to self-determination. After they achieve that, they have decisions to make, often very serious ones. Membership in NATO and the EU would surely be amongst those--after elections.

It took almost two decades for the US to figure out how to set up and run their government after declaring independence. I suspect it would take Scotland a lot less time than that, but it WOULD take some time.

It's up to the Scots.

subrosa said...

Jim, I don't think all SNP members are Marxists but certainly a Marxist type seems to be to the fore currently.

subrosa said...

Ranty as you know I read your posts with interest.

The example you quote has been repeated in several areas of the media yet nobody of note has highlighted it.

Are we all so apathetic?

subrosa said...

We must agree to disagree OR. :)

subrosa said...

I'd agree the SNP mustn't alienate business KBW, but they could discuss the EU and say it would be settled via a referendum once we're independent.

The problem with the EU is that negotiations are rather time-wasting as decisions appear to be made long before anyone sits round a table.

subrosa said...

Neither can I EP.

subrosa said...

Hi Del. I suppose there are degrees of independence because every country in the world is interdependent upon others is some way.

I think Alex Salmond's shortly to be published Bill will answer your question.

subrosa said...

Well said Aangirfan.

subrosa said...

Did you read the link to the SDA's paper Peter?

I certainly think there are viable alternatives to the EU. Just because certain countries appear to be begging to join the Brussels club that doesn't mean Scotland should do the same.

subrosa said...

Mmm KBW, 'The EU does not take our revenues and hand back less in a block grant London does'.

The UK is a net contributor to the EU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_the_European_Union

subrosa said...

Pass JRB. :)

subrosa said...

No there's not much of a choice Ranty - but there should be.

subrosa said...

I'd agree with your first paragraph Jeanne and as I said in the post, it would be sensible if someone in the pro-independence campaign mentioned a referendum regarding the EU.

Peter A Bell said...

subrosa said: "Did you read the link to the SDA's paper Peter?"

Assuming this is addressed to me - the comments facility here is not conducive to such exchanges - I would say that I have read the SDA paper, and much else besides. That an alternative to the EU can be imagined doesn't mean that it actually exists in the real world.

The European Union has evolved to fulfil a function. Any alternative will, by definition, have to fulfil the same function. Things which serve the same function tend to converge in terms of their design and operation. Any alternative to the EU would end up being identical to it in every significant regard.

Some would say that we could prevent this happening. My response would to point out that, if we have the power to shape whatever this substitute is, then we have the power to shape the original. What is lacking - in the UK, at least - is the political will to engage.

Key bored warrior. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Key bored warrior. said...

CORRECTED POST:


Rosie the difference being that the UK is a contributor not having to submit all their revenues to Brussels in the first place. That is a very significant difference. They have also been getting back much of the contributions which is now gradually being phased out. Scotland as an independent country will attract much more in the way of EU funding than it does now as the UK refunding deal blocked much of the assistance we could potentially qualify for. Another advantage of independence. For example we could see a lot more funding for the dreadful A9/ A82/ A96 roads. To have dangerous badly engineered roads such as these in 2012, is unacceptable and a glaring example of unionist impotence on Scotland's infrastructure.

subrosa said...

Yes it was addressed to you Peter. Apologies for the comment system but I consider it the most suitable at present.

The EU has certainly evolved. So much so that there is talk about an EU referendum in Germany. (Der Spiegel)

subrosa said...

Oh KBW, I understood that the UK is one of only 4 net contributors.

Have you seen the mess Spain is in after accepting billions of euros for new road projects?

Of course I would like to see our infrastructure improved but at what cost?

The upgrading of the A9 is underway but the legalities, compulsory purchases etc take time.

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