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By G.A.Ponsonby

A document purporting to cast doubt on Scotland’s continued membership of the EU post-independence has been ridiculed after it emerged it contained a list of embarrassing errors.

The document called ‘Scottish Independence and EU Accession’ is published by London based pro-business body called Business for a New Europe (BNE) who claim that an independent Scotland would face significant obstacles if it wanted to remain in the EU.

According to the document Scotland would have to renegotiate the terms of its membership and would require the unanimous approval all current members before being accepted as a new member after independence.

However, according to MEP Alyn Smith the document is riddled with some embarrassing errors and bases some of its assertions on out of date rules.

The report claims: “Accession to the European Union requires adjustments to its founding treaties and the unanimous approval of member states.”

However the Lisbon treaty changed the way that the EU works and made enlargement easier.  Enlargement no longer requires adjustments to existing treaties.  Furthermore, it has been made clear recently that Scotland’s membership can be agreed by a qualified majority vote in the European Council.

The document also claims that: “For an independent Scotland to join the European Union, it would also need to negotiate the terms of its membership.”

This too is questionable, EU lawyers recently confirmed that both Scotland and the rest of the UK will be treated as successor states.  In a statement the legal experts confirmed that Scotland’s status, like the remainder of the UK, would be negotiated “by the [European] Council, using qualified majority voting, and with the required say-so of the European Parliament".

In fact a Commission spokesman told the Guardian newspaper as far back as 1998 that Scotland could be a Member State on the first day of independence.

The document also bizarrely claims that there is: “The possibility of a Scottish precedent emboldening secessionist movements in other member states could incline the EU towards the normal accession process.  It might also shape the EU’s attitude towards the terms of membership.”

This is thought to be a reference to Spain and the situation involving the Catalan movement which is seeking its own independence.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo was asked last month about claims by the UK Government that Spain might seek to obstruct Scotland’s membership due to the situation with Catalonia.

Senor Garcia-Margallo denied the UK Minister’s claim and said: "Spain would have nothing to say, just that this does not affect us.  No one would object to a consented independence of Scotland."

The report also claims that an independent Scotland could be forced into joining the Euro - "If there were concerns about setting a precedent that might embolden secessionist movements elsewhere, Scotland could be asked to accept all EU membership criteria, including the euro,"

However, as the report itself admits, Sweden joined the EU in 1995 without having to join the euro, and Swedes voted No in a referendum on joining the euro in 2003.

Claiming to be an “in depth” piece devoid of “scaremongering”, the report’s author talks of “separation” and of “secession” from the UK.

It raises the spectre of border controls in an independent Scotland and suggests EU membership would cost Scots £76 more as a result of lost rebates – a figure it admits is a “back of the envelope” calculation.

Other embarrassing gaffes contained in the document involve the mechanism for determining the number of MEP seats awarded to each state and the weighted voting system.

The author claims that in the event of independence for Scotland both these areas would face renegotiation.  However membership numbers are currently determined by a formula and weighted voting is scheduled to disappear in 2014 – the year of the referendum.

The documents author is Dr Daniel Furby who is described as the Brussels Associate for BNE.  BNE describes itself as an independent coalition of business leaders advocating a positive case for reform in Europe.

A right wing body, its Chairman Rolan Rudd has close links to the Conservative party, his sister Amber was elected Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye.

Rudd is also reported to be close friends with Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, former Labour cabinet Minister Lord Mandelson, the Murdochs and BBC business editor Robert Peston.  Rudd was seen as the go-between who brought together New Labour and the City.

BNE’s advisory council includes Leon Brittan who was a Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Government as well as Chris Gibson-Smith who is the chair of the London Stock exchange.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith branded the report as nothing more than a “fantasy”.

Commenting, Mr Smith said:

"Scotland's position in Europe is clear and straightforward; Scotland, together with the rest of the UK, is part of the territory of the European Union and the people of Scotland are citizens of the EU and will remain so.

"Only last month legal experts were quoted as saying that Scotland's independent membership - like that of what's left of the UK would be negotiated as a deal ‘done by the [European] Council, using qualified majority voting, and with the required say-so of the European Parliament’

"The idea that Spain would oppose Scotland's membership is a myth that has been exploded as well, the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said last month that "Spain would have nothing to say, just that this does not affect us. No one would object to a consented independence of Scotland."

"The SNP welcomes all contributions to the independence debate but we would hope that organisations which tout themselves as expert voices would at least try to get the details right.

“Scotland will be an EU Member State on day one of independence."


The report can be viewed here: http://www.bnegroup.org/images/uploads/publications/files/In_Depth_-_Scottish_Independence_and_EU_Accession_-_BNE_March_2012.pdf

Comments  

 
# Barontorc 2012-03-10 00:54
Who's to say Scotland would WANT to be an EU member anyway? There are quite a few independence minded bloggers who espouse just that.

Why would we want to pay for this very costly bureaucratic shambles, they say? If we had the choice, some would want us to steer well clear of it.

And why is every unionista and their granny coming up with these - "ye cannae dae that either" stories?

Referendum Day comes and goes and lo and behold - Scotland has voted YES! - does the world stop turning? Of course not and there will be a whole raft of issues that need to be talked through with others, such as the EU.

BUT and it's a big BUT - it's my country's government, Scotland, that will be talking for Scotland.

What a breath of clean fresh air!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-10 09:24
Agreed Baron. The more I learn about Europe, the more I am reluctant to go diving in head first.

As to these rumours, who cares - don't let it bother you. I'm sure there may well be some sticking points if we did want to join Europe - and if they think that we are 'too poor, too wee, too stupid' then we know we will be best out of it.

It's all just a nasty big scare tactic designed to keep us in the union. The more Westminster realises that they are up pooh creek without a paddle, the more they will ask their chums to write new reports.

It shows how desperate they are becoming.
 
 
# fynesider 2012-03-10 12:50
"Who's to say Scotland would WANT to be an EU member anyway?"

Agreed Lord Turc - EFTA would be the best bet I feel
 
 
# The_Healthy_Skeptic 2012-04-07 10:47
Indeed, why should Scotland become an EU Member state after Independence?

Right now as part of the UK, with EU Membership, many of the laws imposed on us are made at the EU level.

Why we would want to be part of a such a bureaucracy after independence makes no sense to me.

This decision should not be left to any newly formed Scottish Government, but by Referendum of the people of Scotland.

Let me be clear, it's not up to the politicians.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 01:17
1) Scotland will decide in 2014 on our Independence.

2) Scotland will decide on our membership, or not of the E.U.

3) Scotland will decide on whether to join the Euro or not.

Only the E.U. has the right to determine whether Scotland joins the E.U. and Euro or not.

A bunch of air brained numpties from London do not have any say, nor can they pre determine the rules about what we, in Scotland, have to meet before joining the E.U. or Euro.

No one, particularly those with seriously close connections to the anti independence brigade (A.I.B.) should even begin to try and push their agenda onto Scotland and her people. This is particularly pertenant to those individuals who can not even get the basic facts about E.U. and Euro membership correct.

Have these numpties not learned anything from all the political discussions/arguments that have taken place over recent years?

Why don't these numpties just butt out?

We will decide.

We will become independent.

We will make our decision on whether or not to join the E.U. etc.

No one, particularly a bunch of numpties will interfere in our decisions in any way shape or form.

BUTT OUT BNE

We don't need you!

We don't want you!

Crawl back under the rock you have just come out from under and leave us the hell alone!
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-12 19:56
Perhaps you could tell these guys to butt out while you are on a roll!

bbc.co.uk/.../...

The DUP's Peter Robinson has taken a different approach. The First Minister has talked about the emotional bonds that link Scotland and Northern Ireland and has said he would campaign against independence.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 01:25
It would be good if NNS could elicit a response from the author to find out what he has to say for himself by spreading such inaccurate information. This just cannot be left up in the air.

It is practice in journalism to get feedback from both sides on political matters, but I have noticed that in many articles herein there is no follow up. It is a severe disappointment when statements that should be challenged directly with their sources are not.

What is the point of having the headline above if no one is listening except the supporters?
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 01:29
Thing is J Wil, would the author of this scurrellous report even have the courage of his pathetic misguided convictions to actually offer up a response to any questions put to them by NNS. Personally I very much doubt it!
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 01:31
At the very least he should be made aware that he has been found out.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 01:36
He probably would not believe it J Wil. Remember he is from the A.I.B., the group that classifies the people of Scotland as Too wee, Too poor and Too stupid. He probably thinks that if he keeps repeating this mantra that we will all believe him. No one has the courage to tell him his record is broken and we have sussed them all out!
 
 
# Keep UTG 2012-03-10 12:53
So this has been done with our best interests at heart? aye right,this is further proof that they need us more than the other way round,the British establishment is pooing it`s collective pants regarding our Independence,th ey are watching the sun set on their self importance,and we know it as well.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-03-10 01:46
I would go with J Wil's issue that NNS contact both the document's author Dr Daniel Furby and its BNE Chairman Rolan Rudd and ask them to back up their assertions, write an article that will be printed in NNS and show proof of their claims.
 
 
# .Scot 2012-03-10 01:53
links to the Conservative & Unionist Party and links to the Labour Party. The only concern for both these organisations is to halt the advancement of Scottish society.

Lets reciprocate with our ability to leave the British without a nation and liberate the English at the same time.
 
 
# Arthur G 2012-03-10 02:12
There will be a mountain of this type of misinformation to accompany the dissembling from Uunionist politicians to come in the next two years.

As the unionists have no positive case to to proffer to the people of Scotland they are relying on distortions, lies and fear in order to confuse the electorate in the hope of scaring us into voting for the status quo.

It is an easy tactic to identify and ridicule but it can also be very effective unless the independence movement counters every falsehood lou and long.
 
 
# km 2012-03-10 05:57
Excellent rebuttal of this document too, by Ian Hudghton MEP:

publicserviceeurope.com/.../...
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:12
Excellent, KM.
 
 
# edinburgh quine 2012-03-10 06:06
When I first saw BNE I thought it was a misprint and should have read BNP. Ooops
 
 
# alicmurray 2012-03-10 07:14
Going off line -warning re Murdoch

telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 08:40
I am not too happy with Salmond's apparent cosying up to Murdoch as it will be used as a stick to beat the SNP with. However, it puts the SNP in a tricky position as Murdoch has not yet had the powers taken from him in the UK and he has the influence to damage the SNP if he so chooses.

On the one hand he has the Sun which at the moment is supporting independence and on the other he has The Times which is an establishment organ and up until now has done the SNP no favours.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-03-10 08:54
It shows the increasing desperation of the AIB that they are trying to brainwash Scots with the notion that, in spite of the policy of reducing Corporation being a longstanding SNP policy, somehow Eck is only offering said reduction to Murdoch's companies in exchange for support for Independence.

Their capacity for spinning and twisting things knows no ends dutifully supported by all their lackeys in The BBC and the print media.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-10 12:56
A similar article featuring Mr Watson is in today's Herald.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond was quoted as saying:

A spokesman for the First Minister said: “The problem for Tom Watson and the Labour Party is Gordon Brown said he was aware of and shocked at the activities of News International when he became Prime Minister in 2007, yet did nothing about it – just as the Operation Motorman report in 2006 detailing over 3000 breaches of data protection across a range of titles was ignored by Westminster.

“As the First Minister said last July, the hacking activities at News of the World were vile and reprehensible. We support the police inquiries and we support the Leveson Inquiry to the hilt, and we talk to all employers in Scotland in our efforts to boost jobs and [investment]
From the Herald, Satyurday 10th march 2012.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:14
The source of this story - is Scottish Labour! "an indication of the growing frustration and divisions at the heart of the SNP between the fundamentalists and the gradualists” they say. Hm.

Do we all think that Salmond sups with Murdoch without making sure he has a very long spoon? Does that sound likely?
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 20:37
They really just don't learn do they?

After FIVE years in opposition you would think that somethingwould start to begin to filter down through their thick skulls. Obviously not!

I can't think of any other political party that is so centred on self destruction!

What is it with the Scottish Labour party that makes them think that all the misinformation, deceit, lies, and other underhand antics will make any of us think about swapping allegiance to them?
 
 
# Marian 2012-03-10 08:13
The unionist establishment strategy is clear:-

(1) frighten the undecided voters into voting for the status quo by bombarding them daily with scare stories;

(2) deny the SNP the oxygen of publicity by controlling the political output of the BBC and MSM so that voters cannot get the truth;

(3) vilify the leadership of the SNP and turn them into bogey men that voters fear.

(4) tell lies about the SNP and independence as much as possible without being caught put.

The referendum vote campaign was never going to be easy.

The unionists are fighting for the very survival of Westminster and their beloved British Empire.

Added to that is their fear of the loss of nearly half of the UK land mass, North Sea oil revenues, and nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde.

The SNP and other supporters of independence must seriously and urgently step up their game and reach out to a far wider audience in order to counter the unionist strategy, otherwise all they will do is maintain their existing support, and fail to convert the undecided voters into voting YES.
 
 
# gus1940 2012-03-10 09:00
Regarding the matter of land mass area when is something going to be done about The BBC's disgracefully distorted Weather Map which shrinks Scotland down to a small peninsula attached to England.

It may be a relatively small matter but every little lie and distortion helps the AIB in their attempts to denigrate Scotland and its righteous campaign for Freedom From Colonial Domination and Exploitation.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-10 11:52
gus1940"Regarding the matter of land mass area when is something going to be done about The BBC's disgracefully distorted Weather Map which shrinks Scotland down to a small peninsula attached to England".

I seem to recall this distortion a couple of years or so ago.
An unsatisfactory correction was implemented at the time.
However the distortion continues,albei t to a lesser extent---perhaps it's a satellite image from,"Way down Mexico way!"
It is annoying.
 
 
# pictic-1 2012-03-10 09:18
Cmpletely correct.

The last paragraph is the one which worries more than anything. The dabate we have on NNS is not the same one being discussed in the rest of Scotland. WE are believers talking to each other.

I may be wrong but I think the SNP/AS are playing a waiting game, letting the anti-mob shoot their powder, lots of noise and confusion. After that, maybe beginning this weekend, they're going to start their own campaign with lots of real info to convince the non-believers. Pure speculation of course but you never know.

I hope the snp raises to the challenge this weekend and goes for gold.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:17
There's certainly fertile ground for stirrers in working on dislike of Salmond. He is really hated by a percentage of the electorate (especially women) for the same reason as he is admired by others.
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-10 08:15
This whole Europe question, in, out, successor, applicant, EFTA or EU is, I have no doubt, an important and obviously contentious question. Still I can't help but wonder, regardless of decoder ring and secret Euro handshakes, is anyone seriously considering not trading with a cash rich, resource rich and business tax light Scotland post independence yes vote?

The implication by Westminster and its lackies is that should we vote yes, instantly all trade with Scotland would stop because we would have contracted some form of international, state based plague. Cries of unclean ringing throughout Europe.

I would argue, like the FM, that European nations would be queuing up to cut new deals with a country in that position. Equally I'm sure Westminster has made a few deals in past years they wish they could undo and spookily with this new status, I'm fairly sure could (fisheries policy anyone). As has already been stated by both sides of the argument, there is no precendent for this situation.

This would provide both parliaments with an advantageous breathing space to consider its options and in our case approach the electorate and ask the question properly. Then and only then should we consider this European conundrum. Its certainly not a question we should be sweating over right now.

Time is on our side.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-10 08:29
Quoting Macart:
This whole Europe question, in, out, successor, applicant, EFTA or EU is, I have no doubt, an important and obviously contentious question. Still I can't help but wonder, regardless of decoder ring and secret Euro handshakes, is anyone seriously considering not trading with a cash rich, resource rich and business tax light Scotland post independence yes vote?

The implication by Westminster and its lackies is that should we vote yes, instantly all trade with Scotland would stop because we would have contracted some form of international, state based plague. Cries of unclean ringing throughout Europe.

I would argue, like the FM, that European nations would be queuing up to cut new deals with a country in that position. Equally I'm sure Westminster has made a few deals in past years they wish they could undo and spookily with this new status, I'm fairly sure could (fisheries policy anyone). As has already been stated by both sides of the argument, there is no precendent for this situation.

This would provide both parliaments with an advantageous breathing space to consider its options and in our case approach the electorate and ask the question properly. Then and only then should we consider this European conundrum. Its certainly not a question we should be sweating over right now.

Time is on our side.



I posted these links the other day, but I think they relate to the point you make. The security of energy supplies is a MAJOR headache for the EU.

My earlier post ran as follows;


A major concern within the EU, is the situation whereby around half of the EU's energy requirements have to come from outwith the EU - and it is a situation that is getting worse.

Does any right minded person seriously believe that the EU will not want to welcome a newly independent Scotland with open arms, as it is endowed with not only oil and gas reserves, but also vast renewable generating potential.

If you wish to read more about EU energy requirements, there is some very useful information here;


epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/.../...

And also;

ec.europa.eu/.../index_en.htm


It's not just England that needs Scottish power - it's most of Europe too.
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-10 08:52
Pretty much my point exactly RL. If I were the SNP my stated position would be one of reassurance that we are pro European but that the electorate would decide Scotlands future relationship within Europe. I would only point out our serious bargaining advantages and leave it at that, an issue for another day.

In relation to your own points check out this link:

ec.europa.eu/.../...

Treaty3 gave concrete expression in legal terms to the three fundamental pillars of energy policy: security of supply

Interesting, yes? Is this the doc you intended? Had some problems with your link and was redirected.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-10 08:57
Thanks for the link
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 08:53
When you consider what Scotland's valuable contribution will be to the EU, against what some of the Eastern European block countries bring, then it makes too valuable a contribution to be ignored.

Also, whether or not Scotland decides to be a member of NATO, the country is in a very strategic position between the N. Atlantic and the N Sea. In security considerations alone it would not be wise for Scotland to be rejected by the EU and it would be seen as very churlish of England, in the eyes of the Europeans, to act like anything other than a good neigbour to Scotland. I can imagine the response say Cameron, or any future PM of England, would get from his EU counterparts if he started playing silly B's with Scotland.

I can enviseage Alex Salmond being warmly welcomed by our European neighbours. Why should it be otherwise?
 
 
# EphemeralDeception 2012-03-10 08:21
With people like (Lord) Leon Brittan on their advisory board I am not surprised.

Then when you see that Energy is a key area for them there is absolutely no surprise that they will state anything to try and keep Scotland in the UK.

Should be called Mind Your Own Business for New Europe.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-03-10 08:30
Scotland - independent, would be in a most extraordianrily strong position. It could stand aloof for a while before considering to join any alliance whatsoever. Energy, water and dare I say, Whisky rich, we would be the darling country that everyone wanted to woo. Having spent the alst 300 years ending up as just a wee country of 5 million in a treaty of union with a country of 60 million should warn us off big time being a country of 5 million in an organisation of 500 million. We no longer need unions of any kind but could sidle up to an alliance or two.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-10 08:35
The important point of independence would be the simple fact that for once, Scotland would decide on the EU, rather than London.

Some people are in favour of the EU, some people are against, but once we are free of London rule, we can make that decision ourselves based upon what is best for Scotland.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-03-10 08:54
Hello there RL,
I absolutely agree with both you and UpSpake.

Last nights Newsnight was was reporting on the nuclear problems worldwide. For anyone looking for a quick overview of the current nuclear fiasco, I would strongly recommend watching watching it.

That's another problem Scotland will not have, but we can benefit greatly from the coming renewable gold rush.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-03-10 09:01
That's it in a nutshell RL. Important issues though they are, at the end of the day this isn't about the economy, energy, EU or anything else. It's about the fact that we get to decide our future not a bunch of, often unelected, people in London driven by self interest.

This I think is the thing the dependent parties just cannot grasp when they start spreading lies and disinformation. I'm sure mistakes will be made, maybe the last remnant of Empire will call in old favours to make the transition into the big world hard, I have no doubt there will be hardships and struggle.

But they will be our hardships and our struggles. And that, really, is all that matters.
 
 
# SEUMAS31 2012-03-10 08:50
Are the utterances of this whatever, really worth rerporting??
 
 
# nchanter 2012-03-10 10:13
Quoting SEUMAS31:
Are the utterances of this whatever, really worth rerporting??

I would say so, for no other reason than to show beyond any doubt that the anti- independentists (AI) for short (Chuckle)have no integrity, scruples or any sort of respect and see Scots as a lesser form of human being.
 
 
# EdinScot 2012-03-10 09:09
The facts of the matter are that London's coat is on a shoogly peg and its days of telling Scotland what to do are over. The colonial mindset will still exist at Westminster and will continue even when Scotland has been independent for 5 years. They dont do change.

London is panicking at the loss of Scotland's resources and what is exercising their terrfified minds is the nightmare scenario of finally having to pay the going rate for our lovely reserves rather than the smash and grab theyve been so used to over the years. Their time is up.

Im more confident than ever of Scotland regaining her independence and massively impressed with the blizzard of data on our resources from fellow posters on the GERS figures article. With support like that and the this devastating data getting into the public domain to debunk the Unionist lies, we just cant lose.

Must go, off to Lazarote for a week. The day of me having a Scottish passport is not far off. Roll on 2014.
 
 
# James 2012-03-10 09:38
"EU lawyers recently confirmed that both Scotland and the rest of the UK will be treated as successor states."

It is the height of arrogance for EU lawyers to be making any such assertions. The status of post-independence Scotland, and of the rest-UK, will not be decided in Brussels, but at the United Nations. And on the basis of every relevant precedent there is no doubt what the position will be.

The United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to occupy the UK seats in the General Assembly and the Security Council. Scotland, as a new state (albeit a reconstituted one) will start with a clean sheet and will have to construct its network of international relations from scratch. There is nothing negative about this - it is a glorious opportunity to make a fresh beginning from first principles.

Of course the EU cannot afford to let Scotland go. Scotland, with its huge direct net contribution to EU finances - resources desperately needed at home - is a cash cow out of all proportion to its size. If Scotland departs, the Common Fisheries Policy collapses, quite possibly starting a domino effect in other areas of policy. All the controversy over Spain's attitude is a classic red herring - for domestic economic reasons Spain needs Scotland firmly under Brussels control within the CFP.

Such considerations are not a basis for Scottish foreign policy, which must consider only what is in the interests of Scotland and the Scottish people. And membership of the European Union in its present form is most decidedly against Scotland's interests, for a whole list of reasons.

The SNP has got itself onto a hook here, because, despite its excellent record on domestic issues, it actually knows very little about international affairs, and what it does know is viewed in over-simplified terms. Its mental hang-up on the EU, which in reality comes well down the list of dozens of international organisations independent Scotland will have to join, has its roots in ignorance.

The EU represents a fraction over half of Europe, and there is no indication that it will ever become a genuine European institution to match the status of the CoE, OSCE and UNECE, with up to 56 member states each. Its status within the global context has been heavily exaggerated, especially by those vested interests for whom the EU is a prime tool for achieving their particular ends. An emphasis on EU membership as a primary factor in the independence debate is wildly irrelevant.

Independence will not "'separate" Scotland from anything. On the contrary, it will end Scotland's existing separation from the counsels of the rest of the world, which is a development devoutly to be desired.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-10 13:18
I'm not exactly sure James, that the "knowing very lttle about international affairs" is not a positive thing.

What do really British elected from any Unionist Party know, except what is being told by the FO Sir Humphrey Applebys?

If there is a last reduct of Empire the Foreign Office must win hands down, or have you forgotten what the younger Paxman was spouting just the other day in Madrid?

In this case "ignorance" is a tremendous opportunity, not a problem.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:27
James, I'm not sure what you mean by "no indication that it will ever become a genuine European institution" - what it is becoming is an Inquisition of the member states. Don't know if that counts.

For example, the Spanish PM, for whom I hold no brief, has dared delay by 1 month "submitting" budget figures to the EU and saying that he is not going to cut spending by the full amount promised in a recent meeting with Merkozy.

So the EU is sending an accounting team to Madrid this weekend to find out what Spain is playing at, and if they find that the delay/lack of action on budget cut is not justified, Spain will be fined a hefty sum.

I don't know if a non-existing institution could have such power, or if instead of institution you should call it a "governance black hole".

Things may become clearer (and possibly worse if you're thinking about sovereignty) but at the moment that's how things are going. The dear old UK in comparison seems what they call a "balsa de aceite" over here, which I believe translates as "millpond".
 
 
# paul dominic 2012-03-10 09:45
I would be amazed if Scotland would be treated as a successor state under international law - some legal luminaries may have so opined - but no spokesman for the EU has done this - in my opinion, rUK would be regarded as the successor state and an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership - I do not imagine that this would be opposed - that said, we would not be in a strong bargaining position because we'd need either full membership or a least membership of the EEA - both of which will come at a price. This uncertainty is an argument for DevoMax which would deliver independence on just about everything but would avoid upsetting our present arrangements with the EU - another argument for DevoMax is that an independent Scotland within an economic, monetary and social union with rUK combined with EU membership would itself be a qualified independence , not unlike DevoMax! Defence is the big difference but I personally like the status quo (perhaps Trident apart!)- Great Britain is an island which needs to be defended as a whole- and
as a member of NATO...
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:36
Paul, although no expert in these things, I don't see why your idea that Britain is an island which needs to be defended as a whole should stand in the way of independence. Why would a pragmatic Scotland not ally with the rest of the UK against the threat of common danger? Just because Scotland is given the right to choose differently does not mean it will always do so.

But there are many more issues in foreign policy than defence, surely, and not all of them can be solved by pan-UK policies, as has been clear for some time.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-03-10 10:04
My wife is an EU citizen (French passport). What would happen to her and all the other EU citizens living and working in Scotland, including many of my colleagues if Scotland was cast out of the EU to drift off into the N. Atlantic the moment people voted yes? A mass expulsion? That, for example, might require lots of oil and gas production to shut down temporarily, crippling the UK as they play a key role in this (my French colleague's French wife is a senior process engineer responsible for controlling the forties pipeline for example..oh and they vote SNP/will be voting yes).

Really, the whole 'You will have to re-apply to the EU' is frankly ludicrous. The fact that people running the country are suggesting such things is measure of their very low level of intelligence or that they are just lying. Either case provides a very strong reason for voting for independence.
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-10 20:39
scottish_skier 2012-03-10 10:04 -

Nothing will happen to your wife or any of the other EU citizens living and working legally in Scotland on Independence Day.

Your second paragraph is confusing. What people runnng what country are you talking about? Certainly the Scottish Government will be running the country of Scotland. At Independence Day that government will be the SNP majority. Further changes will be determined by free elections.

The people making noises about 'You will have to re-apply to the EU' and similar non-issues are not running either Scotland or the rest of the UK.

The specific people you are referring to are a London based pro-business body called Business for a New Europe (BNE). They have a right to say whatever they want to, but as you say, it's a measure of their very low level intelligence or they are just lying. In this case I vote for the latter.

It does indeed provide "a very strong reason for voting for independence." I hope you will do just that.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:41
While I would not entirely put it past the EU to shaft its own citizens in certain circumstances (as it does already in some things) on balance I'd agree with you.

But never have foreign allies been more important for Scotland as, according to what is said around here, acceptance by Europe is basically a political issue, and the lawyers will say what they are told to say.
 
 
# cjmjr 2012-03-10 10:24
Scotland has huge reserves of Gas Coal Oil Tidal Wind Hydro Power + unknown as yet Thermal Energy resourse +Existing Nuclear Reactors + Unknown resourses of Fire Ice (Methane Clathrate)Gas perhaps enough to last 300 years if sources are to be believed. Yet Europe would not want to be our tradeing partner ? I doubt that very much.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-10 13:15
Not to mention 5 universities in the top 200 of the world's universities
 
 
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-10 10:33
Roland Rudd is the founding chairman of Business for a New Europe. A brief search turns up the usual unelected, Oxbridge educated power seeker.
Even the Daily Mail describes him as : "slick City PR schmoozer and lobbyist Roland Rudd attempting to pull the political levers of power. But then Mr Rudd has been plying his lucrative trade in this shadowy world for years."

Read more: dailymail.co.uk/.../...
Just another unelected twit, seeking to thwart self-determination when it concerns Scots, and support that same aim, when in concerns the Malvinas.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-10 10:57
Few hours ago the Britsman published this other finding by another "pro-business" body, the Forum of Private Business.

They have conducted a poll among Scottish firms during February and the results are OVERWHELMING :

"Poll finds vast majority of Scots businesses against independence"

I personally checked and is true. I'm very affraid my dear NNS co-posters, that 86% of the respondents are opposed to Independence.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!!!!

Simple. Just keep reading and you'll find out they interviewed an amazing number of friends companies: 90 as in ninety, I kidd you not.

Only the Britsman is capable of such a "feat"

scotsman.com/.../...

One has to wonder about their IQs.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-03-10 11:41
Just reading up on the 'Forum of Private Business'
Makes interesting reading
'The Forum of Private Business was founded as a lobbying organisation in the 1970s'; 'Our policy work is centred around Whitehall and Westminster, however we also influence changes coming out of Brussels and the devolved governments'
fpb.org/.../...

The actual press release is hear : fpb.org/.../...
There is no mention of the number actually interviewed, so a bit sceptical about their being 90 member companies actually in Scotland
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-03-10 11:57
Its actually a Tory lobby group
Alex Jackman was Parliamentary Researcher and former aide to Conservative MP Brian Binley
You can follow Alex on twitter.com/#!/alex_jackman
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-10 11:04
Wonder if anyone can clarify this point.

If the scare stories coming from Westminster and other, predominantly, unionist based sources, are to be believed - would Scotland be regarded as an 'accessor' state therefore we would be required to get in line and go through the whole process of joining the EU ?

However, the SNP view, according to the Treaty of Union, is that we would be regarded, along with the rump UK, as 'successor ' states, meaning that our current membership would continue as is. Is thats correct ?

The difference seems to be the terming, accessor or successor, and I vaguely remember someone posting a month or so ago that accessor states usually do not take any debt from the country they are claiming independence from.

Am I way off the mark ?
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-03-10 11:21
Yup, if Scotland is not an equal successor state (thus not automatically having the same status as the rUK with respect to the EU etc), then it would leave the UK debt-free, just like all the other 'colonies' did. I have to say that is actually quite an attractive option...
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-10 11:36
Thanks SS, it certainly is an attractive option.
 
 
# Scotlandsaysyes 2012-03-10 11:38
Interesting academic survey on Independence

survey.bris.ac.uk/.../...
 
 
# govanite 2012-03-10 12:55
Again, the BBC let Scottish democracy down, the website interview with Nicola Sturgeon is still not working.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-10 13:00
Quoting govanite:
Again, the BBC let Scottish democracy down, the website interview with Nicola Sturgeon is still not working.


Nicola link.
bbc.co.uk/.../...

A BBC convoluted link. Surprise?
 
 
# govanite 2012-03-10 13:27
Wee Nic did very well, very well indeed. No fears about her taking a very prominent role in the months ahead.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 13:28
I wouldn't expect anything less from her!

Let's face it there was one person getting tongue tied and it wasn't "oor Nic" :D
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 21:17
Following immediately after the interview with Ms Lamont, this is just one illustration of why the SNP have such a big majority. Hope lots of people saw it.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 21:29
Any one who missed Nicola Sturgeon's webchat with [Offensive term removed - NNS Mod Team] can watch it here.

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# macgilleleabhar 2012-03-10 13:10
Off topic.

P&J headline this morning,

"Labour fury as Garden ballot demand rejected"
The demand was to see the" marked register" of residents who had voted.

The independent counting officer denied their request stating that the Gardens Referendum was not a normal election so the normal rules do not apply and further more he,Crawford Langley, had been elected by the council to enure a fair ballot.
Anyone remember Glenrothes in 08?
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-10 13:16
Interesting thaty in a referendum 'the normal rules do not apply'.
 
 
# macgilleleabhar 2012-03-10 13:31
Since this Referendum was run by Aberdeen City Council to gauge support for a major redevelopment in Aberdeen City center I don't know what rules would apply.
Labour backed the unsuccessful side and are tossing the toys out of their prams!!
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-03-10 13:27
Hi there,

If the AIB consider that all these "difficulties" will be presented to a newly Independent Scotland by the EU, what is their reasoning to counter the argument that exactly the same set of "difficulties" will be presented to the rUK?

Surely logic dictates the rUk would be in exactly the same position as an Independent Scotland in regard to the EU. They would have to renegotiate the number of MEP's their new state would have, its budget contributions etc. The list would be considerable.

At least we would know what to call ourselves before the negotations started. What will rUK call itself?

Regards
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 13:39
There you go again Rabo, asking the "difficult" questions again.

Don't you remember, the AIB don't do difficult questions!
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-10 13:52
Quoting RaboRuglen:
, what is their reasoning to counter the argument that exactly the same set of "difficulties" will be presented to the rUK?


Their 'reasoning', if you can dignify it with that word, is that rUK will still be the UK and everything will carry on as normal, just without the rebellious Scots.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-03-11 09:18
Hi Jigg,

Of course, your absolutely right. I had forgotten that for most of the the English people, England is Britain and Britain is England, so there will be no consequences at all for England when Scottish Independence happens, except that they will no longer have to subsidise us.

How beautifully simple for them.

Regards,
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-10 13:51
JOIN.Hi folks.Join the SNP during the Lunch Break.
The SNP Conference Live stream (on snp site) must cost an arm and a leg.
However,it does make us independent of the BBC and it's Gremlins(?).

my.snp.org/join

No one has put me up to this---but it does make sense to govern ourselves.
Everyone else does.
Are we the only country that cannae do it?
Course not.

Cheers,and all the Best.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 13:58
Welcome to the ever growing "family" D.W. :D
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-03-10 16:10
Cant get the live stream to work
also the one on the BBC isnt working either
 
 
# wee e 2012-03-10 16:36
LOL - I followed the link and found the document in the website's "Thought Leadership" section.

Thought Leadership. Orwell couldn't think up a better example of doublespeak.
 
 
# J Gordon 2012-03-10 17:01
'However the Lisbon treaty changed the way that the EU works and made enlargement easier. Enlargement no longer requires adjustments to existing treaties. Furthermore, it has been made clear recently that Scotland’s membership can be agreed by a qualified majority vote in the Council of Europe.'

Careful here. This is completely wrong the Council of Europe is a completely different organisation. It is a non EU body. I think what is meant is the European Council.

Agreement with the sentiments in the article but one should be very careful after all we are doing a critique of anti independence papers we should very much have our facts all in place.

[Typo corrected - NNS]
 
 
# Basil Metabolism 2012-03-10 17:33
Think of how absurd it would be if Flanders seceded from Belgium and left Brussels as an exclave in a non-EU state.
Then realise it would never happen that way. There's obviously a mechanism for seceding states to transition smoothly into separate membership; they would be mad not to have it ready, even if they'fre not admitting it openly. otherwise Brussels would be as viable as a real foot on a wooden leg.
 
 
# Hirta 2012-03-10 17:55
Open for comments - shocker!

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 18:02
Looks like another ex-EBC techie will be looking for a new job come Monday morning. :D

Just been reading laughing at the various posts over on EBC.

Interestingly every time I hit the DOWN rating arrow the post rating went UP!

Methinks there is something afoot at good old EBC.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-10 19:14
I have just been over and posted a couple of comments but looking through the existing comments very few seem pro-independence. Is it because no one thought that the BBC would open a blog today on the SNP conference so the pro-union people piled in?

Got the arrows to work though.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 19:19
Yeah, I went back and the arrows were working properly, as a certain Mr Curtice would say. Don't know what was going on before.

I downgraded some posts and they increased, upgraded some posts and they went down. Tried to mark other posts and they never changed.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-10 19:36
probably the reason for all the pro-Union posts was that so many who would post were in the Hall. From the pictures on the news it looked packed in stark contrast to the halls at last week-end's conferences..
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 19:42
Don't forget Ledger, there were FOUR overflow halls in use as well as the main hall. The EBC made no mention of this incidental little fact but Nicola did in her welcome speech this morning. Surely this must mean in excess of 2,000 at the conference today.

Just a wee after thought.

I wonder how many overflow halls the Labour party and the other crowd had last week end?
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-10 20:37
They had the same number of overflow halls, but without the video feeds. They were for members who couldn't face listening to Ed.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 20:55
Ah but was there any one in the overflow halls?

I didn't know there were enough people around these days who would be happy to be seen at a Scottish Labour party conference. I know watching it last weekend there were not too many happy faces in the hall.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 21:25
I heard Labour had only one venue and the delegates were asked to move down to the front so that the cameras could concentrated on them and make it look like a filled hall. No gaps, but plenty of vacant looks.

The BBC have got much experience of video splicing. Ask Ally.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 21:35
Unfortunately J Wil, even when they did that there were still gaps and people watching still realised the Labour party had problems filling the hall.

I hear they are following in the steps of the Lib/Dems and Tories. They are now on the lookout for a telephone box to hire for their next conference. :D
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 23:53
I can hear the brrr brrr of the phone even now and no one can decide who should pick it up.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 21:29
The whole comments effort reeks of the impression that the unionists are extremely worried.
 
 
# bipod 2012-03-10 19:25
this comment made me laugh:

"You will find it is just the same, one political party forever in power telling you what to do. The Orcadians I know do not feel the same way, they think Edinburgh Rule will be just as bad, hence the desire for independence. The Cornish are the same, but being a realist helps. Somewhere has to be the administrative centre. Cornwall is an English County, by the way."

apparently Violet Mildred thinks orkney must have independence from the evil scots, but the cornish don't deserve independence from england.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 19:27
Must keep hold of all those Cornish tin mines at all cost! :D
 
 
# call me dave 2012-03-11 13:22
Violet Mildred:

That's a plant if ever I saw one.

Read all the comments last night and, in general, the unionist comments, were so out of date it terms of the debate we have been having in Scotland for at least two years and uninformed. examples:

'Our English parliament'
'Your Scottish banks'
'English subsidies'
'All the UK should vote'
'UK oil fields stay in England'
'The Orkneys and the Shetlands are UK'

Sad really and I haven't mentioned the racist stuff. They will be in for a big surprise and no mistake.

PS:

For any visitors or waverers: we are in it to win it and we CANNOT afford a no vote or the repercussions will be long and too horrible to contemplate.

Remember that they dug up the dead Oliver Cromwell and hung him at Tyburn then beheaded him and stuck his skull on a pole at Traitors gate.

Now there's a thought.


Roll on the May elections and a test of the litmus paper.
 
 
# red kite 2012-03-10 19:41
The usual bile filled personal insults stuff in the BBC comments. I really believe there's a handful of full time people with lots of different usernames posting all this nasty stuff - I know the average English person isn't like that. And I don't buy all the "I'm Scottish but I hate Alex Salmond" posters.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 19:44
You do get that feeling reading all the bile over on the EBC site don't you RK?
 
 
# megsmaw 2012-03-11 01:25
Did anyone notice that the "edtior's picks" were all unionist rantings - one was a regurgitation of the "companies don't want to invest" crap.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-10 20:07
I have the feeling they know very well this report is cobbled up and unsound.

Has the air of this week's "throw something at the Jocks that'll get them in a tizzy" effort, which will continue until 2014.

Colonial? Or - over here one of these weird political advisors that surround leaders like Cameron and Obama like flies has written that he knows Cameron's team, and that Cameron is playing Salmond along, or more accurately, I quote, "is controlling the timing" of the referendum, so presumably is secretly quite happy with the 2014 date in spite of sending out poor Moore to whine about it on a regular basis.

So smoke and mirrors until he pulls out the big torpedo, or maybe Salmond is to self-destruct, I don't know which he plans, but plans he seems to have.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 20:17
"Call me Dave" may very well have a plan Marga but it is going to blow up in his face. Just stand well clear when it does 'cause it will not be a pretty sight! :D
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-10 20:17
Just got back from the conference (and a couple o' jars after). Was great, inspirational stuff..

There were four extra 'spillage' rooms for all the extra people that couldn't fit in the main room. So many people there.

Hope you guys managed to watch it online without too much interference.

Saor Alba
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 20:42
Thought A.S.'s speech was masterly. Amazingly it was on EBC2.

As usual the "journalists" were all stuck with their collective heads in the sand along with Mr Curtice, and their best friends from the Sunday Post and Hootsmon. All very, very pathetic really.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-10 20:58
Aye, as Embra posted below I heard of the online blackouts.. A bit fishy.. but you say it was on channel 2? Was the whole thing shown or just partly? Was it live?

Oh just found it on iplayer. Pretty surprised. gonna have a wee watch see what their interpretation of it was.. Should be a laugh.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-10 21:13
There were 2 hours on BBC 2, from 2pm to 4pm, including the AS speech.

Too much of Prof Curtice though. He seems to be indispensible to the BBC. His statistics wid mak yer heid birl.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-10 21:26
I was thinking that the programme was actually the John Curtice show with just a wee break in the middle for some "real" conference coverage.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-10 21:46
yeah watching this guy now.. he's quite dull.. his interpretation of statistics really are quite junk.
 
 
# Embra 2012-03-10 20:31
Couldn't watch online as nothing is working anywhere.

News blackout me thinks...
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2012-03-10 21:23
Worked fine bar a couple of short term streaming glitches here.

Watch the live video stream: www.snp.org/media-centre
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-03-10 23:44
o/t anyone remember that guardian poll with the independence opinions plotted throughout the British Isles? Pity all that hard work that went into it never got any final results posted..

Wonder why. hehe
 
 
# daveniz 2012-03-10 23:51
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-12 20:29
If you need additional reasons to be incensed by Westminster... go here. More reasons for Independence.

guardian.co.uk/.../nhs-health
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-12 20:41
Quoting Marian:
The unionist establishment strategy is clear:-

(1) frighten the undecided voters into voting for the status quo by bombarding them daily with scare stories;

(2) deny the SNP the oxygen of publicity by controlling the political output of the BBC and MSM so that voters cannot get the truth;

(3) vilify the leadership of the SNP and turn them into bogey men that voters fear.

(4) tell lies about the SNP and independence as much as possible without being caught put.

The referendum vote campaign was never going to be easy.

The unionists are fighting for the very survival of Westminster and their beloved British Empire.

Added to that is their fear of the loss of nearly half of the UK land mass, North Sea oil revenues, and nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde.

The SNP and other supporters of independence must seriously and urgently step up their game and reach out to a far wider audience in order to counter the unionist strategy, otherwise all they will do is maintain their existing support, and fail to convert the undecided voters into voting YES.


Absolutely correct.

Is it worth supporting the SIC? or the SDA

www.scottishindependenceconvention.com/

scottishdemocraticalliance.org/
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-12 23:13
businessweek.com/.../...

Who writes this stuff? Who sponsors the 'erudite turns of phrase'?
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-12 23:50
Did you actually read the article you link to?

Bloomberg are publishing for an international business audience, and the article suggests that Scotland is rather successful compared with the UK economy. Reasonably they point out that opinion in Scotland is divided on independence, but hugely in favour of more powers being transferred to the Scottish Parliament.
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-13 07:43
Quoting oldnat:
Did you actually read the article you link to?

Bloomberg are publishing for an international business audience, and the article suggests that Scotland is rather successful compared with the UK economy. Reasonably they point out that opinion in Scotland is divided on independence, but hugely in favour of more powers being transferred to the Scottish Parliament.


What you state is fact and media should not get credit for doing what they are supposed to. What I object to are the extraneous comments and interviews around this, that purport to show the full picture. The article is not balanced in my view. Perhaps we have become inured or my expectations and experience of business week is higher than this.
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-13 07:46
Quoting oldnat:
Did you actually read the article you link to?

Bloomberg are publishing for an international business audience, and the article suggests that Scotland is rather successful compared with the UK economy. Reasonably they point out that opinion in Scotland is divided on independence, but hugely in favour of more powers being transferred to the Scottish Parliament.



And the point of this is????

The Scottish government currently has authority over health, transport, justice and education. Scotland’s 5.2 million residents make up 8.4 percent of the U.K.’s 62 million people. They get free care for the elderly, free university tuition and free medical prescriptions, all of which people living in England must pay for.
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-13 07:48
 
 
# Ericmac 2012-03-13 09:09
Definition of 'flirting'.

Behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but without serious intentions: "it amused him to flirt with her".

Experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously.

Hardly representative of the level of Scottish interest in Independence! Nor a particularly objective word to use under the circumstances.

Nope, I am not impressed by the article considering that as you say, its an international publication.
 

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