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  By a Newsnet reporter

Politicians from anti-independence parties from Scotland and Spain are to meet in order to agree a formal collaboration aimed at co-ordinating arguments against an independent Scotland and Catalonia remaining members of the European Union.

According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya, a senior figure in the Spanish Conservative party, the Partido Popular (PP), will fly to Scotland to meet with Scottish Conservative and Labour politicians in order to agree a united front against independence.

The newspaper has revealed that Esteban González Pons, the PP's Vice-Secretary of Studies and Programmes, will meet with unnamed Labour and Tory representatives in December.

The meeting follows negotiations conducted between Mr González Pons and senior figures in the Conservative party during the party’s October conference in Birmingham.  December’s trip is expected to see the finalising of discussions before the signing of an accord that was reached at the conference.

The Spanish party are seeking agreements that would allow existing EU member states to veto the membership of newly independent countries.

In the article, the Catalan language newspaper says [English translation in brackets]:

El vicesecretari d' Estudis i Programes del PP, Estaban González Pons, ha negociat la firma d'un acord de col•laboració política amb els conservadors britànics, que es posarà negre sobre blanc al desembre a Madrid.

[The vice-secretary of Studies and Programmes of the PP, Esteban González Pons, has negotiated the signing of an accord of political collaboration with the British Conservatives, which will be put in black and white in December in Madrid.]

El dirigent conservador va participar a Birmingham en la convenció dels conservadors britànics, on es va reunir amb els principals lìders per fixar posició.

[The leading conservative attended the conference of the British Conservatives in Birmingham, where he met with the principal leaders in order to fix a position.]

El vicesecretari d'Estudis del PP, que té previst viatjar al mes de desembre vinent a Escòcia per entrevistar-se amb conservadors i laboristes, lamenta que CiU hagi emprès el camí de la "política màgica" en aquest moment de greu inestabilitat econòmica.

[The vice-secretary of Studies of the PP, who has planned a trip to Scotland the coming month of December in order to meet with Conservatives and Labour, complains that the CiU [the party pressing for a Catalan referendum] has undertaken the path of "political magic" in this moment of grave economic instability.]

Although the PP has consistently maintained that the constitutional and legal situations of Catalonia and Scotland are incomparable, the Spanish party is seeking to build a common front between parties opposed to independence and to give the same response to demands for Scottish or Catalan sovereignty.

In the article, Mr González Pons said: "Catalonia and Scotland are different regions and have different problems, but the response has to be a joint one."

The Partido Popular also sought to raise the issue at the congress of the European Popular Party, a bloc of right wing and conservative parties in the European Parliament, held in the Romanian capital Bucharest two weeks ago.

The party hopes to gain an agreement with right wing parties from other EU member states to block the accession to the EU of any European territory which seeks independence from the state of which it currently forms a part.

Although there has been no ruling from the European Commission on the status of an independent Scotland or Catalonia, the Partido Popular hopes to gain enough support from fellow conservatives to force the issue in the European Parliament, and achieve a vote in favour of imposing their preferred position.  The agreement due to be signed between the Partido Popular and the British Conservatives in Madrid in December is believed to form a key part of this strategy.

The meetings raise serious questions for Labour and the Conservatives, and opens them to the accusation that they are actively plotting with foreign political parties to damage Scotland's interests in the event that the referendum vote does not go the way they want.  The secret meetings between senior Conservatives and the PP will be seen by some as a clear demonstration that the UK government is engaged in an active campaign to create uncertainty and insecurity about the future of an independent Scotland.

In agreeing to meet with Mr González Pons, Labour in Scotland risks considerable political damage.  The report that the Labour party is prepared to reach a deal with the Spanish Partido Popular, the political heirs to the party of the dictator General Franco, will sit uneasily with party members who are proud of the role played by Scottish socialists of the International Brigade who fought against Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

One of the demands of the anti-fascist forces was the right of Catalonia to determine its own future.

Comments  

 
# fynesider 2012-11-05 23:17
So they can't do it on their own - all of a sudden the Cons/ Lab/ & Libs need the EU's help?
 
 
# Dougie Douglas 2012-11-05 23:29
They are trying to do it with the help of the Spanish right - facists a generation removed.

Scottish Labour are happy to get in bed with anyone to thwart the democratic will of the Scottish people.

We should be making overtures towards the real power brokers of Europe - the Germans - they dislike the Brits and their jingoistic nationalism and can be no fans of the Spanish establishment at the moment either.

Enough is enough.
 
 
# jinglyjangly 2012-11-05 23:30
They cant be that stupid can they?
 
 
# Ped 2012-11-05 23:47
I would need more sources of info before believing this story. I dont suppose Spanish press is any better than British press.
 
 
# dundie 2012-11-05 23:48
This article should be spread as widely as possible on the social networking sites. Firstly, Cameron's Con/Dem fudge is being exposed for the hypocritical morons that they are, condemning / wishing to leave the EU on one hand and tacitly siding with fascists on the other. And secondly, for the so-called Labour Party to publicly align themselves with a party associated with Franco, after the actions of the International Brigade - it's beyond credibility. Further proof, if any is actually required, that they will do, say and ally with anyone to deny democracy for Scotland.
 
 
# Big Eye 2012-11-06 00:01
These people have been ruling Scotland for generations. If they act like this and STILL people in Scotland vote for them then our future is bleak indeed!
 
 
# sneckedagain 2012-11-06 00:12
This will do us no harm whatsoever. The opposite is liklier to be the case as is the suggestion that Orangemen from Ulster are going to come over to help the NO campaign

Dear Lord, encourage them because they know not what they do.
 
 
# Nation Libre 2012-11-06 00:27
O/t but very interesting article in holyrood mag
holyrood.com/.../...

This could be the first of many
 
 
# J Wil 2012-11-06 00:33
For the sake of democracy, surely this requires an official statement from the EU.

Everyone saying nothing is not an option.
 
 
# amfraeembro 2012-11-06 00:45
Scottish Labour is full of career politicians. They know nothing of history - Scottish, Spanish civil war, or otherwise.
 
 
# Sannymac 2012-11-06 01:02
OK let these idiots try to ban Scotland out of the EU - it would suit me! However the EU would bend over backwards to keep this Oil and Fish rich nation in their club. Personally I believe we would be better off joining Norway and the other small Independent nations of Northern Europe and take membership of EFTA!
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-11-06 01:36
Remember Westminster keep themselves positioned between Scotland and the EU, so I would not be surprised if some in the EU and most probably the Spanish are under the delusion created by Westminster that all the fishing and oil are completely under the control of the 'Inglés ' and would remain so if Scotland 'left the UK', which itself is another myth. Reading some forums, even the 'Inglés ' believe this. You have to look at it from the other end of the telescope and consider that the average EU person only see's and hears from the 'Inglés ' . Its when they start to check that they will find out their backing the wrong horse
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-06 01:39
This is a reliable mainstream paper although these days rumours are rife. But it doesn't sound like just a rumour.

Behaviour of the UK contingent here is not just betrayal of their own, it is a low blow to the Catalans, who are being submitted to constant attacks and intimidation, to influence elections (declared as plebiscite for calling a referendum, illegal in Spain), in 3 weeks' time.

Surveys show that if Catalonia can't join the EU, the independence vote as of now would be lost. If Catalonia loses, it will be destroyed by the Madrid government. This is not an exaggeration. Why - the national-catholic obsession with a unified Spain, and the fact that without milking Catalonia dry, Spain as we know it is finished.

I'm very concerned about this story as it shows how far the PP is prepared to go. And shocked that UK parties could consider a secret alliance with a vile party like the current PP.
 
 
# richardcain2 2012-11-06 05:28
If anyone was in any doubt before as to whether the Tories had Scotland's interests at heart, doubt no longer.
 
 
# colin8652 2012-11-06 05:46
I wouldn't worry too much about this, the rest of Europe wont take these fantasists too seriously
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-06 06:58
Mr Pons must be a desperate man indeed if he's looking for inspiration from No / Better Together. Smear Artur Mas with childish abuse and propagate lies and scare stories to erode confidence???

Or perhaps Pons' advice to Better Together will be to send the tanks into Endinburgh, force our fishermen to fly Union jacks, and threaten to destroy Scotland before letting it exit the Union. If it's good enough to keep the Catalans in order it should be good enough for us too.

It might be a very interesting development however - we might shortly learn how many friends we have in Europe willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. Perhaps now is the time we should seek to develop some new alliances - and an auld one.
 
 
# edinburghdave 2012-11-06 07:14
If this is true, could this be the beginning of the end for the EU?
''
If successor states form an Alliance ourselves with sympathetic countries ( such as countries waiting for membership) and already pre existing states, then these countries can add political pressure behind the undemocratic nature of these underhand dealings and kick them into touch?
 
 
# Ped 2012-11-06 10:51
Quoting edinburghdave:
If this is true, could this be the beginning of the end for the EU?

I would think so.
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-11-06 07:30
Some of us have been saying for a while now that so far all we have faced is lies, smears and scare stories and it is the dirty tricks brigade that we have to watch out for .
If this story is true ? then it looks as though the dirty tricks are starting and to me that is a good sign as it means we are winning the argument .
If true , this is a massive own goal for the bitter together campaign .
This is just the type of story we need to turn the stream of people joining the yes campaign into a flood .
 
 
# cardrossian 2012-11-06 07:37
Surely no-one will base his decsion on voting YES to independence upon whether or not we are in the EU? The EU is an unrepresentativ e block of European nation states. We can do much better that that as a member of EFTA. Vote YES at the referendum, but in 2016 vote to stay out of the EU. By that time the SNP will be tying itself in knots anyway so don't worry about what they say now. Vote YES for INDEPENDENCE, and that means from the EU as much as from the UK
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-11-06 07:41
Going by historical patterns, it is likely the unionists will drive Scotland out of the UK by their actions as much as the Yes campaign will lead Scotland to independence. The British establishment is incapable of learning from its mistakes.
 
 
# maisiedotts 2012-11-06 07:42
Could this be viewwd as "external interference" in the referendum by CoE and UN? I suspect it might.
 
 
# Macart 2012-11-06 08:52
True maisie, they can't honestly claim to be seeking advice or opinion now can they? Not if the result is merely a coalition with a foreign party.

O/T but last nights big debate, have you ever noticed in any of the debates that there is one question which is never asked? Could the panel members tell me if they believe in the principle of independence either personally or nationally? I would dearly love to have seen Rennie and Sarwar squirm out a reply on why they believe the principle of independence is wrong. :)
 
 
# Macart 2012-11-06 07:52
Our own home baked politicians conspiring with right wing Euro unionists to deny us our right to self determination. They have the sheer brass neck to call us divisive and separatist yet have no problems it seems in sowing division and anger in Europe itself. Whatever happened to no outside interference?
 
 
# Jimmy the Pie 2012-11-06 07:56
Sorry off topic but,

I see from the Torygraph, Cameron wanting more windfarms and Ruthie slagging AS for having too many?

Never mind if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

These clowns don't even know what left and right is.

And we get these clowns to govern us with Labour's blessing.
 
 
# Angus 2012-11-06 08:04
The Unionists are too slow to realise that they are not the law makers of the EU. I told German friends, after Independence, the UK wishes to block Scotland from the EU, they were disgusted and said this could not happen.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-11-06 08:18
This is one Pons-ie scheme that might get my support. As no lover of the EU I think anything which would keep Scotland at arms length from this quasi-state is a good thing.
Scotland independent from one failing union should not seek to tie itself to a more corrupt un-democratic and mega bureaurocratic organisation hell bent on destroying the nation state, something that Scotland is seeking to re-brand itself as. Free and Independent, the Scots nation should be able to decide for itself if it would like to associate itself with such a club.
Who knows what situation the EU will be in in 2 years time ?.
 
 
# Ken Mac 2012-11-06 09:16
'As no lover of the EU I think anything which would keep Scotland at arms length from this quasi-state is a good thing.'

Get a grip UpSpake.The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Don't kid yourself. For the sake of stability Scotland must continue in the EU on independence. It would be crazy to do anything else. Thereafter argue all you want for withdrawal. I'm no fan off the EU and may well argue for that myself.
 
 
# H Scott 2012-11-06 08:31
If this goes ahead it might work to our advantage as it might force the EU to take an official and public stance on Scottish independence.
 
 
# Soloman 2012-11-06 08:34
Someone from Yes Scotland should call the blufff of The EU. If such discussions are taking place then we must prepare for life outside The EU! We shouldn't forget that the Better Together Mob haven't started to plan for how an Independent Scotland might look, perhaps the Yes campaign should let the people know what Scotland could look like if we were to be excluded.......
 
 
# J Wil 2012-11-06 08:46
Intimidation normally has the reverse effect to what the perpetrators hope for.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-11-06 08:47
Mr Pons and the Unionists here are a bad lot. They live in the rose coloured era of Empire.
The Tories I am hardly surprised at because as David Cameron says he does not want to be the one presiding over the break up of the UK.
I suspect Mr Pons is of similar thinking.
However, labour to have anything to do with this is even more appalling.

They are attempting to cheat us, as they did before they will try again now.
We are governed by the lowest of the low, there is no democracy in the UK, we need to get out of it.

It is becoming unrecognisable as a democracy, which if we are honest has never really been the case anyway. We are only allowed what we are allowed.

Expect much more deceit and anti democratic practices, such is "Great" Britain. We need to review our options in ref to the EU, it too is corrupt.
 
 
# Koenig 2012-11-06 08:57
Can you imagine the outcry if this happened in England. If the media reported Labour were conspiring with EU fascists to subvert the democratic rights of English voters.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-11-06 13:02
You don't need to imagine it. The once Labour minister Oswald Moseley did exactly that and we know what happened next.
 
 
# bipod 2012-11-06 08:59
How can the so called Scottish Labour and tory MPs be so pathetic? They are supposed to represent the poeple of this country, not connive and revel in its misfortune.
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-11-06 09:00
If this is true then it is indeed a despicable act by the No Better Together campaign and must be exposed for what it is. It is highly unlikely though that given its potential to badly damage the credibility of the No campaign that the MSM will cover it. start tweeting this now and get a link onto your facebook pages asap.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-11-06 09:04
Here we all go again - spinning round trying to cope with the mischief put up by the anti-brigade who are pi**ing into the wind.

The time-line is already set in stone; 2014, the YES/NO referendum produces the Scots' will for a future Scotland. It is balanced at one-third YES, one-third NO, with the remaining one third UNDECIDED.

The SNP Scottish Government will publish it's White Paper on Independence in November 2013 - this will consolidate the YES vote and convince the UNDECIDED,one way or the other - most likely to be for YES in 2014.

2015 is the General UK election, which will show how the majority of Scots want to be governed. If the Conservatives succeed - it will further consolidate and increase the Scottish independence vote due for 2016.

Even if the 2014 Referendum produces a narrow NO win it will not stop independence votes in 2015 and 2016.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-11-06 09:08
All the people of southern European nations, especially Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece need to realise they are in the EU only to make up the BIG numbers. Their "politicians" are leading them down a road to ruin by the nose for personal gain. Nothing else.

These countries, like Scotland, would all do better in EFTA.

Sooner rather than later EFTA will spell the end of the EU lawyer factory once and for all anyway.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-06 09:23
Jim, where Catalonia is concerned, Spain is now too hostile an environment, even the EU is a better bet, warts & all. If you're solvent, Merkel can't get you, at least not directly

STOP PRESS - a story from Vilaweb, quoting Con sources and rebutting El Periodico article:

vilaweb.cat/.../...

So the Scottish leader and the PP met, but it claims no common front was made or considered. But pressure has been put on the Con block in the EU to support Spain.

Well rumour is rife at this time, and if this denial is true, it seems it even got to El Periódico. For now, it's wait and see ...

PS another example of dirty tricks: campaign by elite Catalan business people - no words needed ...

ara.cat/.../...
 
 
# smckay 2012-11-06 11:38
If you chuck the article from your first link into google translate the first line is;

The British Conservative Party David Cameron has not 'absolutely no intention' to ally with PP to expel an EU independent Scotland or Catalonia.

Accidental double negative or are they the Herald or Scotsman of Spain?
 
 
# Ped 2012-11-06 13:18
Thanks for the tip there smckay. The thought to translate hadnt even begun to dawn on me :)
 
 
# InfrequentAllele 2012-11-06 14:02
Double negatives are perfectly grammatical in Spanish and Catalan. It means "has absolutely no intention at all".
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-11-06 09:22
A worrying development - but quite how you get that headline from the story requires a bit of imagination.

All we know so far is these parties have met, and will meet again, and this must certainly be scrutinised. Whats going on with the headline's NNS ?
 
 
# Mac 2012-11-06 09:24
So Scottish Labour would rather make a dirty political deal with Spanish neo-facists, that would damage Scotland's prospects of retaining EU membership and Scots remaining EU citizens, than allow Scots to have their say in a democratic referendum.

What sort of people are those in Scottish Labour?
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-11-06 09:28
Ewan Crawford in Scotsman worth a read about No campaigners hypocrisy.

scotsman.com/.../...
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-11-06 09:52
I'm a big fan of Ewan Crawford and Blair Jenkins too. They're always very courteous and upbeat and keen to focus on the positive message of independence.

However that doesn't mean that there is no place for cold hard facts. The polite approach allows the NO campaign to continue lying with impunity.

I was interested in a piece by Alan Bissett where defying the keep it relentlessly positive theme he dared to tell a Yes Scotland meeting in Falkirk about the McCrone report and Scottish seabed theft. He describes the anger in the room as palpable.

scottishsocialistvoice.net/.../...

Aren't we in danger of assuming that ordinary Scots, the very ones we need to reach, already know this stuff?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-11-06 10:02
Blair Jenkins is so polite he decided, in reponse to Isobel Fraser's question, "...was the BBC biased...", to say, NO. A golden opportunity missed. I still do not know the logic behind his response, but it would have been interesting to hear Isobel's and the BBC's response if he had said YES.

On the question of Scotland remaining in the EU. It has been demonstrated that the EU as an organization has no interest in the democratic process when they can insist that officials are in charge of governments in Italy and Greece.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-11-06 10:48
GK,have had a similar reaction from people when explained to them...especially the redrawing of our marine boundary just prior to the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-11-06 13:56
I was shocked when Alan was dropped by the YES campaign.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-11-06 14:12
I do recall an article claiming that was the case on Newsnet a couple of weeks back but this event in Falkirk was a Yes Scotland event. I've no idea how they could "drop" Alan Bissett or why they would for that matter so I expect the article was crossed wires or some such thing.

He appears to still be very much part of the Yes campaign.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-11-06 18:35
I do hope so.
 
 
# Macart 2012-11-06 12:21
From the Suburbs

Nice piece by Mr Crawford. Here's another good piece out today on Bella by Robin McAlpine.

bellacaledonia.org.uk/.../...

What the no campaign really stands for at the end of the day.
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-11-06 10:00
I think we do need to get some clarification on this. If true, then I would agree with massiedots, that this sounds like interference in a referendum by a third party which is not allowable?

Nothing would surprise me, but this sounds like speculation, or exaggeration?
 
 
# John Lyons 2012-11-06 13:22
It's not interference.

They'll keep out of the referendum. This is forward planning for how to react to a Yes win. The action will take place after the referendum, so it's not direct interference, although by makng thier intentions public they are clearly trying to influence the result.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-11-06 11:34
"The report that the Labour party is prepared to reach a deal with the Spanish Partido Popular, the political heirs to the party of the dictator General Franco, will sit uneasily with party members who are proud of the role played by Scottish socialists of the International Brigade who fought against Franco during the Spanish Civil War."
Sounds very much like a tactic decided by Labour's Shadow Cabinet in London HQ,in cahoots with the Torys. Johann Lamont is a part-time member of the London Shadow Cabinet.
Has Labour in Scotland lost ALL it's principles?
On to Facebook,and suggest others pass the above article on.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-11-06 11:57
The new Labour lot do not want to be reminded of the real Labour party principles. They hope that it is all lost in the mists of time and that the younger voters will care little for times gone by.

I once had a notion that in an independent Scotland I might consider a vote for a truly Scottish Labour party.

I see that as impossible now, the present SNP leadership will do nicely for a while once we are independent.

PS: The rain in Spain is falling on the plain in buckets this morning cats and dogs here..
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-11-06 13:11
I intended,follow ing independence,PE RHAPS voting Labour.
Knowing now what I now know (bit of a Rumsfeld there) I just couldn't bring myself to EVER support a bunch of self-seeking discredited people---and that's the pre-watershed opinion of most of them!
I'll be voting SNP----they are the people who have kept their cool during the maelstrom of lies and innuendos from Labour,Tory and LibDems based on very little or nothing at all.
They're fairt and it's showing.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-06 11:59
This agreemenet has now been denied by Cameron, apparently, but what we do know is that in Spain at least there are dirty tricks.

This election, for example, Catalans living abroad have had exceptional problems in voting, with a new voting law combined with what seems to be a go-slow of consulates and embassies. Only 16,000 out of over 150,000 Catalans on the census have been able to register, apparently a very low percentage, and of course, reasons are being sought for this unusual circumstance. Don't forget it's billed as a plebiscite for a referendum.

Where the Spanish government is concerned, never trust a word is the only sensible attitude.
 
 
# Holdtrue 2012-11-06 12:04
Currently some 70% of the sovereign powers of the UK (and hence of Scotland) are under EU control with only some 30% left with the UK and Scottish governments. Over 20% of the current UK tax laws have been replaced by the EU tax laws.

If the No campaign can succeed and block Scotland from the EU then they will be of more benefit to Scotland than the Yes campaign - who appear to want the 70% of Scotland's sovereign powers to remain with the EU. The EU which has decimated our fishing industry, and our farming industry

Why is the Yes campaign not providing an honest picture of the options for independence.

We in Scotland should be told that if Scotland in Europe meant a choice between:

A) Trading as a member of EFTA and retaining 100% of our sovereign powers or

B) Being controlled by the unelected European Union Commission who would hold onto 70% of our sovereign powers. 30% Scotland 70% EU
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-11-06 12:21
Well, an outbreak of common sense from Holdtrue. I'm totally perplexed why the Yes Campaign are 'campaigning' for Scotland to remain within the EU ?. What on earth has Scotland's relationship with this organisation to do with independence ?.
 
 
# exel 2012-11-06 12:41
UpSpake 2012-11-06 12:21
“Well, an outbreak of common sense from Holdtrue. I'm totally perplexed why the Yes Campaign are 'campaigning' for Scotland to remain within the EU? What on earth has Scotland's relationship with this organisation to do with independence?”

I wasn’t aware that the YES campaign is “campaigning” for Scotland or anybody else. They have been so quite that you would think the strings are broken.

BTW was't that what you told "holdtrue" to say. Sounds like SDA speak to me.
 
 
# scotswhahae 2012-11-06 19:31
Sounds like SDA speak to me.

And what is wrong with SDA speak? They too want INDEPENDENCE for Scotland, surely that can't be a bad thing, as for them not wanting to be in the EU, is that so awful? We need to know more about the benefits of being in the EU, so far, I know the benefits of being in EFTA from the SDA website, but not the benefits of being in the EU as yet from the SNP, the party I am a member of.. I just can't get my head around wanting Independence from the Westminster lot, to hand all control over to the GERMANS...That surely is NOT Independence...
 
 
# davemsc 2012-11-06 21:47
In case you hadn't noticed, we are already in the EU. That's where all your employment rights come from, for starters. And as for an independent Scotland in the EU is concerned, we'd have a vote on matters, rather than no say at all. I'd have thought that was patently obvious, and that you'd have realised that the SNP had spelled this out long ago. Perhaps you just weren't paying attention?

And as for the SDA: from their website, they appear to be little more than a Caledonian version of UKIP. So while they say they would like an independent Scotland, I'm very wary of their motives. Particularly since they seem intent on hiding in the shadows until independence happens.
 
 
# rgweir 2012-11-06 13:42
I had a glance at the nominations for the Herald politician of the year award and had a light switch on in my brain.
Call me an old duffer if you wish but i would like to know what odds i would get for Lamont getting this award,Could this realy happen.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-11-06 13:58
'And some have greatness thrust upon them'

Aye right!

No even they can see she's a stop gap holding a position nobody of repute wants.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-11-06 15:33
O/T

Stephen Maxwell`s "Arguing for Independence" has had another print run and is available, for instance,in Waterstones Glasgow. Part of the purchase price goes towards the independence funds.
A good Christmas present for an undecided?
It is nicely displayed under a notice "Mebbes Aye, Mebbes nae! To help you decide"
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-11-06 15:42
Yes its an excellent book and agree should be given to every undecided voter you know for Christmas.

Also available from Luath Press at
www.luath.co.uk/.../
or even Amazon as a last resort.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-11-06 16:07
At 3 pm BBC Radio Scotland news reported that Airdrie MP Pamela Nash failed to turn up for her House of Commons debate Scotland’s membership of the EU.

Was this deliberate as the findings would not favour the No campaign?

And BBC quietly dropped the report from their 4 pm news headlines. I wonder why?
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-11-06 17:25
Read more about Pamela Nash's mystery non appearance which caused the Westminster debate to be cancelled....... and SNP welcomes Croatian membership of the EU.

snp.org/.../...
 
 
# Piemonteis 2012-11-06 17:29
Was the debate not in relation to Croatia's ascension to the EU?

I can't imagine the House of Commons scheduling a debate on Scotland's status within the EU until some time after 2014.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2012-11-06 16:50
The YES campaign is not campaigning for Scotland to stay in the EU.
I have all the literature.

Scotland however is presently in the EU.
It is absolutley absurd for anyone to argue that the EU will throw Scotland that has most of Europe's oil, most of Europe's fishing grounds and a command of the North Atlantic out.
Only half wits believe that.

Whether Scotland wants to stay in after independence is another question. Upspake would like us to involve in that argument now which would divert us from more important matters.
 
 
# Piemonteis 2012-11-06 17:10
Indeed Scotland will be within the EU the day after the referendum and while it negotiates her independence with the rest of the UK.

What a lot of people are overlooking, however, is that there would be a process of integration within the EU in the years between the referendum and "Independence Day", where things like Euro parliament representation and the status of agreements where the UK is a signatory are discussed and decided, and this would invariably involve some kind of negotiation on a number of issues inside the EU.

If the prospects did not look favourable (either due to the condition of the EU at the time, or terms of continued membership which did not benefit the country), there would surely be a window to pull out before full integration was achieved. I believe that decision/debate should be left until then.
 
 
# rgi50 2012-11-06 17:24
Do we need the EC Norway is doing quite well outside the EC.
 
 
# ituna semea 2012-11-06 17:49
They may well be doing Scotland a big favour.
 
 
# border reiver 2012-11-06 17:59
The ink is not even dry on the Edinburgh Agreement which propmiseS a FAIR and legal Vote that will be RESPECTED by both sides nothong about this sort of rhetoric sounds fair or respectful. The better together campaign is floundering when it has to resort to these tactics, then again they have their backs to the wall because they have nothing positive to add
 
 
# drygrangebull 2012-11-06 18:32
hi everyone, this is my first time posting here.but i have a question....with D.C.asking for investment from the middle east into infrastructure in this country, is he trying to sell the rights to oil to the Saudi's ahead of the referendum? Its just a thought
 
 
# EphemeralDeception 2012-11-06 18:41
Even if true, it is a waste of effort of the no campaign at best. Here is a reminder from Yes Scotland website:

"The UK and Scottish governments have agreed to accept the result of the independence referendum. That means if there is a Yes vote, the UK government will become a partner in delivering on the wishes of the Scottish people. That will include legislation at Westminster to enable independence to be achieved. Scotland will become independent with the support of the existing EU member state.

Some people have suggested that Spain might seek to block Scottish membership of the EU. However, the Spanish foreign secretary, José Garcia-Margallo said: "If in the UK, both parties agree that this is consistent with their constitutional order, Spain would have nothing to say. This does not affect us. The constitutional arrangements in Britain is one and in Spain another. It is up to them."
 
 
# exel 2012-11-07 01:07
Basically both Westminster and an independent Scotland in the EU suffer the same problem.

EU Law is a system of law operated directly by the institutions of the EU (The EU Commission, EU Parliament and European Court of Justice sitting in Luxemburg) and was incorporated into UK law by the European Communities Act 1972. It has supremacy in each of the Member States (Including the UK). The effect of this is that parliamentary sovereignty is powerless to resist EU law overriding laws enacted by the UK parliament.

There is no written codified constitution in the UK to counter this interference with sovereignty and the political parties are unwilling to give up their ability to make law at their whim (elective dictatorship).

Similarly the SNP the SNP are not willing to discuss a codified constitution (a set of rules defining how the Scottish electorate will exercise their sovereignty) until they (Scots) vote yes to secession.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-06 18:47
OT, but don't forget if you're in Glasgow tomorrow (Wednesday), Catalan Culture Day at the University.

llull.cat/.../...

Barça, independentism and music, what more could you ask!

NB talk by Matthew Tree, British journalist long-term Catalan resident and well-known independentist, at 12.00 in GU Randolph Hall.

If there's anybody from Newsnet about, Matthew would make an interesting correspondent!
 
 
# Insch74 2012-11-06 21:05
Thanks Marga, I'll take a wander over the road for the talk. I've not seen any emails circulating around the University for this which is unusual.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-07 13:53
Insch - Hope it's interesting! Would like to have called in myself to see what was going on ...

EDIT - I see Puerto Rico has voted to become the 51st state of the USA instead of independent - oh well, at least it had the chance to vote, and with 3 options, no less!
 
 
# Angus 2012-11-06 18:48
The bitter together team are making a fool of themselves, while showing that we really are ruled by Westminster bullying.

Scotland and the EU was supposed to be debated in the parliament today, but the subject was dropped due to technical difficulties!?!? Maybe Tuesday is expenses claim day for Westminster?!
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-06 20:20
When it comes down to the EU or EFTA, I find myself in desperate need of an audit comparing the two. A blow by blow account of what membership physically delivers.
I know nothing about EFTA in any detail, and what I know about the EU is too often tainted by euro-skeptic bias which seems to resonate down South.

There's a lot of money comes Scotland's way from Europe, but I can't tell whether that's a nett gain compared to what we pay in.

What we do require is a more accountable mechanism than Scottish Enterprise to help local business access support. Non accountable quangoes and selective access to funding is a very bad recipe. I don't like unelected quangoes. I just don't trust them. If the government or civil service can't do their job, (& why can't they?) and we need a quango, then I'd have every one of them on a performance related year to year contract.
 
 
# Boorach 2012-11-06 22:12
'fraid you would first have to find an auditor to sign-off the EU accounts. Announced today that auditors have for the 18th consequetive year refused to put pen to paper for the Eurocrats!
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-11-07 00:59
Boorach, surely this cannot be so - French law, for one insists that accounts are signed off each fiscal year and they would be legally offended if this was happening for just a one off, but, if it is persistent, as you claim, into an 18th consecutive year it just doesn't compute.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-11-07 09:28
Breeks. For a full assessment of the benifits to Scotland of joining the EFTA side of the EEA as opposed to staying within the EU go to the SDA website and look up the appropriate sections.
You will not only find all you need there but also the SDA's committment to the abolition of all quango's, something Mr. Salmond promised in his 'bonfire of the quango's' but singularly failed to deliver on.
www.scottishdemocraticalliance.org
 
 
# rob4i 2012-11-07 13:43
Simple, the Scottish people by now must be fully aware of the dangers of Unionism, they are a despicable and conniving bunch of self-serving,anti-democratic charlatans, and all you need to do is vote YES in 2014 and you will rid Scotland of all its Unionist vermin!!
 

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