By G.A.Ponsonby
Reports in the Scottish media that the European Commission has sent a letter to the House of Lords claiming an independent Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership, have been dismissed by a spokesman for EC President José Manuel Barroso.
The story, which originally appeared in the Scotsman newspaper, claimed that a House of Lords committee had been sent an official letter that contradicted SNP claims that an independent Scotland would remain a member of the EU.

However a spokesman for Mr Barroso described the claims made in the article as “incorrect” and insisted no decision had yet been made on how to respond to the committee’s request to the EC President for a statement on an independent Scotland’s EU status.

Responding to a question from Newsnet Scotland, the spokesman said: “President Barroso has been invited to contribute to the House of Lords inquiry on the economic implications for the United Kingdom of Scottish Independence.  The President has not yet replied.

“The Commission position is well known and set out in the series of responses given to European parliamentary questions.  The Commission has been very clear that we do not comment on specific situations but can only give a view in general”.

He added: “So to be clear – no reply has been decided or sent by the President yet so the Scotsman story is incorrect.”

According to the article headlined – Scottish independence: Separate Scotland must apply to join EU, warns Brussels – the letter is a “significant blow to the Nationalists”.

In the article, the journalist who wrote the piece said: “… the European Commission has written to a House of Lords committee stating that if Scots voters back independence, existing treaties which cover the UK’s EU membership will ‘cease to apply’,”

The report added: “The letter, seen by The Scotsman, states that independence ‘would not have a neutral impact’.

It adds: “If a territory of a member state ceases to be part of that member state because it has become an independent state then the treaties would cease to apply to that territory.”

The journalist also claims: “The letter appears to answer the questions surrounding one of the most controversial issues in the independence debate.”

The official statement from the EC describing the story as “incorrect” and that no reply has yet been decided will raise questions regarding the veracity of many of the subsequent reports.  Since being published early on Thursday morning, almost all of Scotland’s main stream news outlets have treated the original article as credible. 

Writing in the Times newspaper, former Scotsman journalist Hamish Macdonell repeated the claims and said: “European officials made it clear that a separate [sic] Scotland would have to reapply for EU membership.” And that “Alex Salmond’s hopes of securing a Yes vote in the independence referendum suffered a major setback”

Mr Macdonnell added: “Scotland would then have to negotiate the conditions of re-entry to Europe with the existing member states — which could mean signing up to the euro.

“The European Commission’s official position on Scottish independence was revealed in a letter sent by Brussels officials to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.”

Also eager to report the Scotsman article was BBC Scotland.  The broadcaster reported the claims contained in the article throughout the day, despite no confirmation of any letter having been given by the European Commission.

In several broadcasts, BBC Scotland reporter Raymond Buchanan claimed that the letter existed but questioned whether it contained the text reported by the Scotsman.  Mr Buchanan also claimed that the EC had in fact already “hinted” that an independent Scotland would have to re-apply.

Mr Buchanan described Scotland’s EU status as a “big economic question” in the independence debate and suggested that joining the Euro may be the price of new membership.

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Mr Buchanan’s BBC colleague, Gavin Hewitt claimed that the European Commission would make it “absolutely clear” that an independent Scotland would have to re-apply for membership.

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Responding to the reports, a spokesman for Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the Scotsman story as “fabricated” and said:

“Serious questions now need to be asked as to where these claims came from and what role members of the House of Lords Committee and the UK political parties played in this fabricated story.

“This incident shows that these Westminster committees and their inquiries are simply anti-independence propaganda tools, and are not seriously considering the opportunities of independence.

“The Scottish government will be writing to the European Commission making clear our serious concerns about this incident.”

If, as is being claimed by the EC, that no reply to the House of Lords has been decided and no official letter has been sent, then questions will be asked as to the motivation of many reporters and journalists who have been eager to promote this story.

If, on the other hand the EC have indeed sent communications expressing such views then there will be questions as to why denials have been issued.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Scotsman newspaper has altered its original article in which it claimed a letter had been sent, to one which makes no such claim.

The original article stated: “In a significant blow to the Nationalists, the European Commission has written to a House of Lords committee…” [emphasis ours]

The has now changed to: “In a significant blow to the Nationalists, the European Commission has written a letter intended for a House of Lords committee…”

Also, the following: “However, in a letter to the Lords economic affairs committee…” has become “However, in a letter for the Lords economic affairs committee…”

Sadly, the earlier claims that a letter had already been sent were circulated within several media outlets before the corrections were applied.


# balbeggie 2012-12-06 17:45
Why am I not surprised by a planted story in the Scotsman along with the BBC helping to spread the story in their news reports. Will they now report the statement from the President of the EC?
# Shagpile 2012-12-06 18:34

Membership to the EU club will not be based on legal claim. It is a club of states. Yet, watch this space…. I’ll bet that continued membership of the EU will be based on International Law, and that Scotland will be regarded as a successor state, DESPITE neither the EU nor the UK recognising the Vienna Convention of the same.

Scotland’s natural resources are a hard bit of fact not likely to be dismissed.

I’ve read that the EU would love to bring the UK down a peg or two. England will remain permanent puppet to the USA on the Security Council.

# bodun 2012-12-07 02:17
At least BBC Scotlandshire has admitted defeat:…/…
# xyz 2012-12-06 17:48
Excellent work NewsNetScotland  ! Let’s now see the despicable BBC and risible ‘Scotsman newspaper’ reporting facts for a change. Forlorn hope probably.
# proudscot 2012-12-06 18:02
And Holyrood’s 3 unionist stooges will still claim the press organs in Scotland don’t require tighter supervision, with attendant guarantees of “same page, same prominence” retraction of inaccurate (usually anti-independence or anti-SNP) stories like this!

Probably because there would be so many printed retractions, there would be hardly any room available for fresh lies oops, sorry, I meant “news”.
# Old Smokey 2012-12-06 18:04
I notice the article on the BBC website has been updated adnitting that the letter hasnt been sent, however they dont admit (yet) that the reply as been formulated and if the reply hasnt been formulated then the letter doesnt exist yet
# maisiedotts 2012-12-06 20:15
There are now 9 versions (8 amendments) of this story logged at News Sniffer…/1
# xyz 2012-12-06 18:08
OT – Good news reported here on the BBC website re “Plexus to create 130 jobs in Bathgate”:…/…

It’s good news but not specifically for anyone who has lost their job a Vion. Yet the BBC says this: “First Minister Alex Salmond said the investment would be especially welcome after the loss of the Vion jobs in Broxburn.”

It’s not a quote, so I suspect some poison twerp at the BBC is most likely misrepresenting the actual words of the first minster.
# chicmac 2012-12-07 01:50
To be fair, the very next sentence does clarify the FM’s position somewhat:

“Plexus’ decision to invest £9m in expanding their Scottish operations will provide a welcome boost to the local economy, “
# xyz 2012-12-07 14:48
That may be the very quote they are misreporting in the sentence I am highlighting which makes the first minster seem out of touch or deluded. Damage done, mission accomplished.

Seems to me that bringing up the much worse news about Vion it reduces the good news, similar to when they reported on the 100 million Samsung investment.…/…
# Siôn Jones 2012-12-06 18:08
I was rather shocked to hear this on the BBC Toady program this am, but as its attribution was rather vague, and the source was obviously a bunch of crusty lords a-lieing, I thought the truth will triumph in the end, and this puff of rubbish will just disperse in the wind as so many have in the past. .
# rapid 2012-12-06 18:27
This has to be above the line for investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.

However, I imagine the YES campaign are waiting for the real letter to arrive before launching a salvo of attack. After all, we don’t actually know what the letter will say.

Maddox must have been duped. But my big worry that this is orchestrated conspiracy and not a simple cockup.
# rabb 2012-12-06 19:39
Quoting rapid:
This has to be above the line for investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.

However, I imagine the YES campaign are waiting for the real letter to arrive before launching a salvo of attack. After all, we don’t actually know what the letter will say.

Maddox must have been duped. But my big worry that this is orchestrated conspiracy and not a simple cockup.

I have jumped the gun on the PCC front!!

I made a complaint to them earlier online under section 1 (Accuracy) of the editor’s code.

I don’t expect to see any reply of substance to be honest. I imagine Westminster will have them sewn up too.
# Kirriereoch 2012-12-06 18:32
Here is the video of the European Commissioner stating that he cannot confirm or comment because the letter has not been sent or received (yet). Nice to note the EC spokesman says Scottish independence and not just secession or separation etc:…/…
# Henry 2012-12-07 17:57
Thx for the link Kirrie, but although I get the web page the video hangs for some reason. If anyone else is having trouble, I was able to get the Q&A; from the “All latest videos and video galleries” section at…/index_en.htm
Just scroll down and check for “EC Midday Briefing 06/12/12 – Scotland Q&A;”.
# daveniz 2012-12-06 18:39
amazing the BBC pretending to be innocent in the disinformation and yet they didn’t fully admit the full facts still towed the unionist line!
# maisiedotts 2012-12-06 19:59
Quoting daveniz:
amazing the BBC pretending to be innocent in the disinformation and yet they didn’t fully admit the full facts still towed the unionist line!

BBC have changed the text of that article throughout the day.
# Diabloandco 2012-12-06 18:42
The whole piece of crud is reported in the Daily Mail – which gets more like a printed freak show on a regular basis.
# gus1940 2012-12-06 18:55
How dare you refer to The Scotsman as a newspaper something which it ceased to be long ago when Brillo Pad entered the scene.

Compared with the line it was taking earlier in the day BBC Scotland are now backpedalling furiously.

STV on-line don’t mention the story and after not covering it this morning The Herald and Record are only belatedly covering it but in the form of reporting reactions to said story.
# kevzawake 2012-12-06 19:10
The Scotsman is clearly getting carried away in its daily spin of negativity on the independence referendum debate.

An apparently leaked letter to Lord Tugendhat, selectively quoted from by the Scotsman & “commented” on by the ever available Lord Foulkes does not amount, to a “final word” or “hammer blow”.

The fact remains that the EU holds NO “formal” legal opinion on the status of an independent Scotland OR restofUK .


This was the status in November,though the EU has stated it will provide a Legal Opinion to the member state involved, ie the UK Government, which thus far refuses to make such a request.

So whatever the Scotsman letter shows, it’s not a definitive response from the EU.

At best, the Scotsman has been mischievous at worst duplicitous.
# soutron 2012-12-08 11:13
I think the key word there is divide. The UK would not divide, it would cease to exist. In it’s place would be two new states, England and Scotland. Wales would continue to be a province of England as it was conquered and never entered into a partnership of equal union. Northern Ireland is a province of GB, so with the 1800 union dissolved…would that mean Ireland by default would be united (tricky situation perhaps)??

I think it’s fair to say that there has been no precedent. The Algeria situation doesn’t cover it. Two new states would exist…I think the EU status of each would be decided by judges and international law rather than politicians. Oh and of course, the Scottish people. EFTA might prove to be less of a headache.
# soutron 2012-12-06 19:30
Yes, thank you newsnet. I knew this story reeked and reading it this morning actually messed up my day! Really interested to see the contents of the letter once it’s finished and posted…I wonder if it will get so much coverage if it doesn’t quite say what the unionists want it to. I suppose they’ll manage to put a spin on it regardless. Press reform in Scotland can’t come soon enough.
# mealer 2012-12-06 19:30
The BBC and Scotsman should hang their heads in shame.
# maisiedotts 2012-12-06 19:31
Absolutely hilarious! AND the BBC article is still open to comments 😀 How embarassing for the NO camp, BBC and particularly Scotsman. Anyone fancy drafting a complaint to the Press Council, I think telling propaganda lies is disinformation is it not?
# scots Highlander 2012-12-06 19:33
David Cameron is a former PR Executive….they have already employed a PR spindoctor paid for by westminster.

Does Scotland have a spindoctor….I am sure we would be good at the “black arts” ?
# jim288 2012-12-06 20:06
I’ve just been on the BBC article which is open to comments. Not that BBC Scotland has anything to do with it. It’s a BBC UK article.

Anyway the majority of the comments are quite encouraging as are the highest and some of the lowest rated. By that I mean they reflect more positive Scottish views than is the norm for a UK wide story on Scots independence.

Not really sure why that should be the case but welcome for all that.
# McNic 2012-12-06 20:29
Hi all, its been some time since I posted but after todays BBC/RamondB farce I need some release.
As I left for work this morning at 6a.m. I heard Ramondo’s recorded un-truth.
So appalled was I as I had a sneeky suspicion that somebody was up to no-good, I text-ed Newsdrive asking why an UN-verified story was their Top-Billing?
Unsurprisingly my text was not read-out, but what has horrified me is that when I pulled up back at the ranch some 13hours later the same recording was played on the 7pm bulletin!
I have since fallen out with my better-half as I am canceling my T.V Tax direct-debit and am quite happy to go to court with these cretinous nae-sayers. As you can imagine my better-half thinks this is maybe a bit rash, but I cant handle the fact that I, you, we all pay to be lied to.
Cheers, Iain.
# Andy Anderson 2012-12-06 20:34
What a nonsense. The legal position of the British Parliament as set-out for me in a legal judgement on the Act of Union was: That the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament both separately agreed the terms of the Act of Union in 1707 and then both parliaments were dissolved and the new British Parliament took their place. Surely that means that if Scotland votes to leave the union in accordance with an agreed procedure with the British parliament this would in turn dissolve the British Parliament and the English and Scottish parliaments would be reinstated. If one of these countries were to be considered a “new state” applying to the EU for membership then clearly they would both be “new states” since the parliament which joined the EU would no longer exist.
# cjmasta 2012-12-06 23:23
The Scottish Parliament reconvened over ten years ago after 300 years and we`re in the EU already. Can`t imagine we`d be kicked out to try and re enter.
# govanite 2012-12-06 20:53
The BBC shamed itself further today. No attempt at investigating the veracity of dubious claims, just a non-objective undistinguished rush to shame the victim of the claims. Disgusting, a revolting organisation.
# robroy 2012-12-06 21:00
So yet again the BBC broadcast an inaccurate story without first checking, didn’t they get in hot water for this recently? seems the never learn.
# Rafiki 2012-12-06 21:07
Have been reading again Paul Scott’s book “The boasted advantages” published before we had a Scottish Parliament. I see the chicanery leading up to the Treaty of Union being replicated.
Thank God for the SCottish Govenment.
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-12-06 22:00
From BBC website 1st November, 2012:

Scottish independence: UK ministers not seeking advice on Scotland in EU

The UK government has said it would not ask the European Commission’s view on whether an independent Scotland would remain a member of the EU.
The statement follows confirmation from the commission that it would offer its opinion if asked to by a member state.
Previously the EC’s position was that Scottish independence was a UK matter and not one it could speculate on.
The Scottish Labour Party has now urged UK ministers to ask the EC what its view would be.
However, the UK confirmed to the BBC that it did not intend to make such a request before the referendum on Scottish independence, scheduled to take place in the autumn of 2014.”
# Marian 2012-12-06 22:10
It would have been interesting to know what would have happened to the Scotsman if the Leveson Report recommendations had been implemented in full.

Hopefully it would have meant they would have to print a full page retraction and apology or face a £1 million fine!
# Tubby 11 2012-12-06 22:54
Been reading the comments on this “story” all night and the tiresome lies and petty name calling from the “Unionists” are plain for all to see.
Due to a lack of any positive & factually correct reasons to vote “No” they stoop to the usual game of caricaturing the “Yes” voters as Anti-English, “Braveheart” dreamers who don’t understand the “Real World”.
# Iaincraig 2012-12-06 22:57
The BBC caught telling porkies? Surely not? The Hootsman telling porkies? Surely not? The British Press and Media caught telling pokies? Surely not?

Voluntary codes and can be trusted to police itself. Its the way they tell them! The sound of more ribs popping.
# rapid 2012-12-06 23:07
newsnicht comedy on BBC2

Brewer: How did you know what was in the letter?
Foulkes: I read it in the Scotsman
Brewer: But then, it’s just going round and round
Foulkes: I was in Brussels yesterday and I read it
Brewer: So how did the Scotsman get it?
Foulkes: I don’t know, It wasn’t me.
# Fungus 2012-12-06 23:19
This sort of nonsense will just get worse and worse as voting day approaches. This is why the referendum needs to be overseen by a truly unbiased body from the CoE or the UN.
# Adrian B 2012-12-06 23:20
If Foulkes actually believed that a ‘No’ vote was a forgone conclusion, then he wouldn’t be concerned about the process of an Independent Scotland joining the EU out with rUK.

This whole story has Foulkes grubby fingerprints all over it – he is very worried indeadat Labour losing ground as the ‘no’ campaign knows its in serious trouble with a further 22 months to go.
# From The Suburbs 2012-12-06 23:30
BBC News Channel Press Review discussing this story in Daily Mail tomorrow. The press reviewer (Nigel) whose last name I didn’t catch is parodying the unionist line without any qualification.

Again no attempt of balance by the BBC
# Hamish100 2012-12-06 23:38
Slightly off track but surely we just ask the EU (or Spain & London as they are worried over Catalonian independence –their prints are all over this)
1. Do you wish Scotland to remain in the EU Y/N
If no then say bye bye to our fisheries, oil, agriculture, energy resource, water etc
We will nationalise Scottish Power and give Espana 1 Euro, George Foulkes and Forsyth in compensation (they bought the company with false money anyway)
There are more countries outwith Europe who will be more than happy to trade with Scotland eg China, Russia etc
I think the EU will like us to stay–
SNP and YES campaign time to stick the boot in—nicely
# fynesider 2012-12-06 23:39
“In the article, the journalist who wrote the piece said: “… the European Commission has written to a House of Lords committee stating that if Scots voters back independence, existing treaties which cover the UK’s EU membership will ‘cease to apply’,””

This may the only factual bit in the whole story!
# clootie 2012-12-06 23:40
I’m still trying to figure out why the unionist’s thought such a clumsy piece of propaganda would work?

It really was one of the most pathetic attempts to date.

The Scotsman and the BBC have now hit rock bottom.

…….as for the MORI poll of business leaders – that fiction wouldn’t fool a 5 year old.

The good news is something must have spooked them to rush this trash out…….do we have a poll due?
# kendomacaroonbar 2012-12-06 23:43
Is there any way of Maddox actually substantiating his claim that he has seen the letter ? This just can’t be allowed to go unchallenged ?
# nchanter 2012-12-07 11:49
Quoting kendomacaroonba  r:
Is there any way of Maddox actually substantiating his claim that he has seen the letter ? This just can’t be allowed to go unchallenged ?

Sadly Maddox and his ilk are too thick to realise they are merely cannon fodder for the unionists
# Sannymac 2012-12-06 23:46
Scotland is currently (and regretably) a part of the UK and this is supposed to be a combination of their Parliments. Therefore if Scotlands Independence means we are out of the EU Then so is the remainder of what was the Westminster Parliament.
England out on its ear would greatly please UKIP and the majority of the EU countries.
Personally I would like Scotland out of the EU and entering EFTA. That said; I’m certain that an application to re-join the EU would be welcomed by most, if not all, of the EU countries.
# cuckooshoe 2012-12-06 23:46
I come across a song by a singer from the Philippines called Coritha. Her song is called Oras Na. It has a really nice folk rock 70s sound but I had no idea what she was singing about until I found it used on another YouTube clip in support of the people of Burma. It turns out the song title in english is ‘It is time’.. Her words are so apt to the Scottish Referendum, and the melody so stirring that I thought i would share it you. I hope it will be picked up by Scottish bands and singers..…/
# rapid 2012-12-07 00:01
The Scotsman is playing a very dangerous game. If they indeed have the true contents of the letter, then:

  • either NNS and the EU PR department are wrong;
  • or The Scotsman and Foulkes have been duped.

However; Why did the EU give a preview of the letter to Foulkes who will be the recipient of the letter once it has been sent to the lords inquiry on independence?

  • Why was he in Brussels, in the office of the department producing the letter?
  • What was he negotiating? on behalf of which country/which campaign?
  • If what Foulkes says is true, and he is not the leak, then how many other unionist individuals have seen the letter who could leak the contents the Scotsman?
  • Why would the EU not treat this advice as sensitive until published?

logically – none of this stacks up. one thing for sure, Lord Foulkes’s pass won’t work at the Commission building next time he’s in Brussels
# gus1940 2012-12-07 07:33
This letter business must be the subject of a full Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry.
# creag an tuirc 2012-12-07 12:39
AS should nip over to Brussels and have a wee look at the letter for himself. Are the EU and Westminster conspiring to deny Scotland her right to self determination?
# Leswil 2012-12-07 00:10
I do believe that the press has an
self regulated system in place that they have all long signed up to, works well then!
More evidence that the press do need such a system underpinned legally.
Otherwise, they will just continue as they are doing until they are stopped.
Also roll on SBC after 2014.
# exel 2012-12-07 00:19
What I would like to know is; what has membership of the EU got to do with the referendum debate.

As I understand it the SNP are going to ask us whether we wish to secede from the 1707 Act of union or not.

There has been no indication that they wish to ask us if we wish to remain in the EU or not.
# clootie 2012-12-07 11:55
err….because it may influence how people vote!
# Sannymac 2012-12-07 13:06
I don’t completely agree with you Clootie; Scottish Independence is the sole reason for the referendum. Other matters such as the Monarchy, Trident, EU Membership, Nato Membership and membership of any other treaty or agreement will be decided by THE INDEPENDENT SCOTTISH PEOPLE! To make these decisions the Scottish people and their government must be independent.
# Old Smokey 2012-12-07 00:42
Watched Thursday nights edition of Newsnight Scotland and was surprised to see that the lead item was a story that appeared in the Scotsman. Surprised (well not really),as it normally takes at least 24 hours for any current affairs magazine programme to put together an item and arrange running order, guests etc. Yet Newsnight Scotland had it all set up within the same day.
Found the video package with Michael Moore disgraceful as he was able to spout garbage without challenge.
As for Foulkes, it became apparent that he is very much involved in this story, claiming to have seen the letter. Which doesnt even exist yet!

By the way I’m irritated to say the least that, post independence, England is refered to as ‘remaining UK’ or rump UK’ or even just the ‘UK’ This has to cease. Post independence, there should not be any UK,as it was created by the Treaty of Union 1706, and said treaty will be ended on Scotland deciding to be independent. SNP take note!
# Mully 2012-12-07 01:51
This for me also, the treaty of union is quite clear, it was an act joining the parliaments of Scotland and England. Wales was and as far as I’m aware still is legally part of England. I am unclear on the Northern Irish standpoint but if the Scotland becomes independent then so too, by default does England, and the British parliament will be dissolved. This leaves both original states of the treaty in the same position…..or if this ever becomes an issue then going by international laws Scotland will be the senior state as the older of the two nations. We need to end this rUK talk now,give the people of Scotland and EW∋ the true facts.
# anndra_w 2012-12-07 02:34
From what I can make out the Unionist argument on this is that the state that was created by the Treaty of Union 1707 ceased to exist with the 1801 treaty of Union between Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland and so , if Scotland votes for independence then the treaty of 1801 would still be intact, because of Northern Ireland, as it did after the rest of Ireland gained independence. The majority of Ireland leaving did not alter the 1801 treaty so why would Scotland leaving do so? This is the argument they would make. I think it’s difficult to say one way or the other how it would work. I see the majority of things going in the interests of England generally because they make up the vast majority of the population of the UK and if anyone is going to hold onto treaty agreements with the EU it’s most likely to be them. The question is however, if Scotland is a completely new state and there is no dissolution of the Union then are we free of taking on our share of the UK’s debt?
# Old Smokey 2012-12-07 08:50
To help explain
The treaty of union 1706 (not 1707, 1707 was the year of teh Acts of union passed in each parliament)http  :// 
The treaty was for the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (being Scotland and England)
The treaty was ratified in 1707 by the acts.
In Union with Ireland Act 1800 (not 1801 as has been bandied about)formaly united the new UK parliament with the Dublin Parliament. This union is between the UK and Ireland, But Ireland was not seen as part of Great Britain, hence the title United Kingdom of Gt Britain and Ireland. If Scotland becomes Independent, then that rolls back the 1706 treaty. The kingdom of Ireland doesnt exist and N.Ireland is only a province of the UK
# Aplinal 2012-12-07 09:08
Smokey, can you clarify my thinking then (I am not a historian or lawyer, so may be getting confused). Is the fact that the Treaties of Union predate the Union with Ireland make that latter act null and void? Or does it not work like that?

My unclear thoughts also go back to the union of the crowns. Was it not this that “effectively” created the UK (even though it was not called as such) as this was a “Union” of the Kingdoms?

Frankly I could care less about what EWNI call themselves after Independence. I just want our country back.
# Old Smokey 2012-12-07 13:00
The treaty of union not only predates the union with Ireland, but was the treaty that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain .
The union with the Kingdom of Ireland is between United Kingdom of Great Britain and with the Kingdom of Ireland. But the Kingdom of Ireland is no more, doesn’t exist, instead the province of N.Ireland took its place in terms of title. But its a province of the UK (ie Scotland and England)Technic  ally ending the union between Scotland and England, will also make null and void that act with Ireland, unless there was an amendment to the original treaty that stated that neither England and Scotland are Kingdoms. As far as I know that’s never happened. (a bit like a DIY house, bits have just been added). The union of crowns is an entirely separate matter and has nothing to do with the UK as such, it was a monarchical union. But there is to this day two separate crowns for each Kingdom (there is no ‘British Crown’)
# Aplinal 2012-12-07 14:45
Thanks, that’s what I was thinking.

I also understand that there remains two crowns, and my comment was a bit esoteric!
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-07 11:50
Precisely Old Smokey !!!
It’s hardly rocket science to get these ducks in a row.
Add the EU into the frame and as I already commented this morning, the people of Independent Scotland will decide IF we should be a full member of the EU or not. (My own view is EFTA and not a step further.)

Like Alpinal, I could care less what England, Wales and Northern Ireland call themselves if they want to be run from Westminster, that’s for them to decide.
# rapid 2012-12-07 09:15
using the Yugoslav method, it should be “former UK” – but that spells a rude word. “former” with a lower case ‘f’.
# dadsarmy 2012-12-07 00:53
Thanks for the article, and the good work in clearing this up.

The Scottish Government is indeed going to have to write to the EU expressing concern, and the “EU Commission”, in whatever “official” form actually genuinely and legally exists such that it can make any definitive statements withough full member state consultation, is going to have to make it very clear that no “occicial” statements exists about Scotland’s membership.

The form of seperation, secession or dissolution isn’t known yet, so the most that could be given is some general statements that may, or may not, apply to the actual situation.

Meanwhile people like me – undecided about whether we want to stay in the EU or not – are getting well hacked off with the EU for leaving this situation carry on for around 11 months now, and not proactively discourageing biased media scaremongering and misrepresentati  on.

In the even they may be desperate to keep us. We may vote to leave.
# The_Duke 2012-12-07 07:30
I with you on this one Dadsarmy.

I was ambivalent to whether we were in or out of the EU. I guess it would put a lot of the undecided voters at ease knowing that there was a back up were we to be independent.

However, the way it has allowed story after story to come out, spokespeople saying contradictory lines, a clear breach in confidentiality (with the supposed letter)… all this leads me to believe that maybe they dont want us to be independent.

It seems that were the wee boy in the corner with all the marbles and the big boys dont like it. If this is the way they want to treat us well i would be quite happy for us to walk away from the whole sorry lot.
# Macart 2012-12-07 09:05
I’ve been smiling away since reading this dads. Egg on several faces at the Hootsmon and Beeb. Much like yourself I’m an undecided on Europe and wouldn’t mind hearing the arguments for and against in another referendum. But a lot could and should be cleared up by our Euro cousins by now surely. They are aware of the legality of the Edinburgh agreement and they are aware of the dissolution of treaty process favoured by the SG, so why the delay on some kind of ruling?
# dadsarmy 2012-12-08 00:52
One posting at a time! Ah well, it is a good resource and needs supporting by posts.

I’ve even dipped into the murky depths of the Scotsman recently, reading some postings and making a couple. There, the Herald, and the Guardian, I’m seeing more undecided posters, so I presume there’s even more lurking and reading.

A couple at least of the undecideds have expressed their disgust at the outright lies they’re seeing, and have even said it’s swaying them towards a YES.

So – for me the more of this EU thing the merrier, as it’s getting more and more hysterical, desperate, and easy to disprove.

And with even McWhirter being caught out too, it’s surely going to encourage journalists to seek out the truth, rather than regurgitating what the Scotsman, the Beeb, or wherever spouts out. And that has to be good.

But yes, the bare minimum the EU should do is instantly repudiate false reporting, without Newsnet having to chase them.
# Willow 2012-12-07 08:28
The BBC still have their article open for comments this morning.

Off topic

Met office weather warning out & there is no BBC weather forecast on any BBC Scotland page.

There’s normally one in each region, but as I type there’s not a single one & no warning on the main page. All gone!

I thought they had a duty to inform the public of weather/road warnings??
# ituna semea 2012-12-07 08:42
The EU “letter” like the EU “legal advice” is political spin.
# gus1940 2012-12-07 09:20
This morning’s Scotsman has a very weak ‘Correction’ regarding yesterday’s disgraceful fairytale.

They do, however, fail to mention or explain their statement that they had read said letter which, given what we now know, would take a bit of explaining.

Elsewhere in the paper they continue to dig their hole ever deeper.
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-07 10:04
I repeat what I’ve said all along.
Can’t these EU parasites get it into their thick heads that Scotland alone will decide if it accepts any offer to be in the EU. The Decision will be made by an Independent Scotland. Not the members of the EU, and certainly not rUK.
# exel 2012-12-07 13:01
Could not agree more let’s get the referendum and the secession negotiations(if required)over then we can decide if we want to be in the EU or not.
# IXL 2012-12-07 10:11
This latest episode underlines for me even more the desirability of insisting that all major issues, esp. those involving membership of, or partnership with, international organisations should be put to our people in binding referenda.

The SNP Government and YES Campaign should refrain from adopting particular / party policies on such issues – to do so merely offers our enemies opportunities to take advantage of division.
Instead we should offer FULL DEMOCRACY as part of the Independence Offer

Say YES to Independence then have a REAL CHOICE for Scotland’s Future.

Divide and Rule is UK’s historic weapon of choice and don’t let anyone forget it.

  • Monarchy vs Republic
  • Membership of EFTA / EU / None
  • Adoption / Creation of Currency
  • NATO membership

..should all be put to the people

The SNP’s recent experience over NATO should be A LESSON so LEARN !
# Macart 2012-12-07 11:39
Couldn’t agree more IXL, let’s decide whether we want to be the ones making those decisions in the first place.

Just say YES and then we can. 🙂
# RTP 2012-12-07 10:19
Sorry O/T but we of the SNP get a bad press over rants on the net but what about this.

Councillor quits over hate mail campaign

A MORAY councillor has stepped down after she was targeted in a vicious online hate-mail campaign.

I do hope the police are as keen to find these people as they were in arresting the reporters who did the Trump story.
# kendomacaroonbar 2012-12-07 10:34
Back on topic

Either Maddox or Foulkes or both should resign over this. As for the Scotsman , it is a discredited newspaper… always has been after their fabricated on line polls and reliance of in-house trolls.
# Angus 2012-12-07 10:55
Quoting Jim Johnston:
I repeat what I’ve said all along.
Can’t these EU parasites get it into their thick heads that Scotland alone will decide if it accepts any offer to be in the EU. The Decision will be made by an Independent Scotland. Not the members of the EU, and certainly not rUK.

The unionists in the Scotsman use this tone everyday and I cant see them bringing many people into their NO camp.

Maybe Scotland should hold a referendum on the EU after Independence, with the negiotiating terms laid out infront so the voters can decide. That would probably bring a lot more people into the YES vote.
The way it looks just now is that the EU is backing the UK government.
The EU needs Scotland, and no amount of negative spin can change that.
# tartanfever 2012-12-07 11:54
Just tried to post a comment on the currently still active BBC story comment section and within 20 seconds of posting my comment has been removed for further consideration.

Did not include a link to this website, but did use the words ‘Newsnet’, ‘BBC’ and ‘The Scotsman’ – which has probably sparked a trigger in the BBC moderation department.

It is worth complaining, either to the IPCC or to the BBC or your local MP/MSP.
# gus1940 2012-12-07 12:16
5 minutes in to his program and Brian is doing a Dimbleby and acting as a very biased member of the panel. No need to say in which direction he is biased.
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-07 12:18
To me it looks like the press just don’t fancy the idea of not only being liable for million pound fines, they don’t fancy being be liable for their costs either in court cases they lose.

In this particular case that would probably be the end of the Scotsman…..oh dear, ‘ow sad, never mind.
As for the BBC involvement in this, for the time being the BBC are a law unto themselves, but that won’t be the case much longer. The people of Scotland are getting wiser by the minute to their shenanigans.
# Andy Anderson 2012-12-07 12:28
Anndra_W above has it right. If the Unionists and their mouthpiece the BBC are insisting that an independent Scotland will be a “new State” in Europe and can claim no rights to any commitments entered into by the British State. Let us accepted there generous offer and agree with them.
This would mean that we would negotiate our own trading links with Europe, but it would also mean that we had no responsibility for the UK debt.
Scotland relieved off this massive burden would find it easy to make an arrangement with the EU which suited us.
# creag an tuirc 2012-12-07 14:17
Does this mean we would also not get a share of the assets? If so, a bit more thought is needed.
# dunnichen 2012-12-07 12:38
I must plead forgiveness at having spent some time on the Scotsman pages this morning trying to blunt the vindictive sharp edge of all the unionist trolls who have gleefully jumped on this story. I really hope this Ponsonby article is true – but someone’s telling huge porkies. The Scotsman are reporting that Barroso’s verbally confirmed the letter. How can this square with the report above? Is it a case that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?
# Dundonian West 2012-12-07 13:21
This Scotsman piece and the BBC Scotland reporting merely confirms that neither organs are to be trusted on political YES/NO impartiality.
British Broadcasting Corporation Scotland in particular.
It’s name is Unionist—–and must be viewed,if it all,with that in mind.
It’s in a UK miindset and cannot/will not,break out of that position.
Institutionally UK. End Of.
# Leader of the Pack 2012-12-07 14:30
Not only has the Hootsdross not retracted its original claim in spite of the denial from the EU Commission Chief theyve rewritten the whole story and claim again and are censoring anybody pointing that it is a pack of lies.
The headline actually states that the EU Commission Chief mentioned Scotland in particular and stated SCOTLAND would have to reapply for EU membership knowing it to be completely untrue and false. Is this not the type of misinformation and in fact slanderous claim that Levenson highlighted and wanted regulated?
# colin8652 2012-12-07 14:34
Can’t for the life of me understand why the lady in the Scotsman News room hung up on me when I only phoned to congratulate them on having the lowest sales ever recorded for the paper!
# balbeggie 2012-12-07 14:34
The Scotsman’s ‘correction’ to their story of yesterday.…/1
# kendomacaroonbar 2012-12-07 15:08
No mention of them correcting their claim that they had seen a letter that hadn’t been sent… curiouser and curiouser..
# Rafiki 2012-12-07 14:42
Query as to Foulkes. He said he read it in the Scotsman; he was in Brussels and he read it. Is it perhaps the case that he read the Scotsman and about the letter while he was in Brussels but did not read the letter per se – since it does not appear to exist. A bit of jiggery pokery?
# Leader of the Pack 2012-12-07 14:46
All Barosso has done is confirmed the EU position on article 49 what the Unionist campaign of lies has done is claim that this confirmation is Barosso saying it applies to Scotlands position within the EU and the UK when Barosso has made no such claim nor specification with regards to Scotland! Scotland doesnt fall foul of article 49 because it wont become a new country but will remain the country it always has been within a treaty of Parliamentary union with other countries. the UK is the sum of its constituent parts and IS NOT a SOVEREIGN STATE in its own right it has SOVEREIGNTY only by the authority given to it by the SOVEREIGN STATES within it. This Sovereignty will no longer apply when the constituent parts reform their own individual constituent Parliaments and the UK PARLIAMENT is abolished! What is left at Westminster will be the NEW ENGLISH WELSH PARLIAMENT and not the present day UK PARLIAMENT. This is the FACT that the Unionist campaign of lies is trying to circumvent!
# X_Sticks 2012-12-07 15:05
“Scottish newspaper see sales slump”…/…

They are paying the price for their propaganda and scaremongering! Will westminster subsidise them to keep on pumping the nonsense out?
# balbeggie 2012-12-07 15:09
it is even worse for the ‘Scotsman’.

‘But an analysis of the figures reveals that between Monday and Friday, the number of copies sold at full price drops to around 28,500. The headline average is affected by a significantly higher sale on Saturdays and some 2,500 so-called multiple copies which are given away free to the public in, for instance, hotels.’

if I was an advertiser I would demand a cut in the advertising rate.
# call me dave 2012-12-07 15:31
My parents in law (both in their late 70’s)

Sunday Post : Scotsman and Daily Express and the good old BBC.
If it’s in there it must be true. . .is what they believe.

I despair when they look at me when I point out to them to ‘read between the lines’ and do a bit of independent thinking. The McCrone report. .etc

Still got the 1950’s royal coach model from the coronation in the china cabinet too.

They will not change their spots. .for some it is too late and I fear they must be left behind.


Roll on 2014.
# kendomacaroonbar 2012-12-07 15:53

I can empathise with you. My wife’s father is a sprightly 87 year old and he cannot see past the union. At his stage in life he is comforted only by past memories

I guess if we expected them to change their views they would have done so years ago…. I guess we were just waiting on the internet age to set many people ‘free’ ? lol
# Diabloandco 2012-12-08 13:50
I am working on the principle that I am knocking on in years and therefore whichever way I look at life I am on my last lap.
So ,being on the way out so to speak ,I have to think that the young deserve a better Scotland.
I don’t want my children or grandchildren deprived of the NHS or education, I don’t want the elderly deprived of free personal care.I don’t want the waters of our shores polluted with radioactive substances thanks to leaky subs ,I don’t want WMDs in Scottish waters or Scotland,I don’t want the young of Scotland enveigled into illegal ,immoral Washington .Westminster wars.I don’t want the young soldiers of Scotland to do anything other than defend Scotland.
In short I would like to think when I shuffle off this mortal coil ,I can leave happy in the knowledge Scotland is growing and developing into a splendid country in which its peoples thrive and for me that means being free of the corrupt,warmong  ering greed of Westminster.
# Saporian 2012-12-07 15:17
Scottish Newspapers see sales slump…/…
The Scotsman down to circa 28,500 copies!
Can’t be long now before they go bust.
# The_Duke 2012-12-07 16:21
Yeah, but online revenues are on the up… whether this is substantial enough to cover the fall in physical sales, remains to be seen.

Personally, I avoid them at all costs if I can. I refuse to give them money to be lied to…. bad enough with the BBC
# govanite 2012-12-07 15:49
I buy the herald but only usually on a Sunday and to be honest I feel like its a charity buy. I’d hate to see the end of Scotland’s broadsheets but they are running themselves down.
Sometimes I think they are being eliminated on purpose, but since they denigrate our country, what’s the point of buying them ? I can get the Telegraph if I want that.

And Colin above, if one of us called everyday with that question do you think it might sink in ?
# xyz 2012-12-07 15:59
Your attention please to this Q and A from 2004

Q –

“[WRITTEN QUESTION by Eluned Morgan (PSE) to the Commission

Can the Commission confirm that, if a Member State were to divide as a result of a region democratically gaining independence, that the precedent set by Algeria would apply?

(more – see link above)]”

A –

“[Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission
… When a part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state, e.g. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. …

(more – see link above).]”

Does not seem to support our position, but I’m assuming that Scotland and England/Wales/NI are not Algeria and France.
# Seagetagrip 2012-12-07 16:08
TheHerald and Scotsman are not going to die before the Referendum.If necessary, they will be sustaned by their Unionist owners and their pals.
The real informed debate can only take place in the Internet. Anyone who doubts this should ask the Unsprung Arabs!
The Scottish Public must be directed somehow to where the real debate is happening. Most can access the debate on their phones these days.
# call me dave 2012-12-07 16:22

Duchess of Cambridge hoax call nurse found dead


A joke gone wrong it seems!

Was it worth taking the p@ss when we involve people in responsible positions and don’t know how they will react or be effected by our actions.

Unintentional consequences from a random caller on the other side of the world.
# sneckedagain 2012-12-07 16:58

There is a fundamental difference. Algeria was a French colony, Scotland is a partner in a equal union.

However if Scotland is decided to be a new country it can leave UK with none of the UK national debt.
# bringiton 2012-12-07 17:08
Absolutely snecked.
If the Tory’s pals in the debt rating agencies take away their AAA rating,by the time we are shot of Westminster,our share of their debt will possibly be around £200b
Being free of obligations for this debt would pay for a lot of military kit.
# xyz 2012-12-07 17:59
Maybe .. Unless they conspire to destroy the pound! That is the normal way that countries like UK bail out of their debts. Destroying the savings of everyone holding Sterling.
# sneckedagain 2012-12-07 18:16
Very interesting tweet on Labour Home from Tim Reid as this attack unravels
# Old Smokey 2012-12-07 19:58
What amazes me is that this clown Moore actually thinks of the UK and Scotland as two seperate entities, seems to forget that Scotland is a joint stakeholder in the union with England that IS the United Kingdom. Remove Scotland and you end the United Kingdom. But its the unionists favourite comfort blanket to hang on the notion that Scotland should be portrayed and somehow a mere region or territory of the United Kingdom and hate it when any reference is made about the Treaty of Union that created the UK (how often do you hear that 1707 was in the past and out of date?)…/…
# bringiton 2012-12-07 20:55
Are we really a joint stakeholder?
I was always of the opinion that when our non elected land owners gave up our sovereignty in return for personal gain that we had effectively been absorbed into Englandshire.
That was,until the Scottish parliament was reconvened.
We now have a 21st Century parliament which represents the views of the Scottish people but in order to do so fully needs control of our assets in order to satisfy those aspirations.
# dadsarmy 2012-12-07 20:54
First the 2004 Question…/…

“12 February 2004 P-0524/04

WRITTEN QUESTION by Eluned Morgan (PSE) to the Commission

Subject: The Constitution Answer(s)

Can the Commission confirm that, if a Member State were to divide as a result of a region democratically gaining independence, that the precedent set by Algeria would apply?

Can the Commission explain what exactly happened in the Algeria case?

Could the Commission confirm whether a newly independent region would have to leave the EU and then apply for accession afresh?

Would an application of this type require a renegotiation of the treaties at an IGC and the unanimous agreement of the 25 Member States?”
# Diabloandco 2012-12-07 20:58…/…
“Alex Salmond’s press law”
Anyone read this piece of calumny?
# bipod 2012-12-07 21:13
I had a funny feeling that the press would go down that line.

If Alex Salmond tries to create a law that would police the press, he become Alex Salmond the freedom of speech ending megalomaniac. IF he does nothing, the unionists will accuse him of trying to cosy up to Rupert Murdoch.
# dadsarmy 2012-12-07 21:21…/…

“1 March 2004 P-0524/2004

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

… cont
# dadsarmy 2012-12-07 21:43
cont …

Under article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European State which respects the principles set out in Article 6(1) of the Treaty on European Union may apply to become a member of the Union. An application of this type requires, if the application is accepted by the Council acting unanimously, a negotiation on an agreement between the Applicant State and the Member States on the conditions of admission and the adjustments to the treaties which such admission entails. This agreement is subject to ratification by all Member States and the Applicant State.”
# sneckedagain 2012-12-07 23:01
I actually don’t care at this point whether we are in the EU or out of the EU and I don’t think it is a huge deal for most people either so I rather wonder why we are having a big argument about it at the moment. Our line should surely be our confidence in the Scottish people, in or out of it.
# Didnaeken 2012-12-08 00:19
Questions from the House of Lords on November 28th regarding EU: Scottish Independence.…/…

I think all these stories are actually about Westminsters fears and the need to know how they stand if Scotland becomes Independent, therefore, making the issue more about Scotland but the negative answers we get it gives them the answers they need for themselves. ?
# Old Smokey 2012-12-08 00:54
I’ve noticed that the key phrase that keeps being repeated by the unionist’s, such as Michael Moore is that ‘Scotland leaving the United kingdom’ This is the main pivotal point as far as the EU is concerned. What unionists dont want to accept or state that the independence vote, if yes, would END the United Kingdom. The YES Campaign and the SNP specifically really must get to grips with this as the unionists play on the term ‘leaving’ and really dont like the idea of ending the union with England, ergo the ending of the UK
Some disgraceful bias shown on the Daily politics show of Friday 7th , the EU interview package commences at 44 mins 10 sec…/…
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-08 08:25
I completely agree with you Old Smokey, but it won’t change the propaganda any time soon.
If you play poker and have a hand full of nothing you’re only hope of winning is is bluff. When the SG White Paper is on the table I believe that would be the right time “Call” the Union and strip the anti-Independence case bare.

ps Thanks for the link, Alyn Smith is always impressive, Moore is always predictable.
# Early Ball 2012-12-08 09:21
Smyth was impressive. Liked the way he rattled Brillo by questioning him using the word ‘divorce’.

Brillo obviously was unimpressed by Moore but gave him a ridiculously easy time.
# blantyreexile 2012-12-08 10:34
Maybe someone can point out where in the original Scotsman article the newspapre claims the letter was actually sent?

Reading the report I can only see that a draft exists, which has still to be sent.
# dvdzp 2012-12-08 12:44
Quoting blantyreexile:
Maybe someone can point out where in the original Scotsman article the newspapre claims the letter was actually sent?

Reading the report I can only see that a draft exists, which has still to be sent.

That’s because The Scotsman edited the article.

If they hadn’t stated that the letter had been sent why did they apologise for stating that the letter had been sent in the correction yesterday?


we were wrong to say a letter had been sent to the Lords committee in response to a question about Scotland. We understand that Mr Barroso’s response has not yet been sent to the committee.
# dunnichen 2012-12-08 13:49
The Scotsman’s still running with this story today. Either they are fibbing or the report above is misleading – which is it?
# Hamish100 2012-12-08 23:04
As mentioned earlier ask the direct question 1. Do you wish Scotland to remain in the EU? Yes/No
If no then EU say bye bye to our fisheries, oil, agriculture, energy resource, water etc
We will nationalise Scottish Power and give Espana 1 Euro, George Foulkes and Forsyth in compensation (they bought the company with false money anyway.)

There are more countries outwith Europe who will be more than happy to trade with Scotland eg China, Russia etc

What happens whe England votes to leave does Wales and NI have to leave as well?

lets’ have a euro vote in 2014 I am sure Mr Cameron would appreciate our help!

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