By a Newsnet reporter
David Cameron has pledged to support a newly independent Scotland’s bid for EU membership following a Yes vote.
In a major surprise, the UK Prime Minister was asked by STV’s Bernard Ponsonby if the Westminster Government would back the government of Scotland on the issue of EU membership “consistent with the will of the people in a referendum”, the PM replied “absolutely”.

Although spelling out what he felt would be difficulties in any post Yes negotiations, confirmation from the PM that the rest of the UK will support a Scots EU bid puts Mr Cameron at odds with head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso who recently claimed that such an application would be all but impossible.

Mr Barroso had also compared Scotland to Kosovo, although his EC office later backtracked on his comments days later saying the EC President acknowledged the two situations had differences.

A spokesperson said that Barroso, “did not want to imply” that the former Serbian province “was a perfect analogy”.  Kosovo, the spokesman said, was merely “illustrative of the possible difficulties and uncertainties” of Scotland or Catalonia.

The spokesperson added: “We can not know in advance the result [of EU membership negotiations] and that’s what the president meant,”

Mr Cameron’s backing for the Scottish Government’s stance on EU membership is a significant development and challenges claims from some Unionists that Scotland would be denied “the clout” of the rest of the UK as it sought to negotiate its own membership following a Yes vote.

The Conservative leader’s reply also puts him at odds with his party’s sole MP in Scotland David Mundel who recently claimed the rest of the UK might not support a Scottish EU bid.

Earlier this month Scotland Office minister Mr Mundell told MPs on the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee that the Scottish Government’s stance on no tuition fees for students in Scotland could result in the rest of the UK failing to support an EU application

Mr Mundel said the behaviour of an independent Scotland “is very likely to influence how other parties, whether it is the continuing UK or other countries in the EU, respond to Scotland’s requests and claims to be a partner and good neighbour”.

Mr Mundel’s coalition colleague Alistair Carmichael has also signalled a reluctance to back Scottish Government plans for EU membership in the event of a Yes vote, calling them a “dead end”.

Speaking in January, the Lib Dem MP said: “The process they propose is flawed in legal terms and destined to fail in the cold hard light of political reality.”

He added: “Leaving the UK means leaving the EU, then trying to fight your way back in seeking the same terms from a weaker position.  This runs against Scotland’s interests.”

The Scottish Government insists that continuation of the EU membership Scotland has enjoyed for forty years would be possible after a Yes vote.  They say negotiations could take place during the 18 month period between the referendum result and formal independence being ratified.

Unionists have claimed that a Yes vote would result in Scotland automatically leaving the EU and having to join a queue in order to get back in.


2014-02-25 07:28

What now for Project Fear?

Yesterday was significant on three fronts.

1. Cameron confirmed he would honour the Edinburgh Agreement so lifting any impediment to a common currency.

2. Cameron confirmed that North Sea oil and gas has a bright future for decades to come.

3. Cameron conceded that a UK government would support Scotland’s continued EU membership if Scots vote YES.
Leader of the Pack
2014-02-25 10:38

“What now for Project Fear?”

Well that’s simple. Keep stories like these out of the MSM and carry on as if the words never left Camerons mouth.
Somewhere down the line we will once again witness UK wide headlines telling us that an rUK Government will or may not support Scotlands negotiations with the EU.
That’s been the pattern so far. Complete and total denial and ignorance of reality and publicly available knowledge and fact. They are simply ignoring the facts and continuing to bombard the Scottish elecotate with their own version of reality and getting away with it because of the complete compliance of the MSM.
We are seeing the same debunked proven false stories being repeated over and over in spite of their discredited exposure and evidence to the contrary.
Its as if the stories were never discredited and are brand new every time.

2014-02-25 08:04

I hope Mr Ponsonby has this promise from Cameron on tape. We need to leave him no space to deny it in future.
2014-02-25 08:19

All in all yet another glorious own goal for Project Fear.

Can we not get our Colonial Masters to come up to lecture,patroni  se and bully us every week.
2014-02-25 08:43

Well done Bernard Ponsonby. Cameron was unsettled by Ponsonby’s determined questioning. It was reminiscent of his interview with Osborne last year.

It will be interesting to see if he will be true to his word and turn up for a debate with undecided voters at STV studios. I hae ma’ doots.
2014-02-25 08:44

The presumption is simply breathtaking! Completely assumes England will be the ‘continuing’ UK.

“Leaving the UK means leaving the EU…”

Only we’re not leaving the UK, we’re dissolving it! Perhaps we should make it a little clearer for them by promising that Holyrood will support England’s bid to re-join the EU (if they want to of course), if Scotland grants them their independence with a ‘Yes’ vote in September.
2014-02-25 08:53

I watched that interview by Bernard Ponsonby, he actually had to repeat his question on support for Scotlands bid for EU membership to David Cameron, as the first answer was a load of waffle from Cameron which meant nothing.

It was only by Ponsonby repeating the question that Cameron actually had to confirm that Westminster would support Scotlands EU membership.

At least it was on TV and he can’t denie he said it in the future, and he did get to taste some “soor plums” as he said it too. I bet we would’nt see him again.
2014-02-25 09:02

Who is going to support the rumpUK’s application?
2014-02-25 09:35

The rump of the UK would be the successor state so is already a member of the EU.
2014-02-25 17:09

Not so.
The UK was formed as a result of an international treaty between 2 countries.
That treaty will be anulled – thus both parties will require to make suitable arrangements with various international organisations.

The UK will no longer exist.
There is no point in persisting with this myth of an rUK or fUK or any other kind of UK.


2014-02-25 09:19

Good question Balbeggie – exactly what I was wondering. However since the Union will have ceased to exist the Q relates to newly-independent England – does it not ?

2014-02-25 09:21

This is looking really bad for Labour. Cameron making positive moves, at least it seems that way, and Labour MEPs and MSPs rushing around trying to drum up opposition to Independence.
They are being left behind, looking malicious and vindictive.
Of course there is George Osborne! It also makes the Holyrood Cons look oout of the loop.
We now have Lamont and Davidson and their Parties in Holyrood looking irrelevent.
2014-02-25 10:17

The notion that Scotland would be ousted out of the EU anyway is ridiculous is it not? An oil rich country, already a member of the EU, why would they refuse us a continuity of membership? There is no rational reason and I think that issue should be done and dusted so we can hopefully move on and get some answers from Cameron and co. on just what, for instance, a no vote would mean for both Scotland and the rest of the UK? That is what he wants isn’t it, for the glorious union to continue? Why would any sane person believe a word that Cameron says, when he won’t even debate with our first minister?
2014-02-25 10:23

So we are suddenly out, negotiating ourselves in are we?

Or isn’t this actually just another pejorative presumption from the man who won’t ask the EU to make a formal ruling?

He came all the way up to Aberdeen for that? Hmmmm. Makes you wonder whether we have deviated somewhat from the agenda, and actually dodged the bullet yesterday, of yet another condescending sermon from our betters in high office. Seems that sort of thing doesn’t go down well with the natives.
“Just stick to the script Prime Minister, keep it light and friendly and you’ll be fine. But whatever you do, keep it ambiguous and non-committal, and for God’s sake don’t agree to a televised deba…. Oh never mind”.
2014-02-25 11:05

# BillCo 2014-02-25 08:43

I wonder if STV could slip Alex Salmond into that debate as an “undecided voter”, if they did do you think Cameron would run away 🙂
2014-02-25 12:17

rog_rocks, if such a scenario as you suggest did happen, I’m sure in the current spirit of close collaboration between the ConDems and Labour, Iain Gray will show the PM the location of his Subway refuge.
2014-02-25 18:35

Just in the interests of balance, I presume we should all submit our concerns about the lack of impartiality shown by any Civil Servants working to Westminster Unionist Ministers.
2014-02-25 19:14

Saw that spagan, the timing stinks and I suspect we will see another smear from it. I agree they should put their own house in order before ‘investigating’ ours.

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