By a Newsnet reporter
Officials in charge of the anti-independence campaign are facing calls to issue a correction and apologise after they misrepresented comments from new EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The calls follow a speech by Mr Juncker in which he said that enlargement of the EU should be suspended for five years.

Juncker, who replaced Jose Manuel Barroso as head of the EC, said: “There will be no new enlargement in the next five years,”.

He added: “The EU needs to mark a pause in its enlargement process so that we can consolidate what has been done with 28,”

However, despite Mr Jucnker making it clear he was referring to candidate countries, in particular those from the Balkans, officials from the Better Together campaign claimed the remarks were proof that a newly independent Scotland would be forced out of the EU and barred from re-entry for five years.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said today: “It is now clear that if we leave the UK, we would be leaving the EU. This would put thousands of Scottish jobs at risk and would be massively damaging to our country.

“Two weeks ago Alex Salmond hailed Mr Juncker as someone he wanted to do business with, but today he will no doubt accuse him of being wrong or of scaremongering. This is not good enough. We cannot walk away from all the benefits of EU membership simply so that the SNP can achieve their political ambitions.”

On the official Better Together website, a hastily written article under a ‘latest news’ section and headlined ‘Juncker Ends Salmond’s European Dream’, said: “Alex Salmond’s dream of a separate Scotland quickly re-joining the EU lies in tatters today after the new President of the European Commission said there would be no new EU member states for 5 years.”

It added: “Unfortunately for Alex Salmond, Mr Juncker has indicated that a separate Scotland would face a difficult journey to join the EU,”

However the claims from the anti-independence campaign group were left in tatters after an official from Mr Junker’s office confirmed the EC President was not referring to Scotland when he made his speech.

BBC reporter James Cook tweeted: “Jean Claude Juncker’s spokeswoman says he was not referring to Scotland when he talked about a five year pause in EU accession”

BBC Scotland News later confirmed the reporter’s tweet a short while later.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon demanded the No campaign apologise and said: “This blatant act of dishonesty is a major blow to the credibility of the No campaign.

“In their desperation to talk Scotland down and spread fears and smears, the No camp have wilfully twisted what Jean-Claude Juncker said. They said that Mr Juncker was talking about Scotland – and his spokeswoman has confirmed that he was not. Their claims now lie in tatters.”

Ms Sturgeon said the campaign against independence had distorted remarks made by Mr Juncker and called for them to withdraw their “bogus assertions” immediately and apologise.

“The only threat to Scotland’s place in Europe is a Westminster in/out referendum.”

The episode is also hugely embarrassing for BBC Scotland after the broadcaster made the claim from Better Together one of the top stories on its flagship news programme Reporting Scotland.

Viewers heard presenter Jackie Bird repeat Better Together’s claim that Juncker’s comments had ‘dealt a blow’ to an independent Scotland’s EU membership.

Bird asked her BBC colleague Tim Reid what the “effect on Scotland” would be.  According to Reid, any mention of EU membership was “seen through the referendum prism”.

Viewers also saw Conservative MP David Mundell say: “I think it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t see Scotland becoming a member of the EU if it was an independent state, within five years.”

Within an hour of Junker’s office denying the claims from Better Together, BBC Scotland had altered its online report of the episode.

However it is not known if the corporation will issue a similar correction over misleading broadcasts.

The misrepresentation of Jean-Claude Juncker by the BBC and Better Together follows a similar episode last week when comments made by the official were presented as though a reference to a newly independent Scotland.

BBC Scotland reported that Mr Juncker had said, in relation to a newly independent Scotland, that “One does not become a member of the EU by sending a letter.”

However, Spanish newspaper reports confirmed that the official was in fact referring to a letter written by Catalan President Artur Mas.

Despite being made aware of their error in an email by Newsnet Scotland, BBC Scotland Chiefs refused to correct the ‘mistake’.


2014-07-15 21:37

BBC Scotland’s initial headline was an even worse misrepresentati  on of Juncker’s words than your article suggests.

It was: “Scottish independence: No new EU member states before 2019, says Juncker”
Source: Newsniffer website

This plainly tries to link Scottish independence to the falsehood that Scotland would be denied EU membership.

A deliberate manipulation of the facts and an utter disgrace.

The Yes campaign must now call for official monitoring of the BBC to prevent them spreading barefaced lies in support of the No campaign.
2014-07-15 21:49

Neither BT or its constituent parliamentary party representatives have EVER apologised for any misrepresentati  on, misleading statements or indeed outright howlers to my knowledge.

Just why would we expect an apology of any description now?
2014-07-15 21:55

The Newssniffer link-…/1

Shocking reporting by the BBC in Scotland- also shocking that the 10.30pm edition of BBC Reporting Scotland made no attempt to correct their misreporting.
Marga B
2014-07-16 08:43

Thanks for the link, Millie. Eye opening to see the continuous twisting and turning of the story.

It is striking what a lot of work and effort went into carving so many new versions of this evolving story, each one sailing as close to the wind as possible. Is that really what BBC journalists are required to do? It seems so.

The casual one-off reader would have no idcea of the manipulation. And of course, the BBC relies on remaining undiscovered by the majority.

2014-07-15 22:21

BBC Scotland dropped the story tonight..

I watched Reporting Scotland’s evening news and this story and the remarks from the spokeswoman were not mentioned.

That’s it gone never to be discussed again..

But wait. There is an amazing revelation in the remarks by the spokeswoman..

An independent Scotland will be an internal matter for the EU.

Scotland will not be on the outside, at the back of the queue of other countries waiting to join under Article 49 of the TEU.
2014-07-15 22:26

It’s now clear the BBC are going to get away with this sort of lying on a mass scale right up to the day of the referendum.

If the referendum is lost because the Yes campaign failed to stop this scandalous attempt to manipulate the outcome of the ballot they will have failed all of us.

If they really believe they can win in the face of this constant, unfettered onslaught of BBC lies and deceit they are being totally naive.
2014-07-15 22:32

It has been clear for a while that the BBC presents Better Together press releases as the truth rather than doing any independent investigating or fact checking.
2014-07-15 23:01

The BBC are against Scottish Independence and have been making that clear for a long time.

They will misrepresent or lie because the damage has been done then; the don’t ‘do’ apologies.

Frankly, the BBC are an absolute disgrace.
2014-07-15 23:08

If you were in the desperate situation that the BTUKOKNT Project Fear, Project Fact, Project Haven’t a Clue or whatever they call themselves today, wouldn’t you clutch at straws? This is exactly what they were doing with Mr Junckers statement. They can’t be that dozy, can they? Have a bit of sympathy for them… OK just split your sides laughing then.
2014-07-16 03:10

The Yes Camp’s docility in the face of smear and lies from the BBC only encourages the NO camp to continue their project fear agenda.

Mud sticks and it’s getting harder to wash it off.

As a Yes activist I am beginning to tire of endlessly responding to points accepted by misguided BBC viewers (voters)as accurate and factual events.

When are those Politicians of the Yes persuasion going to challenge this Broadcasters ability to flaunt the truth? I don’t know which is the greater discrace the discredited BBC or the Political Class who allow this distortion of factual information to continue.
2014-07-16 03:26

Do we need to crowdfund a legal action to shutdown the BBC ? Is there a YES legal champion out there who can take this on.

Our Democracy is manipulated/controlled by the MSM this is far from healthy. The YES camp are relying to much on Social media. It alone cannot win this contest.

We need leaders prepared to tackle this issue like I would suggest Gordon Wilson. We need you now?
2014-07-16 03:37

You know how much of mess BT and the Beeb have made for themselves when even the Herald prints clarification.…/……/

There are indeed political figures with egg on their faces this morning, though not those BT fondly imagined. It seems that BTs campaign manager and several prominent unionist politicians may have been a wee bit too quick off the mark with their statements. 😀
2014-07-16 05:17

BBC reporter James Cook should be commended for his excellent journalism in establishing the truth despite Pacific Quay’s blatant attempt to twist it on behalf of Project Fear.

It shows that there is at least one journalist at the BBC who knows that a journalists job is to report the truth no matter what.

I trust he won’t now find himself sidelined as a punishment for doing his job properly, as others appear to have done.

By the way can anyone explain why the latest explosive revelations about GCHQ’s activities from Edward Snowden have gone by without any reaction from the YES campaign’s online support despite their implications for the campaign?
2014-07-16 05:52

Here here Marian. The GCHQ revelations should be a big issue. Precisely who’s online polls have they been manipulating?

2014-07-16 10:15

Yes many even most people still believe that the BBC are an organisation with integrity when it is blindingly obvious they have none. The people who live around me are mostly tories and read the daily tory papers. I have tried sending them the facts to wake them up, but no they are determined to condemn future generations to living with austerity, inequality and destitution unless of course they are comfortably off or rich like they are, having had their free uni education, and therefore good jobs with early retirement, having had cheap mortgages with houses worth a fortune now. They are not interested in the truth, very sad.
2014-07-16 10:19

The EU wants to maintain good relations with Russia for a number of reasons and I think Juncker’s statement was made to calm Russian fears about Ukraine.
Typical of the Brit. Nat. mentality that they think in 19th century terms of state supremacy when the fact is that as citizens of the EU,we cannot be expelled.
What is going to happen to EU citizens residing in the UK(all 63M) when Cameron and friends take the British state out of the EU?
I see big trouble for them in the courts,unless of course they pass further laws making that illegal.
We Scots are only allowed to have EU citizenship (according to the No camp) on sufferance from London.
How democratic is that?
2014-07-16 10:21

Sky newspaper review [10-30 pm] took great delight in highlighting The Daily Telegraph’s unionist misrepresentati  on of Juncker’s position.
The British establishment continues to lie in order to deny the people of Scotland independence.
Dundonian West
2014-07-16 10:28

BBC Scotland last updated 10:11 last night.
Will this make it on to Reporting Scotland today?
Rx: a pinch of salt at 6:29pm.
Do not exceed the prescribed dose within 30 minutes.…/…
2014-07-16 14:05

It did make the Reporting Scotland news at lunchtime at 1:30pm but only briefly. The damage is done by the shameful and pitiful unionists.

2014-07-16 12:02

Any minute now there will be some knuckle-dragger along to point out that “the clue is in the name” – as if having the word “British” in their title somehow excuses the BBC from their legal obligation to report the referendum with political impartiality.
As things stand the democracy of Scotland is under constant attack from repeated attempts by BBC Scotland to influence the outcome of the ballot in favour of the “no” campaign.
The scariest part of this is that those we rely on to protect our democracy – the leaders of the Yes campaign – appear absolutely powerless to stop it.
Ignoring this vile political manipulation of public opinion whilst pretending we are having some sort of “democratic debate” is not a viable strategy to win the referendum for “yes”.
2014-07-16 12:51

Despite this being smoke and mirrors the UK press are still pushing it. The Express, the Telegraph, and more.

Without press debunking, MSM,TV, which 90% are not willing to do, the message gets out even though it is manipulated lies.
They will consider it, job done.
Scots need to turn a blind eye to everything they spout out.
2014-07-16 14:11

The No Camp are suggesting that it would be a disaster for Scotland if we vote YES as that would get us kicked out of Europe. However with David’s new cabinet in place we are odds on to get dragged out of Europe if we vote NO. Do you think the No Camp have actually thought about this or is it perhaps a “misbriefing”. Or a knee jerk reaction, or a shot from the hip, or perhaps just plain stupidity?
2014-07-16 17:51

Scotland just cannot afford to align with politicians who are unable to comprehend basic language, incredible as this is.
2014-07-17 09:31

Just how many anti-independence fixers do we need to tackle on our way to this referendum?

The newspress is virtually 100% sewn up and will print absolutely anything from the NO camp and if it isn’t juicy enough, they’ll simply put their own more pernicious hue on it.

The BBC and ITV are almost policy-writers for NO and seem to be orchestrating the whole propaganda onslaught. No matter how mis-informing and inaccurate their releases, no attempt is made to correct and put the record straight, when their rubbish is debunked.

Now the GCHQ revelations are the tin-hat to it all. We are being oppressed by the state.

The referee in all of this is supposed to be the Electoral Commission and it is failing miserably to be effective.

It is getting very close to the point, if not already passed it, where the Scottish Government will have to publicly
intervene to ensure fair-play and justice is served.

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