EU can’t trust them
This morning’s newspaper headlines make pretty stark reading for the Scottish Government and their separatist partners. Yet again, they have been shown to be making things up as they go along. After 80 years of planning for separation, it has become quite clear that the SNP and their leadership do not have a clue what they are doing.
It has now been 19 months since my I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Government asking them what I thought would be a pretty straightforward question. I asked them what legal opinion they had to underpin their assertion that a separate Scotland would just be accepted into the EU.
I submitted this question, because I realised that what they were saying didn’t seem to chime with what people here in Brussels were saying. I thought that by asking them, we could open up a debate on what I think is a hugely important issue for the future of Scotland.
I never dreamed that asking this question would have exposed such a poverty of preparation by the SNP.
Europe has been at the heart of the nationalist’s arguments for decades. They have told us that we would be Independent in Europe for as long as I can remember. It being such a key part of their argument, you would have thought that they might have been doing some work on how they might achieve this lofty aim of theirs.
You would, of course, have thought wrong.
Far from working through the issues and dealing with any challenges, the separatists have been doing the political equivalent of turning off the lights and hiding behind the couch in order to avoid speaking to someone who is knocking on their door.
The comments from Nicola Sturgeon yesterday not only show that they have gotten themselves into a total mess, it also shows that they are totally divorced from reality. To dismiss the view of the President of the European Commission as being ‘wrong’ and ‘scaremongering’ really must have embarrassed even the most passionate of nationalists.
Consider this. If the person who runs a club tells you that you can’t be a member without applying, telling that person that you disagree with them doesn’t really change anything. You still can’t be a member.
The SNP refuse to see this. Now they want ‘urgent talks.’ Why would they want to have talks with someone who they have dismissed as being wrong and being a scaremongerer? Wouldn’t it have been better to have requested talks before they adopted their wholly wrong and wholly ludicrous position on Europe?
Wouldn’t it have been better to have sought the views of the people who make the decisions, rather than attacking them for not having the common sense to agree with the story that you yourself have cooked up to suit your own ends?
Apart from anything else, attacking the people you need to have on your side in future negotiations isn’t exactly what I would call good politics.
By any standard, this is a humiliation for the SNP government. They have placed themselves in the weakest position imaginable and all of this could have been avoided if they had just listened and been honest in the first place.
It has been apparent for years that Scotland enjoys membership of the EU because of our membership of the UK and if we no longer are members of the UK then it follows that we are no longer are part of the EU.
We enjoy EU citizenship due to our UK citizenship. There is no Scottish flag flying outside the European Parliament.
Scotland is not named in any EU treaty.
If we are no longer part of the UK we are a candidate country - if the other members allow us to start that process.
And let us not forget that the EU is a political organisation that is run by politicians. The people who will discuss a separate Scotland’s applications all have to consider their own national interests. We will not just be waved through.
It may well be that the President of the European Commission, as a former Portuguese Prime Minister, is thinking about the politics of the Iberian peninsula when commenting on these questions just as the President of the Council ,Herman van Rompuy, a former Belgium PM make be influenced by his own experiences at home concerning Flanders.
I don’t believe that we will ever need these negotiations as I fully believe that the majority of Scots will look at the shambles being proposed by the separatists and will cast a positive vote to stay in the UK.
However, we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent. We must use the next two years to ensure that nationalism and separatism are defeated. If we don’t, we leave ourselves open to the fact that the nationalists will take us on a journey to a deeply uncertain future.
The SNPs assertions are simply assertions, the inconvenient truth is that there will be complexity, challenges and negotiation if we choose to go it alone. Questions cannot be brushed aside. Questioners cannot be dismissed as being scaremongerers or, worse, as talking Scotland down.
The SNP want us to take a gamble. It is right that we know what it would mean for our currency, our borders, the British rebate, structural funds, CAP which is worth £600 million, the CFP and all the other aspects of Scottish life that are influenced by our membership of the EU.
All of these unanswered questions point towards the biggest question of all. Why on earth would you do this?
Scotland is already a member of the EU through the UK. Why would we throw away all that we have gained through that membership – the opt outs on the Euro, Border Controls and the UK’s rebate just to satisfy the desires of a minority of people who would say and do anything to break up the UK?