Curious George Lyon has having a go at the annual parlour game called ‘Mibbes Aye, Mibbes Naw’ in which an independent Scotland’s membership of the Euro, the EU or the Eurovision Song Contest is called into question. As a brief diversion from the torpor-inducing ‘Poppy Debate’ (please make it stop) Mibbes Aye Mibbes Naw is good, but it is ridiculous.
The game had an earlier run-out at Halloween over at Better Nation and HERE the irrepresible Stephen Noon lays out the legal realities in black and white. Of course discussing the certainties of European politics and finance just now is abit like serving blancmange on roller skates. But for those of you rocking back and forth with glee (and yes I’m thinking of those recently transported Down Under) thinking that the conversion of the Euro into the fiscal equivalent of Pew’s Black Spot has taken the feet from under the independence movement (a la – temporarily – the Arc of Prosperity), think again.
You can go back to 2007 when Eamonn Gallagher- former director general of the European Commission stated: “Scotland and the remainder of the UK would be equally entitled, and obliged, to continue the existing full membership of the EU. This was conceded by Emile Noel, one of Europe’s founding fathers and long-serving secretary-general of the European Commission, who said Scottish independence would create two states, which would have “equal status with each other and the other states”.
This is backed up by Article 34 of the Vienna Convention on the Succession of States, which reads: “Any treaty in force at the date of succession of states in respect of the entire territory of the predecessor state continues in force in respect of each successor state so formed.”
Or you COULD listen to Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, former president of the European Court of Justice who stated: “Independence would leave Scotland and something called the rest’ in the same legal boat. If Scotland had to re-apply, so would the rest. I am puzzled at the suggestion that there would be a difference in the status of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of community law if the Act of Union was dissolved.”
But never mind these two, what would they know? Iain Macwhirter puts it succinctly:
“Lawyers make their money from creating legal complexity, so you will always find that there are differing legal opinions about secession. But the political reality is that it is inconceivable that the EU would try to block an independent Scotland from entry. The EU is founded on the principle of national self-determination, so the idea that Scotland would not be recognised as a nation in Europe is ludicrous. Scotland is already a part of the EU through its participation in the United Kingdom, and as a nation in its own right, Scotland would automatically qualify for membership of the EU. It would take concerted action by the other member states to prove, either that Scotland is financially insolvent, or that it is not a democracy, or that it is in in violation of the European convention on human rights. That is not going to happen.”