2007 - 2021

Europe Reaches Out to Welcome an Independent Scotland

A week before the Scottish parliamentary elections more than 200 prominent European writers, artists and cultural figures call on Europeans everywhere to join them and tell the Scottish people they would be welcome back in the EU, if they so wish. More than 200 leading writers, artists and thinkers from every EU member state have signed a letter to the EU leadership calling for Scotland to be unilaterally offered generous terms for re-entry to the EU.

The ‘Europe for Scotland’ letter is online for citizens of every country to co-sign in 19 European languages including Scots and Gaelic on the website http://europeforscotland.com

The signatories include, world leading thinkers as the economic historian Adam Tooze, the Dutch sociologist and globalisation expert Saskia Sassen, the English Holberg Prize winner theorist of Black Atlantic and black studies Paul Gilroy, German Peace Prize winner and cultural historian Jan Assmann, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, Belgian political economist Philippe Van Parijs, acclaimed investigative journalist and writer Roberto Saviano, British historian David Edgerton, the French political philosopher Etienne Balibar, and renowned Norwegian anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen.

Signatories come from every single EU member state and all UK nations. Among them some of the world leading philosophers and political thinkers and acclaimed European novelists, actors and musicians.

They are joined by actors, filmmakers, artists and cultural figures from across all European nations. They include Golden Globe winner Brian Cox, Academy Award winner Cristopher Hampton and Grammy Award winner Brian Eno. Among them also the Booker nominated writers Elena Ferrante (Italy), Colm Tóibín (Ireland), Daniel Kehlmann (Germany), Philip Pullman, Ian McEwan, James Robertson, the European Book Prize winners Sofi Oksanen (Finland/Estonia) and England’s Jonathan Coe, award winning novelist Carsten Jensen (Denmark), William Boyd, fantasy writer Neal Gaiman, crime writer Val McDermid. poet Neşe Yaşın (Cyprus), rising star playwright Borna Vujčić (Croatia), multi award winning composer Nigel Osborne, composers Alexander Vella Gregory (Malta) and Oscar nominated Patrick Doyle.

A large number of leading democracy scholars support the call, including political philosophers such as Srećko Horvat (Croatia) Daniel Innerarity (Spain) G. M. Tamás (Hungary) Philip Pettit (Ireland) Axel Honneth (Germany), political scientists such as Mary Kaldor Nadia Urbinati (Italy) Brigid Laffan (Ireland) Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Greece) Ulrike Guerot (Germany) Albena Azmanova (Bulgaria) Olivier Costa (France) Leif Lewin (Sweden) Sławomir Sierakowski (Poland) Miklós Haraszti (Hungary) Claus Offe (Germany) Rainer Baubock (Austria) Yves Many (France) Willem Schinkel (Netherlands) Tom Nairn, Vladimir Tismăneanu (Romania) Jan Sowa (Poland) and Brendan O’Leary (Ireland), European law scholars Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Alberto Alemanno (Italy) and Anne Weyembergh (Belgium), criminologist Federico Varese (Italy), the Human Rights lawyers Katrin Oddsdottir (Iceland) and Debora Kayembe. Finally leading political figures and activists as former Portuguese presidential candidate Ana Gomes (Portugal) and architect of the Good Friday agreement journalist and former Head of the European Commission in Northern Ireland Jane Morrice.

In Scotland the letter was signed by the Scots Makar (poet laureate) Jackie Kay, actors Sam Heughan, Brian Cox, writers such as Val McDermid, William Boyd, Neal Ascherson, and James Robertson, broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, Scots writer Billy Kay, investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, singer, young musician Jānis Šipkēvics (Latvia), acclaimed documentary maker Apolena Rychlíková (Czech) and Jure Ivanušič (Slovenia).

In solidarity with Scotland and frustration with Westminster, many well-known cultural and academic figures in England and Wales have joined Europe for Scotland including: Misha Glenny, George Monbiot, Richard Eyre, Carman Calill, Vron Ware, Gary Younge, Stuart White, Hilary Wainwright, Laura McAllister, John Osmond, David and Judith Marquand.

“We are Europeans from across the continent and around the world. We want the people of Scotland to know that Europeans everywhere would welcome them back in the European Union if this is still their democratic wish.”

Dear Heads of State and Government of the EU, President of the European Council, President and Members of the European Parliament, President and Members of the Commission.

We are Europeans from across the continent and around the world. Naturally, we disagree about many things. But we all agree on this: We want the people of Scotland to know that Europeans everywhere would welcome them back in the European Union if this is still their democratic wish.

In the 2016 Brexit Referendum not a single Scottish district voted to leave, and Scotland as a whole voted by a 62-38% majority to remain in the EU. In subsequent years, the Scottish Parliament rejected the withdrawal process at every stage. Yet in 2020, Scotland was taken out of the European Union alongside the rest of the UK.

When Scots voted to remain in the EU they did so as part of the United Kingdom. Separating themselves from the UK to become a member state of the EU is a different matter. One that demands its own referendum, which the Scottish Parliament and government have formally requested. At present the UK government refuses to permit this.

We should not stand idle while this impasse lasts. It is an unprecedented development and demands fresh thinking from the EU.

Therefore, we call on you to ensure that the EU clearly signals a path for Scotland to become a member in advance of any independence referendum.

The usual process is for the EU to respond to a membership request only when it comes from an independent country. 

Scotland deserves a different process. While it is legally part of the UK the Scottish government cannot negotiate with the EU. But the EU can declare that, because Scotland has already long been part of the EU should it become legally and democratically independent it need not apply as a ‘new’ accession candidate. Instead, the EU and its member states should make a unilateral and open offer of membership: an exceptional proposal to match Scotland’s exceptional circumstances.

The EU has demonstrated already that it can recognise the unique circumstance created by Brexit. The European Council unilaterally confirmed at its Summit of 29 April 2017 that Northern Ireland would become part of the EU immediately should it ever vote in the future to join the Republic of Ireland.

The EU should offer as much continuity as possible to Scotland too. This requires creative practical thinking. No one knows the short and long term costs of Brexit for Scotland, nor those linked to breaking away from the UK—including issuing a new currency if the Scots so wish (whether or not they eventually join the Euro). In light of this, generous terms should be offered to support Scotland’s budget in the challenging months of the transition before re-joining the EU.

These are important issues because they will make it possible for any referendum to be a clear, practical and democratic choice for Scotland between two unions: the EU or the UK.

Europeans must always stand up for democracy and solidarity. So we call upon you to express our joint solidarity with the citizens of Scotland and to support Scotland’s democratic choice about its future.”

 —

Some of the 200 supporters so far

 

Samuel Abraham – PhD, Rector of BISLA and Editor of Kritika&Kontext – Bratislava, Slovakia

Lilli Alanen – Professor Emeritus of History of Philosophy, University of Uppsala – Uppsala, Sweden

Alberto Alemanno – Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, HEC Paris – Paris, France

Neal Ascherson – Writer, journalist, former foreign correspondent for the Guardian and editor of Public Archaeology – Scotland

Jan Assmann – Professor Emeritus, Institute for Egyptology, University of Heidelberg – Konstanz, Germany

Albena Azmanova – Associate Professor of Political and Social Thought, Brussels School of International Studies – Brussels, Belgium

Etienne Balibar – Chair, Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London – Paris, France

Solvej Balle – Writer – Marstal, Denmark

Anthony Barnett – Writer and Co-founder, Open Democracy – Oxford, England

Rainer Bauböck – Chairman, Commission on Migration and Integration Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute – Vienna, Austria

Neil Belton – Writer and publisher – London, England

Volker R. Berghahn – Seth Low Emeritus Professor of History, Columbia University – New York, USA

Cinthia Bianconi – President, Fondazione Adriano Olivetti – Rome, Italy

Florian Bieber – Jean Monnet Chair in the Europeanisation of Southeastern Europe, University of Graz – Graz, Austria

William Boyd – Novelist – London, England

June Caldwell – Writer – Dublin, Ireland

Carmen Calill – Writer and Founder of Virago Press, Fellow, Royal Society of Literature – London, England

Duncan Campbell – Investigative Journalist – Brighton, England

Lydia Carras – Founder and director Greek Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage – Athens, Greece

Iannis Carras – Historian and political scientist, University of Macedonia – Thessaloniki, Greece

Roger Casale – President, New Europeans – Roccatederighi, Italy

Jonathan Coe – Novelist – England

Luke Cooper – Researcher, Politics and International Relations, LSE, Convenor, Another Europe is Possible – London, England

Arthur Cormack – Gaelic singer – Portree, Scotland

Olivier Costa – Professor of EU Studies, CNRS-CEVIPOF, Director, Department of European Political and Governance Studies, College of Europe – Bruges, Belgium

Brian Cox – Actor, Olivier Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner – New York, USA

Franca D’Agostini – Philosopher – Torino, Italy

Ida Dominjanni – Journalist and author – Rome, Italy

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott – Anniversary Chair of Law Queen Mary University, formerly Professor of European and Human Rights Law – London, England

Fiona Dove – Executive Director, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Patrick Doyle – Scots born Oscar and Cesar nominated composer – London, England

Nishan Dzhingozyan – East-European Forum coordinator – London, England

David Edgerton – Professor of Modern British History, King’s College London – London, England

Regina Egle Liotta Catrambone – MOAS International Co-Founder & Director – La Valletta, Malta

Brian Eno – Artist and Musician – London, England

Casper Eric – Writer – Copenhagen, Denmark

Thomas Hylland Eriksen – Professor for Social Anthropology, University of Oslo – Oslo, Norway

Eva Erman – Professor of Politics, Stockholm University, Editor in Chief, Ethics and Global Politics – Stockholm, Sweden

Richard Eyre – Director in Film, Theatre and Opera – Gloucestershire, England

Elena Ferrante – Writer – Italy

Peter Finch – Poet – Cardiff, Wales

Neil Gaiman – Author and writer – England

Paul Gillespie – Senior research fellow, Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College Dublin and Irish Times columnist – Dublin, Ireland

Paul Gilroy – Writer and teacher – London, England

Misha Glenny – Writer and Broadcaster – London, England

Ana Gomes – Human right campaigner and former diplomat – Cascais, Portugal

Michael Gray – Solicitor and Activist – Edinburgh, Scotland

Hana Grgic – Journalist – Berlin, Germany

Ulrike Guerot – Founder and Director, European Democracy Lab, Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Christopher Hampton – Playwright, Academy Award winner – London, England

Kirstin Hannesdòttir – Architect and Honorary Icelandic Consul – Edinburgh, Scotland

Miklos Haraszti – Writer and human rights champion – Budapest, Hungary

Gerry Hassan – writer and commentator – Glasgow, Scotland

Alistair Heather – Writer and presenter – Newbigging, Scotland

Jens-André P. Herbener – Historian of Religion & Author – Ringsted, Denmark

Sam Heughan – Actor – Scotland

Leslie Hills – Film Producer, Skyline Productions – Edinburgh, Scotland

Felix Hoffmann – Activist – Berlin, Germany

Axel Honneth – Director, Institute for Social Research, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Jack C. Weinstein Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University – Frankfurt, Germany

Srećko Horvat – Philosopher – Island of Vis, Croatia

Vedran Horvat – Head of the Institute for Political Ecology – Zagreb, Croatia

Ivo Indzhov – Associate Professor of Journalism, State St Cyril and St Methodius University – Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Daniel Innerarity – Professor of Political Philosophy at University of the Basque Country – Saint Sebastian, Spain

Abby Innes – Professor in Political Economy, European Institute, LSE – London, England

Federico Ippoliti – Advancement manager – Glasgow, Scotland

Jure Ivanusic – Actor, writer and musician – Maribor, Slovenia

Carsten Jensen – Writer – Copenhagen, Denmark

Liz Jensen – Writer – Copenhagen, Denmark

Janina Jetter – Writer and Translator – Oxford, England

Tobias Jones – Writer and journalist – Parma, Italy

Mary Kaldor – Professor of Global Governance, LSE – London, England

Pat Kane – Writer and musician – Glasgow, Scotland

Jackie Kay – Scots Makar, the national poet laureate of Scotland – Manchester, England

Billy Kay – Writer/broadcaster – Scotland

João Kay – Language Tutor – Scotland

Debora Kayembe – Human Rights lawyer, political activist and current Rector of the University of Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland

Daniel Kehlmann – Writer and Fellow, German Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung) – Berlin, Germany

A.L. Kennedy – Writer, academic and stand-up comedian – Wivenhoe, England

Declan Kiberd – Writer, author of Inventing Ireland, Ulysses and Us – Dublin, Ireland

Corinna Kirchhoff – Actress – Berlin, Germany

Eszter Kollar – Assistant Professor, Center for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, KU Leuven – Leuven, Belgium

Milja Komulainen – Artist and Activist – Helsinki, Finland

Lea Kreinin – Lecturer at Tallinn Polytechnical College – Glasgow, Scotland

Halliki Kreinin – Teaching and Research Assistant at the Ecological Economics Institute, Vienna – Vienna, Austria

Roman Krznaric – Philosopher, Long Now Foundation, San Francisco – London, England

Brigid Laffan – Director, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute – Florence, Italy

Bård Larsen – Historian, Civita – Oslo, Norway

Marc Lazar – Professor of history and sociology, Institut d’Etudes Politiques – Paris, France

Leif Lewin – Johann Skytte Professor Emeritus of Eloquence and Government, Uppsala University – Uppsala, Sweden

Charlotta E. Lindell – Journalist – Malmo, Sweden

Ondřej Lipár – Poet – Prague, Czech Republic

Santiago López-García – Professor, History and Economic Institutions, University of Salamanca – Salamanca, Spain

Jamie Mackay – Writer and Translator – Florence, Italy

Colin Macpherson – Spokesperson for Germans for Scottish Independence – Straubing, Germany

Catherine Malabou – Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University and European Graduate School – Kingston, England

Phillip Marliere – Professor of French and European Politics, UCL – London, England

David Marquand – Political Theorist and Historian, on. Distinguished Professor, Cardiff University – Penarth, Wales

Judith Marquand – Economic Sociologist, Hon. Professor, Cardiff University – Penarth, Wales

Lorenzo Marsili – Philsopher and Activist, Co-Founder, European Alternatives – Italy

Laura McAllister – Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales, Cardiff University – Cardiff, Wales

Val McDermid – Writer and broadcaster – Scotland

Ian McEwan – Writer, Fellow, Royal Society of Literature – London, England

Cameron McNeish – Mountaineer, broadcaster, writer, FRSGS – Badenoch, Scotland

Yves Mény – Emeritus President European University Institute – Florence, Italy

Susi Meret – Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University – Aalborg, Denmark

Gian Giacomo Migone – Emeritus Professor, History of Euro-Atlantic Relations, University of Torino, Advisor, Center of European Studies, Columbia University – Turin, Italy

George Monbiot – Writer and campaigner – Oxford, England

Jane Morrice – Journalist, former Deputy Speaker of the NI Assembly, Head of the EU Commission Office in NI, Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) – Bangor, Northern Ireland

Tom Nairn – Political Scientist, Distinguished IAS Fellow at University College, Durham University – Livingston, Scotland

Sofia Näsström – Professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University – Uppsala, Sweden

Kalypso Nikolaïdis – Director, Center of International Studies, University of Oxford, Chair, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute – Florence, Italy

Eduard Nižňanský – Professor of History, Comenius University Bratislava – Bratislava, Slovakia

Magnus Nome – Writer and Editor, Teddy TV – Oslo, Norway

Claire Methven O’Brien – Baxter Fellow and Lecturer in Law, University of Dundee, Chief Adviser, Danish Institute for Human Rights – Dundee, Scotland

Brendan O’Leary – Lauder Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, USA

Fintan O’Toole – Author, literary critic, historical writer, and political commentator – Dublin, Ireland

Katrin Oddsdottir – Human Rights Lawyer and Director, Icelandic Constitution Society – Reykjavik, Iceland

Claus Offe – Professor Emeritus of Political Sociology, Hertie School, University of Governance, Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Sofi Oksanen – Writer and playwright – Helsinky, Finland

Nigel Osborne – Composer – Scottish Borders, Scotland

John Osmond – Writer and former Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs – Cardiff, Wales

Reka Kinga Papp – Editor, Eurozine – Vienna, Austria

Silvia Paracchini – Geneticist, University of St.Andrews, FRSE – The Royal Society of Edinburgh – St. Andrews, Scotland

Flavia Perina – Journalist and author – Rome, Italy

Philip Pettit – Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University – Princeton, USA

Andrea Pisauro – Activist and Neuroscientist, University of Birmingham – Oxford, England

Marina Prentoulis – Associate Professor of Politics and Media, University of East Anglia – London, England

Philip Pullman – Writer – Oxford, England

Sioned Puw Rowlands – Director, Wales Literature Exchange – Aberystwyth, Wales

Carla Hilário Quevedo – Author and TV Commentator – Lisbon, Portugal

Carlos Quevedo – Journalist and Radio producer – Lisbon, Portugal

Adam Ramsay – Editor, Open Democracy – Edinburgh, Scotland

Elena Remigi – Founder and Director, In Limbo Project – Maidenhead, England

Lesley Riddoch – Writer and Broadcaster – Edinburgh, Scotland

Lise Ringhof – Writer – Valby, Denmark

James Robertson – Writer, general editor of the Scots language imprint Itchy Coo – Angus, Scotland

Ricky Ross – Musician – Glasgow, Scotland

Christian F. Rostbøll – Professor of political science – Copenhagen, Denmark

Apolena Rychlíková – Documentary film director – Czech Republic

Astrid Saalbach – Writer – Copenaghen, Denmark

Alex Sakalis – Writer and teacher – Corfu, Greece

Saskia Sassen – Columbia University. – New York, USA

Roberto Saviano – Journalist and writer – Italy

Willem Schinkel – Associate Professor of Theoretical Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam – Rotterdam, Netherlands

Joachim Schiødt – Musician – Frederiksberg, Denmark

Rory Scothorne – Writer – Edinbgurgh, Scotland

Sławomir Sierakowski – Founder, Krytyka Polityczna, Director, Institute for Advanced Study, Warsaw – Warsaw, Poland

Jānis Šipkēvics – Musician and composer – Riga, Latvia

Lars Skinnebach – Poet – Sønderho, Denmark

Mike Small – Editor of Bella Caledonia – Edinburgh, Scotland

Elaine Constance Smith – Actress – Glasgow, Scotland

Morten Søndergaard, – Writer – Pietrasanta, Italy

Jan Sowa – Sociologist, Associate Professor, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw – Warsaw, Poland

Kristina Stolz – Writer – Copenhagen, Denmark

Nanna Storr-Hansen – Writer – Skovlunde, Denmark

Joan Subirats – Professor of Political Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain

G. M. Tamás – Professor of Philosophy, Central European University, Vienna/Budapest – Budapest, Hungary

Peter Tatchell – Human Rights Campaigner – London, England

Sérgio Tavares – – Glasgow, Scotland

Janne Teller – Writer – London, England

Ece Temelkuran – Journalist and author – Zagreb, Croatia

Vladimir Tismăneanu – Professor of Politics, Director, Center for the Study of Post-Communist Societies, University of Maryland – College Park, USA

Jennifer Todd – Research Director Institute for British Irish Studies, UCD – Dublin, Ireland

Colm Tóibín – Writer and Fellow, Royal Society of Literature, Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor, Columbia University – New York, USA

Adam Tooze – Director, European Institute, Professor of History, Columbia University – New York, USA

Nadia Urbinati – Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory, University of Columbia – New York, USA

Erik Valeur – Writer – Sønderho, Denmark

Luisa Valmarin – Professor of Literature, Sapienza University – Rome, Italy

Phillipe van Parijs – Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain, Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Leuven, Fellow, British Academy – Louvain, Belgium

Robert Van Voren – Human right activist and sovietologist – Vilnius, Lithuania

Federico Varese – Professor of crimonology, University of Oxford – Oxford, England

Alexander Vella Gregory – Composer – Valletta, Malta

Borna Vujčić – Writer – Zagreb, Croatia

Hilary Wainwright – Sociologist and Activist, Editor, Red Pepper Magazine – London, England

Vron Ware – Writer and teacher – London, England

Nikoline Werdelin – Writer, play-writer, cartoonist – Copenaghen, Denmark

Anne Weyembergh – Professor Faculty of Law and Institute of European Studies, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Founder and Co-ordinator, European Criminal Law Academic Network – Bruxelles, Belgium

Stuart White – Associate Professor of Politics, University of Oxford – Oxford, England

Robin Wilson – Editor and researcher, Social Europe – Belfast, Northern Ireland

Neşe Yaşın – Poet and author – Nicosia, Cyprus

Gary Younge – Journalist, author, broadcaster and academic – Manchester, England

Slavoj Žižek – Philosopher and cultural critic – Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

Comments (36)

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    A most welcome message of support Mike. Hopefully the EU will respond with the message that it could easily be accommodated by shifting the Irish Sea border to the Scotland-England border and acting as if Scotland had never left the EU.

    If Scotland votes NO and Ireland votes YES disgruntled loyalists will be offered generous packages to relocate to the British colony of Scotland thus ensuring a unionist majority there forever. Scotland – a green beacon of renewable energy and fresh water OR a ghettoised dumping ground for Eton toff problems of their own making.
    It’s your choice.

  2. Robbie says:

    Now THATS what you call being love bombed, must be how it feels winning the lottery,thanks Mike made my day

    1. Tom Ultuous says:

      I wish I had said that Robbie. ;-(

  3. Derek says:

    Whilst those of us who are in favour of re-joining the EU, post-independence will justifiably be pleased about this, we must keep it in mind that we can’t have it both ways. We must caution (ourselves and each other) against assuming that on achieving independence a similar % of those who live in Scotland will wish to re-join. Perhaps it’s not the best option for us. Perhaps, with a range of alternatives presented to us, whether that be full EU membership such as we had pre-Brexit or some other form of relationship with our neighbours. It is our hope that the %s will change to our advantage when we have our indy referendum and there may be some who would be delighted when it’s achieved but who do not wish to be part of the EU, and perhaps certainly not without the asking. When trying to persuade people to shift to Yes, we cannot then bulldoze through other changes as well.

    1. David B says:

      Derek, I completely agree. Just because someone didn’t want to break up doesn’t mean they necessarily want to get back together! I personally worry whether we can achieve radical independence within EU rules (e.g. on budget deficit, state aid, fisheries and farming). It’s a conversation that needs to be had, and re-entry would need a referendum or some other kind of new popular vote. For Sturgeon to say it’s already decided is thoroughly undemocratic and for me suggests a ‘business as usual’ vision of independence.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        England will be back in once they become totally isolated.

        If Scotland votes NO and Ireland votes YES disgruntled loyalists will be offered generous packages to relocate to the British colony of Scotland thus ensuring a unionist majority there forever. Scotland – a green beacon of renewable energy and fresh water OR a ghettoised dumping ground for Eton toff problems of their own making. It’s your choice.

    2. alwayswrite says:

      Can you please stop saying ” re- join ” Scotland was never a member state of the EU

      As an independent state you could apply,why you’d jump from the Westminster pan and into the Brussels fire is totally beyond me as you have to submit your budget and that budget would absolutely have to be in alignment with EU austerity and neo liberal economics

  4. Donna Buyers says:

    As an older Scots woman who has been voting for the SNP for the past 40 years, I am bursting with hope at the publication of this letter from our EU and British supporters in our quest for independence. At last we have some positive feedback about our preferred independent status within Europe, rather than the casual dismissal we usually receive about this from Westminster.

    In view of the current unethical behaviour shown by many of the Conservative ruling party, I sincerely hope that the EU will continue its proactive support for the Scottish people in their quest for a fair, democratic and equitable society that can only be achieved through independence from Westminster. I also hope that the other devolved nations within Britain will receive the same support from the EU in the future, should they decide to vote for independence through their democratically held elections.

    1. alwayswrite says:

      Your problems are with the Tories,breaking the union of the UK won’t solve Scotland problem

      Take it from me if you think Tory austerity is bad wait until you get the EU version,if you don’t believe me just ask Greece

      The EU is totally driven by its treaties and they all enshrine neo- liberalism and privatisation

      Take your independence and hold onto it,but for gods sake don’t throw it away in the EU

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        What did they do to Greece? Like the rest of us they were shafted by greedy bankers. Were it a federal EU they would’ve been expected to bail Greece out but it isn’t. The Leave mob made a big thing out of the “UK” supposedly having to bail out smaller countries like Greece but it was all bollocks. The EU as it stands is little more than a trading club with a set of rules which allows countries frictionless trade with each other. The EU wouldn’t have had the power to steal our oil or sell off our nationalised industries to their pals in the city for a song the way the English did. I can understand the worries over privatisation but the future isn’t nationalising everything that doesn’t move, it’s accountability through technology. The bigger the trading block the greater that accountability will be. It certainly won’t happen in the “UK”. Brexit was all about the Eton toffs and their cronies escaping the EU’s first shots on accountability. The fact this was facilitated by the working classes who are expected to pay the toff’s taxes for them shows how ingrained the gravy train is in the “UK” media.

  5. Colin Robinson says:

    Mind you, were an independent Scottish government to apply for readmission, the only opinion that would count is that of the EU itself, and those who determine that opinion are more likely to be impressed by realpolitik than by celebrity.

  6. Chas Gallagher says:

    Long before AS and ALBA appeared on the scene I was in favour of not rejoining the EU immediately but first securing Membership of EFTA so that we could reset some basic principles e.g. VAT rates, Fishing Rules, etc, yet regain access to Single Market. OK, we’d still have to pay (like Norway) but it would give time for a New Scotland to settle down and then decide.

    1. Daniel Crowe says:

      But EFTA membership doesnt guarantee membership of the single market. Its more that each current EFTA member had separately agreed a deal with the EU.

      EFTA membership allows a degree of trade (but not a customs union) between Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Iceland. But it doesnt mean you are part of any deal with the EU.

    2. alwayswrite says:

      “Decide ”

      Decide what exactly????

      You honestly can’t just opt into the EEA agreement then opt out

      Scotland would be an absolute laughing stock,you’d sign up and stay in,oh and pay without a vote,plus you’d be obliged to implement basically all the EU neo liberal privatisation policies

      Word of advice,don’t go there,not even the Norwegian like it,although looking at Brexit they don’t know what to do about it,they’ve allowed themselves to be subordinated into the EU creating a huge and frankly intolerable democratic deficit,and thats the Norwegian governments own analysis,but they’re now bound by their old referendum which rejected membership,a very dumb move if you ask me

    3. Trondra Norquoy says:

      This really does need to be clarified by the political party pushing for Scottish independence. Living in a Scotland outwith the EU, EFTA and not a signatory to the ECHR is likely to be somewhat unpleasant in terms of wealth, standard of living and having your basic human rights protected by law (I don’t even mean the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights which is where our eg FOI rights come from) but the basic level of the rights of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      EFTA membership is not a given and means that many EU directives apply automatically and that there will be no option to negotiate an opt out in relation to them or even to debate their content and effect, and it also means that the EU duty of mutual co-operation will not apply to EFTA countries.

      Without EFTA membership, you don’t have any freedom of movement even to EFTA countries, so visas and passports will be required.

      I have heard talk amongst SNP supporters that the party policy is changing to some form of a “Celtic Alliance” instead of EFTA or EU membership. That honestly doesn’t sound very compelling to me.

  7. fehvepehs says:

    When our independence is realised (very soon I hope), a referendum on the various options for our future should take place. Everyone will not be happy with whatever the outcome is but that’s life. I suspect that re-entry into the EU would prove too strong a pull and an eventual migration from disgruntled people living south of the border (yes it does exist) as well as people from EU countries will make Scotland a place where a future can be looked on with enthusiasm. The break up of the UK is necessary for Scotland to gain her proper place in the world.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      ‘…for Scotland to gain her proper place in the world.’

      Ah, the doctrine of manifest destiny… Another ghost that haunts us from our imperial past.

      What other countries talk about their ‘proper place in the world’?

  8. Robbie says:

    Perhaps the ones who extricated themselves from the” British Empire”

  9. Muiris says:

    Signed/sínithe

  10. florian albert says:

    ‘Europe reaches out to welcome an independent Scotland.’

    Not quite. A couple of hundred – far from typical – individuals do so. Of the 40 names that I recognize, only one surprizes me a little; David Edgerton, the iconoclastic
    historian. Most of the others support a version of European unity which suffers from a huge democratic deficit. (Yes, I understand they would campaign to eliminate this deficit. Unfortunately, the people who count in Europe, Merkel and Macron, are not interested.) For some, like Fintan O’Toole, Europe amounts to a secular religion.
    As Mike Small notes many of the signatories are award winning ‘cultural figures.’ I am more than a bit skeptical about taking a lead from such people. Why them rather than Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers ? It all looks rather elitist.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      ‘Elitist’? No.

      Like all celebrity endorsements, the list has been compiled with a particular audience in mind. In this case, the list is targeted at ‘liberal’ (in the American sense) consumers in the culture market.

      It’s all to do with branding and customer aspirations. Footballing celebrities tend to be used more to promote consumption among those who aspire to a ‘working class’ identity, football being traditionally a ‘working class’ game.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        They could never appeal to the working classes in the same way our own dear, cuddly, one-nation Tory party do. Could they Colin?

        1. Tom Ultuous says:

          Forgot my signature

          If Scotland votes NO and Ireland votes YES disgruntled loyalists will be offered generous packages to relocate to the British colony of Scotland thus ensuring a unionist majority there until 1691. THE HORDES ARE COMING.

        2. Colin Robinson says:

          I can’t see how the Tory brand speaks at all to those who aspire to a ‘working class’ identity. Maybe it doesn’t intend to; maybe the marketing strategy is to appeal to the hopes and fears of those who aspire to a ‘middle class’ identity, to the mass of so-called ‘Middle Scotland’ with its CUVs and mortgages.

      2. John Learmonth says:

        Vote the ‘wrong’ way and you can have another go….vote the ‘right’ way set in stone for eternity.
        Democracy…. EU style.

        1. Tom Ultuous says:

          Democracy UK style.

          If Scotland votes NO and Ireland votes YES disgruntled loyalists will be offered generous packages to relocate to the British colony of Scotland thus ensuring a unionist majority there until 1691. Scotland – a green beacon of renewable energy OR a ghettoised dumping ground for Eton toff problems of their own making. It’s your choice.

  11. Daniel Crowe says:

    “More than 200 leading writers, artists and thinkers from every EU member state have signed a letter to the EU leadership calling for Scotland to be unilaterally offered generous terms for re-entry to the EU“

    I doubt the EU could easily offer terms any more generous than those that recent and current applicants enjoy.

    In any case, the only way that the EU could be generous would be to relax existing standards – its hard to explain to other countries why Scotland should get an easier deal than they did.

  12. Tom Ultuous says:

    Does anyone else find it suspicious that, one week before an election, Scotland suddenly has the highest Covid infection rates? We’ve consistently had the lowest throughout the pandemic, locked down sooner than the other “UK” countries, opened up later and that hasn’t changed this time round. The Scottish govt has also made ALL airport arrivals quarantine in hotels while the English have only applied that to certain countries (India only joined that list very recently). So, are the figures being manipulated? There’s little doubt the English figures have been understated throughout but what of the others having lower rates?

    There’s something about it that stinks. I might also add that the only time the mainstream media seem to show comparisons is when Scotland comes out worst (e.g. the initial vaccine rollout when Scotland concentrated on care homes).

  13. Trondra Norquoy says:

    I thought the list was notable by its absence of any CJEU lawyers or EU Commissioners or those in a notable position within the member states most likely to object to the unanimous decision required to meet new members.

    The Scottish independence movement is notorious for producing these happy-clappy pronouncements that an independent Scotland will be welcome in the EU. But if were basing the breakaway and economic future of an entire country on it, I’d look for something a lot more reassuring than a bunch of pro-independence writers and actors saying its all going to be all right.

    What we can do is deal in facts. An independent Scotland would be outwith the EU and the last White Paper on Independence promised only a “Scottish version of the ECHR”, not signing the ECHR itself. Why it is deemed necessary for Scotland to have a “Scottish version of the ECHR” and not simply sign it is worrying, but not entirely unexpected given the anti-fundamental rights and freedoms legislation that the Scottish Government is prone to passing (as well as the Court of Session deciding they know better than the Advocate-General of the CJEU with regards to minimum alcohol pricing.

    Nowhere is there discussion of Scotland’s poor executive set up with incomplete scrutiny of legislation due to its weak unicameral structure – weak from the perspective of the separation of powers, which they are big on in Europe.

    Nowhere is it mentioned that, even using the Accelerated Entry Procedure for the last expansion of the EU for the Eastern European member states (minus the Western Balkans), it still took 12 years from start to finish.

    It is highly unlikely that the EU Commission would tolerate such anti-freedom legislation as Scotland currently has in some areas, likewise they would not be happy with the poor respect for its competition law policies here in Scotland. But in happy-clappy land, this is all overlooked because “special and unique circumstances” are imagined to apply to Scotland (this odd phrase appeared 12 times in the last White Paper on independence).

    Dealing in facts, there is a great deal of law to be examined and changed in Scotland before it can even consider making an application to the Council of the EU for accession. At that stage, the EU Commission issues its detailed report on the 35 non-negotiable policy areas on which the EU acquis must be met by the applicant country needs to do just to be granted candidate status. Then and only then do the lengthy negotiations towards potential membership begin, which invariably take more than 12 years. The rule of law and human rights and fundamental freedoms are now tackled at the outset. At the moment, it would not be worth Scotland’s while applying – it would be knocked back on both economic and legal grounds. And countries which are tired of paying for small, poor countries are likely to object to yet another member being added. Particularly one which is unlikely to provide them with cheap labour via the Posted Workers Directive.

    But all of this detail means nothing to the happy-clappy tribe…in Eutopia, if not the EU, everything is easy.

  14. alwayswrite says:

    Oh dear what very muddled thinking

    Scottish exceptionalism at its best,sorry but Scotland doesn’t deserve some sort of special treatment to be allowed into the EU

    Basically Scotland has to get in line,get its deficit down,get it’s currency sorted,then apply,oh and don’t forget,you’d be signing up as good Europeans,not Scottish nationalist,as Europe has had a very unpleasant experience with nationalism in its past!

    Oh one last thing,don’t ever mention Catalan independence ever,ever again otherwise the Spanish will almost certainly stop you,infact I’d,as a good European stop you trouble making nationalist from Scotland coming into my European Union as it could cause a catastrophic wave of secessionist across Europe to also want to break up their own respective countries,which would effectively destroy the EU which would no doubt please Mr Putin who seems to offer your former First Minister a propaganda platform payed for by the kremlin!

    So please have your referendum and break up You’re own Union/ country but don’t come to the EU we have enough idiots especially from the far right trying to break things up as things stand

  15. Laurie Pocock says:

    Good to see this but it muse the assumed Scots will still hold the view they want to join the EU?

      1. Laurie Pocock says:

        Sorry not very good with the typing it definitely must not be assumed Scots would want a Independent Scotland to join the EU. Incidentally, a lady from Castile I know is adamant that Spain would never allow Scotland to join as it would undermine the Spanish State.
        That may not be the prevailing view in Spain but a lot of Spaniards need convincing about it and it will be a difficult decision for whichever Spanish Government is in power at the time.

        1. It shouldn’t be assumed and should be voted for but the overwhelming number of Scots voted to remain and that’s unlikely to change. The myth of the Spanish veto has been debunked hundreds of times. I will try and find the energy to dig out the many examples.

          1. Rule of Law Supporter says:

            In what way is it a myth? Unanimity of all existing member states is required for any new membership applicant, so not just Spain but any other existing EU member state has a veto. Its laid down quite clearly in existing EU law, including TEU Article 49.

            What is a myth is that an independent Scotland would be able to join without being accepted and completing a lengthy accession process, after arranging its economy, legal system and executive so that became compliant with the requirements of EU membership (which they are not at present).

          2. Laurie Pocock says:

            I appreciate the comment was based on anecdotal evidence but you’re certainly wrong if you don’t appreciate the strength of feeling in Spain. There are those there who want the Catalan leaders to be treated very harshly. Most Spaniards are deeply patriotic and a large percentage see the Catalan separatists as traitors. Any Spanish politician that ignores these feelings would be unwise.

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