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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Scotland and the EU: The borderline issue

Not that we ever intended to wade into this debate, but how various separatist/independence discussions interact with the EU treaties has always fascinated us. 

Which is why in January lastyear we wrote a piece entitled "Would EU law introduce border controls with Scotland?", in which we pointed out that an independent Scotland would have to apply for EU membership and that if it did so it would not have the benefit of the UK's opt-outs from the Euro or Schengen, the implication of the latter being possible border controls. 

Open Europe 11 January 2012:

The implications of this seem to have been picked up by the bright sparks in the FCO who briefed the newspapers accordingly:

"The potential side-effects of Scotland breaking away are outlined in a Foreign Office memo leaked to The Mail on Sunday"

Daily Mail 6 February 2012: 

The problems Scotland would have staying within the EU did not go unnoticed in Spain where Catalonian independence was begining to bubble. We wrote about it in Spain here and here.

By now the cat was fully out of the bag - a Sunday Times article came to an obvious conclusion:

The rest as they say is Scottish history...


With a final confirmation coming from the Commission on 6 December 2012:


Rik said...

Not EU law creates that the fact that Scotland would become a seperate country does.
Subsequently as Scotland (if it ever gets independent) becomes part of a large club that the UK doesnot want to join.
It might be counterintuitive in the case of Scotland and England but a seperate country has borders. It also has a seperate government. And a lot of other seperate stuff.

From a legal perspective it is difficult to understand that anybody could ever have thought that Scotland would not have to apply. That are simply very basic rules btw.

However in not stressed situation often one would expect that a lot can be arranged politically through negotiation. Like Scotland become independent without bordercontrol with the rest of the UK. Or it directly becoming a member after independence.
However the situation is stressed, or better likely will be. Not made at home, but because it would set a precedence. Combined with the fact that the rules are drafted in a certain way and you need all EU countries basically to agree on it and that is not likely to happen.

Rollo said...

Why do we let them get away with the idea of Scottish Independence? They are simply pressing to become a very minor colony of the EU. They will end up with no clout and no say and no independence.