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Regional Studies , 30 1 , This should in theory be a line that they have contributed to and agreed. However in practice the UK does not always ask for the views of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, still less give those views due weight. Indeed, experience shows that a lead UK Department will rarely pursue a Scottish policy interest if it conflicts with their own dominant objective even if, as with the fishing industry, Scotland has the majority interest.
Scottish Ministers would be able to attend all Council meetings, and would be able to directly engage in key areas of decision making which only UK Ministers currently participate in, such as the future financing of the EU. We could prioritise issues for ourselves as a nation, and build alliances with other countries to negotiate to get the result which best serves our national interest.
The British representation in Brussels, in particular, has always been careful to include Scottish representatives and specific Scottish interests, such as in fisheries or structural funds, into its remit. It seems clear that the UK has embarked on a path that will, at the very least, result in the UK Government having an increasingly marginalised role in key negotiations held in Brussels that will determine the future course of European integration. That will only be possible if Scotland is able to take its place as an independent member of the EU.
The SNP insisted that 18 months would be enough to secure transition to a new membership of the EU if voters chose independence, on the basis of article 48 of Treaty on the European Union which provides for amendments to the existing treaty through ordinary revision procedure, without the need to negotiate a new treaty.
On the currency, which proved a central point in the debate, the SNP recalled Scotland would not meet the convergence criteria to adopt the euro and therefore should be able to keep the pound. As Ichijo put it in However this discrepancy has been repeatedly observed in polls and analyses. The pattern is that Scots are more reluctant to oppose EU membership than the British people as a whole. Jan Leave the EU. Stay and reduce EU powers. Leave things as they are. Stay and increase EU powers. Work for single Euro government.
Research recently conducted on euroscepticism in different UK constituencies also showed that, on the whole, Scotland was more pro-European than England. Turnout in European elections is as low in Scotland as in the rest of the UK It appeared after a few months that there was no such official legal advice, exposing his stance as unrealistic.
Staff Profile - Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies - Newcastle University
Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the Commission and Herman von Rompuy, the president of the Council, insisted that an independent Scotland would have to go through a lengthy and possibly unsuccessful process to join the EU, not through article 48 but through the normal procedure of article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty. Whether it had an impact on the vote in the referendum ballot is nevertheless doubtful.
Many EU member states felt extremely uncomfortable at the prospect of Scottish independence, not just because it would weaken one of the bigger states but because it would create a precedent for other separatist regions in countries like Spain or Belgium. The voice of sub-state entities was no longer really celebrated in official discourse.
In England, David Cameron was, as we have seen, under growing pressure from his backbenchers to promise a referendum on British membership. At first he resisted it, to the point of imposing a three-line whip against a motion demanding such a ballot in October Scotland having voted to stay in the UK in , Scottish voters would increase the probability of an overall positive result for staying in the EU. This would most probably create a major political crisis in Scotland, where the SNP in particular could argue that the Scots are taken out of the EU against their will.
Should a Bill be tabled in the House of Commons for a referendum on European Union membership, my party will table an amendment. That amendment will require that for the UK to leave the EU, each of the four constituent nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - would have to vote to do so, not just the UK as a whole. It would give proper protection against any of the nations of the UK being removed from the EU against their will.
Yet it is likely that the voting figures, or at least opinion polls, would become public and these differences would not stay concealed. In that case pressure for organising a new referendum on Scottish independence would increase again, a campaign which would be launched by the SNP but which would be equally embarrassing for Scottish Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrats, who would be caught between their support for a united kingdom and their wish for continued membership of the EU. First, the level of civic engagement and political participation in Scotland was impressive during the campaign and bodes well for an equally important referendum on the future of the UK in Europe.
If the campaign manages to draw as much attention and participation in the debate and the vote itself, this could increase the chances of a positive result since we know that opinion about the benefits of EU membership is particularly volatile in the UK. Whereas the English national debate is now about whether to remain in the EU or not, the campaign in Scotland was whether independence was the best way to ensure that Scotland would remain in Europe.
The Yes campaign attempted unsuccessfully, it turned out to use the argument to press voters to support independence in spite of open hostility from several EU quarters to the prospect of Scottish independence. With a majority of Scottish voters opposed to leaving the EU, a negative vote in the UK would trigger another constitutional crisis between England and Scotland. Unionist parties would most likely have to accept another Scottish referendum on independence, with the momentum for secession much stronger than in The fate of Scotland and of Britain in the EU will be closely intertwined.
January, available at:. Working paper, Durham University, London: Routledge,