Yet again what has been aptly dubbed “Project Denial” (Raymond Paul, Letters, 16 May) swings into action. The very real possibility that an independent Scotland would be subject to extensive further VAT impositions (your report May 19) is dismissed as a “silly scare story”.
The origin of the story is Stefan Fule, European commissioner for enlargement. Might it not just be the case that he knows what he is talking about rather than being silly?
The SNP bases its denial on the erroneous claim that Scotland is already a member of the European Union and, therefore, would negotiate “from within”. Why does the SNP continue to repeat this claim, which has been discredited by the legal experts? As well as trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes by alleging a “seamless” accession, is it hoping to create the illusion that if Scotland is in fact a current member of the EU, then it might be more likely to negotiate preferential terms?
Even that would be dubious. The negotiators would, of course, be the political representatives of the existing 28 states, several of which have secessionist movements and/or are in an economic mess.
I do not foresee that they would refuse entry. But it seems to me self-evident that they would not offer to a new Scottish state terms that are more favourable than those which they themselves enjoy. Is that a silly scare story?
It is too much to expect honesty from the SNP on this issue. The voters therefore need to be made aware of the truth from other sources – and without revelations of the truth being shouted down by Project Denial.
Braid Hills Avenue
Yet another SNP spokesperson, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, is claiming that an EU commissioner, Stefan Fule, (hardly someone with an axe to grind, one might say), is putting about a “silly scare story” that if Scotland were to become a new member of the EU in the event of a Yes vote, it would lose UK opt-outs on VAT.
My concern is that there is considerable potential for civil unrest on an epic scale if Scotland were to vote Yes at the referendum.
What would the people of Scotland do when they discover the monstrous scale of SNP misrepresentation of Scotland’s true position and that EU officials, international financial experts, as well as unionist parties were completely right in what they are saying?
It seems to me that there must be a mechanism whereby Scots could seek redress at Westminster through democratically-elected representatives who do not belong to the (by then) discredited SNP. It seems to me that Scotland’s MPs, elected in 2015 would still have a mandate to speak for the electors, who would still be British citizens, to ask for a referendum re-run once “Project Fib’s” baseless assertions have been rumbled.
As it stands, people must decide whether the SNP’s assertions are right and everyone else’s informed comments are wrong, without a safety net.
Andrew HN Gray
The SNP’s European Parliament candidate Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik seems to imply that an independent Scotland would simply walk in to the European Union with all the same terms as the UK currently enjoys.
Now the First Minister, and others in the party, accept that there would be a period of at least 18 months during which terms of entry would be negotiated. Surely this is a waste of time, or is this yet another of the many cases where the SNP seems to be at odds with reality?
A EUROPEAN commissioner has said that Scotland faces losing the UK’s opt-out on VAT rates if it becomes a new member state after independence. Does the same argument not apply to the rest of the UK?
The present member is the whole of the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So, if Scotland votes for independence, then the “rUK” cannot be assumed to be the same as the UK.
R D Cramond