Brian Monteith’s comments on the preliminary skirmishing of the Yes/No saga (Perspective, 17 December) were quite interesting.
However, he seems to play down the fact that the pro-independence campaign has been very successful in drawing the unionists into a sterile diatribe of negativity, and nowhere more so than when it comes to the intricacies of EU membership.
Nobody really cares what José Manuel Barroso’s opinions are. He is, after all, only a civil servant who must give way to democratic changes in Europe.
The basic fact is that there could be no dialogue between Scotland and the European Commission until Britain – the member state – had transferred the power to hold a referendum to the Scottish Parliament.
The second major premise is that Britain has agreed to abide by the referendum decision. This makes the internal enlargement of the EU by dividing the British state into two potential members an internal matter for the British state, and only of interest to the EU insofar as it may affect the internal market and the political balance between the 27 EU members.
The third big issue is that since both Scotland and the rest of the UK will be successor states to the UK, the EU cannot discriminate against Scots by removing European citizenship while letting English citizens retain their rights, especially since the bulk of voters in England don’t seem to care much about Europe anyway. Roll on these “urgent discussions” – if Barroso is up to it.
If the people of Scotland have the guts to vote Yes in 2014, this will be a direct challenge to the EU’s democratic credentials.
If the EU fails to recognise our special claim for internal enlargement, then it is saying that democratic decision-making should be ignored, if not actually penalised.
There has long been a democratic deficit in the way the EU is governed. Expulsion of Scotland would accelerate the crumbling of the European ideal.