I am surprised that Nicola Sturgeon should use Ireland as an example of a small country prospering within the EU, given
Ireland’s recent economic history (your report, 25 January). Of course Ireland did well out of its membership of the EU in the early days but the cost of living was high.
When the banking crisis hit, Ireland required billions of euros in bail-out loans from the EU and IMF to keep its economy afloat, thereby increasing the stranglehold Brussels has over the country.
Is this the kind of future the SNP envisages for an independent Scotland within the EU, particularly since the remainder of the present-day UK may no longer be members?
The comment by Lord Kerr that an independent Scotland would be forced to join the euro, creating a “currency frontier on the Tweed” (your report, 25 January), is highly disingenuous.
Even if we assume for the sake of argument that an independent Scotland would not inherit the UK opt-out from the eurozone, as matters stand EU law simply cannot be used unilaterally to impose the euro on an unwilling non-eurozone member state.
This can be demonstrated by a simple reading of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which has a requirement that the currency has to be inside the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) for a minimum of two years prior to adopting the euro.
Participation in the ERM is voluntary for member states.
Any country joining the EU – whether as a successor state or from scratch – which doesn’t want to join the euro can simply elect to remain outwith the ERM, and therefore put off joining the euro indefinitely. This is a situation that I am sure that Lord Kerr is well aware of.