It would appear that Alex Salmond is insisting that
the EU would certainly want an independent Scotland to be a member of the European Union (your report, 6
Fine. But would we want to be members of the EU? I would direct Mr Salmond to the fact that, in Scotland, the people, not parliament, are sovereign.
I am sure he knows that, and is relying upon it, because if the referendum gives a Yes vote to independence, then under Scots law, that’s that. Then and there. The people will have spoken.
So what happened the last time the people spoke on the EU? Scotland voted not to join.
Although that little fact was overridden by Westminster for its own ends, it nevertheless is a fact, and was the last word on the subject in Scotland, and therefore is the law in Scotland.
An independent Scotland is not, by dint of the voice of the people, a member of the EU, and will have to apply again, providing the people want to join, but I for one will be arguing against. The European Free Trade Association offers us far more than the EU ever will.
So the heavy hand of Brussels falls on little Scotland, threatening to drum us out of the EU club if we dare declare our independence from the UK.
Furthermore, those powerhouses of growth, Spain and Cyprus, have vowed to blackball any application we might make to rejoin.
To be honest, I’ve had worse offers – millions of UK residents have being trying to cut us free of the EU for years.
What does depress me is the thought of hundreds of thousands of jubilant Ukip refugees flooding into Scotland from England and Wales, and buying up anything with four walls; our islands may be about to witness the largest inward migration since the Scots went to Ireland – or was that the Irish coming to Scotland? –but I suppose at least it will boost our property values.
Scotland’s current membership of the European Union is as part of the United Kingdom. When Scotland becomes independent, the UK will no longer exist.
Thus, if Scotland has to re-apply for EU membership then, by the same token, so will England and Wales.
You do not mention two countries which have chosen not to be in the EU, namely Norway and Switzerland. On 6 December, 1992, Switzerland voted not to join. It was a hard-fought campaign won with only 50.3 per cent of the vote.
Last week an opinion poll indicated, however, that now only 32 per cent would favour being part of the European Economic Area and a derisory 11.5 per cent were for joining the EU.
Norway and Switzerland have a lot in common with Scotland.
All three are about the same size, and dare I say it, have a similar mentality. Some 450 years ago John Knox brought the ideas of universal free education, the NHS and a national church to Scotland from Geneva. His statue towers over the Saltire inlaid into Geneva University’s grounds.
Our relationship with Norway goes back even further but perhaps is not so felicitous. Like Norway, we are a rich country in terms of natural resources.
Like Switzerland, we have a good grounding in finance and insurance.
If Iceland, currently out of the EU, joined with Norway and Scotland we could have much of the North Sea and North Atlantic all to ourselves.
If Brussels throws us out then so be it, or, as John Knox might have said, it must be God’s will!
But then who knows, maybe we will be offered England’s place if the Tory backbenchers have their way. I think all this is scaremongering, and we would be well advised not to start any negotiations until after the event.
West Acres Drive
Let us not get bogged down in detail over EU membership. All these matters can be easily rectified, and nobody believes that Scotland would not be regarded as a fit and proper country to belong to the EU.
There are, I am sure, many things in Scotland that need to be improved, such as our legal system, banking, health and education. However, Scotland has the talents and know-how.
Independence for Scotland – just imagine how much fun it will be for us all to try it.