It is interesting to note that in a report published by the Law Society of Scotland a newly independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union would encounter no legal barriers (your report, 5 August).
According to the paper, the country already complies with EU treaties and therefore qualifies “in legal terms for EU membership in its own right.” The report also says that “Scotland would have the capacity to be recognised as an independent state”.
This is the common sense position which is supported by a number of eminent experts in EU affairs and it would indeed be counter to the entire ethos of the EU to seek to remove a country from the EU that wishes to remain within it and which already complies with EU laws.
This is in stark contrast to the real and current threat to Scotland’s membership of the EU that exists as a result of the UK government’s plans for an in/out EU referendum.
The report follows news that David Cameron’s plans for wholesale reform of the UK’s membership of the EU were thrown into doubt following a refusal from French president François Hollande to back the Prime Minister. Without the support of France, any hopes of significant EU reform look unlikely and UK withdrawal is seemingly inevitable.
Those opposed to independence cannot guarantee Scotland’s future in the EU and have not set out what, if any, additional powers might come to a Scotland that remains within the UK.
As far as Scotland’s relationship with the EU goes, the major threat to this is not our independence, it is continued membership of the UK.