Scottish independence EU negotiations ‘not 100%’
The Scottish Government is unlikely to secure all of its objectives in its negotiations to stay in the European Union in the event of independence, a Labour MEP has said.
No country in the history of negotiations in the EU has succeeded in obtaining 100 per cent of their objectives, according to Catherine Stihler.
The SNP administration may have to abandon Scotland’s share of the EU rebate, set up border posts with England and sign up to the controversial European fiscal pact in order to secure independent membership of the EU, she said.
The Scottish Government concedes that Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU after independence requires negotiation, but insists that this would be done in the 18 months between the referendum and independence day in 2016.
However, Ms Stihler warned in an article for the LabourHame website that Iceland started its negotiations in 2010 and is still no closer to joining.
SNP ministers say they believe that Scotland’s relative wealth, abundant natural resources, such as oil and wind, and its vast fishing waters will give it a strong hand in membership negotiations.
Ms Stihler said: “The SNP are talking about red lines for any negotiation: keeping the pound, keeping Scotland’s share of the rebate, opting out of Schengen (the passport-free travel area), saying no to the fiscal pact, and the list goes on.
“No country in the history of negotiations in the EU has succeeded in obtaining 100 per cent of their objectives.”
SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said: “As far as the Scottish Government’s timescale for becoming independent is concerned, it was the UK government’s own legal expert who described it as realistic.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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