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Scottish independence: Hague to give global case

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Picture: Getty

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Picture: Getty

THE Foreign Secretary William Hague will outline the case for Scotland remaining in the UK, based on the country’s “unique role” in world affairs.

William Hague will be in Glasgow on Friday with Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander to publicise the latest of the UK Government’s “Scotland analysis” papers.

It focuses on European Union (EU) and international issues, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The paper will look at the diplomatic network, which employs more than 14,000 people in 267 embassies and other offices.

The benefits to Scottish business and economic interests, such as defending whisky against counterfeits, will be explored in the report.

It will also set out possible implications for Scottish membership of international bodies such as Nato.

Mr Hague, a Conservative MP, said: “At the start of a momentous year for Scotland, I look forward to coming to Glasgow this week for the launch of this paper.

“I believe that we are safer and stronger together, and that together we can do more good in the world.”

In June last year, Mr Hague told an audience in Edinburgh that other world leaders were “baffled” by the notion of a Scottish independence movement.

Mr Hague said: “Travelling from Afghanistan to Brazil, and from Canada to Australia, I encounter bafflement that anyone would try to break up a union that has been so resilient, so successful and so admired as ours.”

EU and Nato plan

It is the first of the UK papers since the Scottish Government published its formal White Paper on independence last November.

If Scotland votes to leave the UK in September, the SNP proposes to remain in the EU and Nato, as well as other international bodies.

Support would be given to the rest of the UK in maintaining its seat on the UN Security Council, according to the White Paper.

The SNP proposes a network of embassies and consulates with an estimated running cost of between £90 million and £120 million, below the population share of UK total expenditure in 2016/17.

“Scotland would also be entitled to a fair share of the UK’s assets,” the paper states.

EU membership would be renegotiated in the proposed 18 months between a Yes vote this year and formal independence from the UK. The SNP argues this will provide for a seamless transition but opponents warn of protracted negotiations.

SEE ALSO:

Scottish independence: Foreign aid plans revealed

Hague claims countries ‘baffled by idea’ of Scottish independence

 

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