Sunday, 6 November 2011

Scotland's Place in Europe

Where will an independent Scotland sit in Europe?

Do people want monetary union? Political Union? Political Union but not the Euro? Be like Norway?

Several options but no clear message from the SNP. Talk about "letting the people decide" is not clear, and no matter how trustworthy they SNP may be, it still does not commit them. For all we know the makeup of the SNP may change by the time such a question arises. And looking at what happened to Greece, will the Scottish people be allowed to decide for themselves?

What is clear at the moment, even to the politically apathetic, is that the Big European Project is in serious difficulty. And what is also clear is that democracy is out of the window - how else do you explain the Greek PM's about face? France and Germany are pulling the strings of Europe.

At the moment, it appears that should Scotland become independent, the SNP want to remain as part of Europe. However, it is uncertain precisely what that would mean. The Internet blogs are full of debate but I doubt if anyone really knows what will happen, not even the SNP.

This is creating a lot of uncertainty, and already the opponents of independence are working on this.

Europe, as it stands, is a bigger problem for a union than Westminster ever has or ever could be. Even the most faithful of the SNP supporters are realising that selling independence within Europe is probably the worst possible idea. There are some who justify their support by stating they want independence first then sort out Europe later - that comes across as an argument for leaving the UK at any cost.

My own view is that unless Salmond cleary states that Scotland will not join the Euro, and will not aim for closer political ties, then the Referendum will be lost. And without an option for "Devo Max", then a failure of the Referendum will kill off independence for many years, if not a generation.

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