Thursday, 13 September 2012

Scotland's EU membership is assured under international law

The SNP has had a warning shot fired across the bows of the SS Independence by the EU, much to the delight of unionists.  But how worried should the pro-independence lot be?

The EU has said that an independent Scotland would have to negotiate EU membership if it splits from the UK.  The unionists have jumped on this are happily warning the Scots that not only will they lose the security of the British union if they vote for independence but they will lose the security of the European union as well.  Unfortunately for them it was't Scotland that was being referred to but Catalonia although the principal is much the same.

There are a couple of questions the British nationalists need to ask about this before they start pontificating at the SNP.  The most obvious one is what are the EU actually saying?  Emperor Barosso said that EU citizenship for Catalonian (and therefore Scottish) residents would have to be "negotiated within the international legal order".  The assumption being made about this statement is that Barosso is saying Scotland would have to negotiate its membership as if it was any other country wanting to join.

And what of this negotiating within the international legal order?  International law is quite clear on what happens when one state secedes from another.  The assumption is that all states will become successors where treaties are concerned with all the rights and obligations they entail.  Scotland will remain a party to any international treaties the UK is a party to now if it secedes from the UK under international law.

The idea of the EU turning down a membership application is laughable, especially when the application is from a socialist, europhile country with oil and fish.  The EU is likely to screw concessions out of Scotland in exchange for making the process smoother such as putting a time limit on the opt out from the €uro and Schengen and giving the EU control over Scottish oil and gas and Alex Salmond will give it all to them because he doesn't have a plan that doesn't involve EU membership.