What the SNP’s independence white paper says about the European Union
The Scottish government’s 650-page white paper on independence, published in late 2013, contained just eight pages on ‘Scotland in the European Union’, a sign that Brexit was not yet taken seriously by both parties to the constitutional debate.
The document assumed that the UK would still be part of the EU when Scotland became independent.
Although he flagged the idea of Brexit, noting that an in-out referendum was expected in 2017, there was no discussion of its implications, only the statement that independence offered a way to ” out of the EU against our will”.
The prospectus assumed, again perfectly reasonable for the time, that an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would be part of the EU’s single market and customs union, with continued free trade across the Anglo-Scottish border.
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The document also said that Scotland would not have to apply to join the EU as an outside country, but would benefit from a “smooth and timely transition to independent EU membership” based on of the principle of “continuity of effects”, as was the case. already inside.
The newspaper said this membership process would be achieved within 18 months of a yes vote, when Scotland was “still part of the UK and therefore part of the EU”.
The newspaper did not propose a referendum on EU membership.
He said Scotland would keep the pound and not adopt the euro.
Some key quotes from the white paper:
● Under current Scottish Government policy, Scotland remains a member of the European Union. Between a yes vote in 2014 and Independence Day, Scotland will agree to the terms of our continued EU membership. This will happen as long as we are still part of the UK and the EU, ensuring a smooth transition to independent membership.
● The advantage of independence is that the people of Scotland will have the sole and final say. We will not have left the EU against our will, as might happen if we are not independent.
● An independent Scottish government will, for the first time, be able to directly promote Scottish economic interests, protect Scottish citizens and participate on an equal footing with all other Member States in European affairs.
●The Scottish government does not want Scotland to leave the EU and does not support the Prime Minister’s plan to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership.
● Following a vote for independence, Scotland will become an independent EU member state ahead of the planned in-out EU referendum in 2017. However, if we do not become independent, we risk being excluded from the EU against our will.