Coffee House

SNP turns to God for help with independence referendum

27 December 2013

11:32 AM

27 December 2013

11:32 AM

It turns out that Alex Salmond needn’t worry too much about the re-emergence of that pesky row about advice on an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union. He’s got arguments that are far more powerful than all that to convince Scots of the value of independence. In the latest issue of Idea, a magazine produced by the Evangelical Alliance, two Christian MSPs set out their arguments in favour of and against independence. Both accept that there isn’t one Christian position on the subject, but the SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston John Mason does suggest that the Bible might have some wisdom on the matter – and it’s from as far back as the book of Genesis.

He writes:

‘But does the Bible have nothing to say on all this? I would maintain there is no one Christian line to take on Scottish independence. However, there is a principle from the time of the Tower of Babel that God split the peoples up as too much centralisation was potentially a dangerous thing. So it could be argued that we should be wary of larger national units and supportive of smaller ones.’

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Hopefully Salmond will whack a few Babels on ‘Yes’ posters over the next few months, just to warn the Scots that God isn’t a big fan of centralisation, either.


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Show comments
  • Andy McIntyre

    All these notions of separation come from negative places, never a reinforcement of positivity. You only have to look at recent history to see the damage separation causes.

    Salmond thrives on dividing people, creating a sense of unease and hatred of those that are different – which is why you get petty arguing on forums like this one. Obviously there are idiots and bigots on BOTH sides, but the general feeling – contrary to popular belief – is not one of hatred. Most people in Scotland do not want independence, and most people in England do not have a poor opinion of Scotland or us Scots.

    Thankfully, the intelligent people of Scotland will have a vote, and Salmond won’t win.

    • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

      Name one nation that has secured its independence from the imperialist British sate and subsequently petitioned to revert to its former status.

      If independence is the terrible thing that you claim it to be, where is the queue of countries clamouring to give up their independence?

  • Denis_Cooper

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-catalan-claim-casts-eu-doubt-1-3249462

    “ALEX Salmond’s claim that Scotland would remain in the EU after independence has been dealt a blow by the leader of the movement to split Catalonia from Spain.

    Catalan president Artur Mas acknowledged that independence for the region could mean exclusion from the EU, with the new state needing to re-
negotiate European membership.”

    Of course, that’s obvious.

    • Andy Ellis

      Ah, that old canard again! Well no, it isn’t obvious at all because that’s not what he said, it’s the unionist spin put on it by the drain circling Hootsmon newspaper, widely regarded as the house mouthpiece of Project Fear. For an alternative view of what Mas “actually” said, and why his comments don’t amount to any kind of EU doubt for Scotland, see:

      http://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/forest-fire-in-narnia-a-major-blow-to-scottish-independence/

      In fact, Mas is simply re-iterating what will essentially be the outcome of both the Scottish and Catalan path to independence; negotiations between the parties, with both Scotland and Catalonia negotiating the terms of their accession as new states from within the EU.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Terms of accession as new member states which would require treaty changes agreed by all of the existing EU member states, whether they were negotiated from within the EU or from without. But of course you are sufficiently naïve to assume that they would all fall over themselves to give Scotland just what it wanted and none would demand any price for their assent.

        • Andy Ellis

          No, you’re just making stuff up again as usual Denis. I neither said, nor do I believe that there would be NO price; that’s what negotiation is all about. The negotiations between Scotland and the EU will take place from within the EU between a Yes vote in Sept. 14 and March 2016. You can disagree all you like about whether it is possible to complete the negotiations, but you’d have to agree that there are plenty of people who don’t see it as a major issue. There is all the difference in the world between organising the membership of Scotland or Catalonia which are currently within the EU as part of current member states and comply with the acquis communitaire, and negotiating membership de novo for Croatia, Albania or wherever.

          None of the current EU members, including the UK, Spain and others with issues about possible secession movements & axes to grind like Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, have any interest in excluding Scotland or Catalonia. The notion that they will somehow be allowed to hold the EU to ransom without there being any repercussions is simply risible.

          • Denis_Cooper

            It’s not question of whether it would be possible to complete the EU negotiations before Salmond’s arbitrary date of March 24th 2016, because if necessary the UK Parliament could quickly pass an Act to defer the final separation for a year to give more time.

            Nor would it be a question of whether other EU member states would be allowed “to hold the EU to ransom”; they’d be holding Scotland, and the rest of the UK, to ransom, not the EU, and they’d be completely within their rights to do so.

            • Andy Ellis

              The date of independence will be the one decided upon by Scots and their government post a Yes vote Denis, it isn’t in the gift of Westminster. The Germans, Scandinavians and other states like the Baltics which are relatively well disposed towards Scotland and Catalonia being fast tracked into the EU are not going to tolerate regressive forces in Madrid or elsewhere trying to stop the process, as they simply have too much to lose. As the PIGS found in recent times, in the end they will do what is in their best interests, and that interest doesn’t include pissing the Germans and the other parts of the EU which are net contributors (which net contributors will also include Scotland and Catalonai by the way!) off.

              • Denis_Cooper

                You’re getting ahead of yourself here, again.

                The present Parliament and government of Scotland are no more than the creatures of the UK Parliament through its Scotland Act 1998, and the legal powers devolved to them do not extend to a declaration of independence.

                Unless you wished to start by overthrowing the rule of law, with all the consequences which could flow from that, you would wait for the UK Parliament to pass an Act to dissolve the Union at a certain time on a certain date, as has been promised in the unfortunate event of a “yes” vote in the referendum and as would undoubtedly happen.

                If it became clear that all the necessary negotiations could not be concluded by the date set in that Act then another Act could be passed to defer the final separation.

                Or would you prefer it if the initially agreed date came and went without Scotland’s future treaty arrangements with EU member states having been settled?

                As for the PIGS not wanting to piss off Germany, I’ve said myself that Merkel could put pressure on Spain to agree to a treaty to amend the present EU treaties, but you’d be a fool if you thought that she would do that without exacting her own price.

                • Andy Ellis

                  The Section 30 order and the Edinburgh Agreement, whilst nice to have, were simply an admission of weakness on the part of Westminster. You’re obviously not a stupid person, so you must have been aware of the debate at the time on whether the S30 order was required or not. If westminster had refused to grant such an order, the Scottish Government would simply have held an advisory referendum, or have called a snap election making it effectively a plebiscite. Self determination for Scots is not in the gift of Westminster, any more than that of Catalans is in the hands of Madrid.

                  There is nothing to suggest that the negotiations will take any longer than 18 months, unless rump UK overplay their hand or try to make things difficult. It is for the Scottish people through their government and taking into account the negotiated position to decide on the date for de jury independence, not Westminster.

                  I’ve continually said (you obviously just aren’t listening as your selective replies and avoidance of issues amply demonstrate) that negotiations may involve compromises on both sides. The EU may indeed try to impose conditions, the issue will be which are acceptable in the “then current” conditions. The Scots may be slightly less Europhobic than the English, but there isn’t much in it; if the deal isn’t palatable, Scots are quite likely to take the Norwegian option; same goes for the sterling zone.

  • Paul Wilson

    Vote yes.

  • BoiledCabbage

    If mainland Scotland voted YES, while Shetland or Orkney voted NO, is there provision for the latter to remain in the UK? Or to return to Norway from which they were pawned in 1472?

    • ChuckieStane

      That’s the first time anyone has raised that particular red herring…….today

    • Andy Ellis

      No, because they won’t vote No (see evidence of Press & Journal poll which showed >80% of islanders favoured remaining part of Scotland in the event of a Yes vote). the prospects of the islands staying with the UK, or declaring UDI is a red herring put about chiefly by desperate drain circling Lib Dem MP’s there to spread more Project Fear disinformation.

      In addition, even if there was any appetite for such action, the islands would not be entitled to any oil under international law, as they would be considered an exclave within the Scottish EEZ, and therefore not entitled to their own EEZ, only a 12 mile territorial limit. This finding was re-iterated in recent ICJ findings relating to territorial disputes in the Caribbean of a similar nature.

      So, in summary, you obviously have no knowledge of the situation you are trying to spread fear about, and haven’t done even the most basic research. Just another unionist agent of unreason, Stun us with another.

  • Ian McKellar

    In arriving at decisions, the EU has a habit of frequently breaking its own laws: often helped by a pliant European Court so am confident it can find a quick way of accommodating Scotland. But it has stated there will be a cost, in that.Scotland will not get any share of the rebate indeed it will probably seek to scrap it altogether for the newly independent state of England It will demand that Scotland accept the Declaration of Fundamental Rights, It will demand that Scotland joins the Euro within a given time-scale. It will demand that Scotland signs Schengen with near immediate effect .I suspect that it may raise something it tried to do in the initial UK negotiations for Britain to join the EEC in the early 1970s and declare that oil is a Common European Resource (even Ted Heath wouldn’t let the do that) rather lie the policy they brought in at that on fishing. One should remember that in such negotiations England will have a veto and if insistence on Schengen is imposed, it will use it

    • Andy Ellis

      No, it won’t demand any such thing as joint the Euro by a given date! Where is your evidence for the claim? There is no compulsion in Euro membership, as the Swedes have shown. Two years ERM2 compliance is mandatory, so it is a relatively trivial thing to simply refuse to comply for ever. Sorted.

      The oil ownership thing is a hoot. Did you make that one up yourself, or just kinda chuck it in there to lessen your credibility further? The EU has no interest in seeing Scotland excluded, and are quite aware that if they make it too difficult, Scots will simply decide they don’t want to join after all, and “do a Norway”. Altho Scots are marginally more in favour of the EU than the rest of the UK, there isn’t much in it. They have a lot more to lose by excluding Scotland than Scots do by deciding to stay out if the terms are wrong, same goes for negotiated terms for a sterling zone with rumpUK. It would make sense for both sides, but if the carpet biters on the Tory right make it all too difficult, they’d simply be told to stick it.

      • Ian McKellar

        Re Sweden matters have changed since then. The Independent reported the other day the EU pointed out ” Likely problem points include voting rights in both the European Council and Parliament, the validity of current UK opt-outs, the use of the euro and what was termed “further financial questions”.

        I do not trust Europe one inch since as the record shows, they never accept a defeat but just put the proposal on the back burner until a more promising time or it can be quietly slipped in without anyone noticing

        • Andy Ellis

          Whether you trust the EU is beside the point; I’m sure they’ll take your disapproval into consideration, and move on. Matters have changed with Sweden how exactly?

          Voting rights for Scotland and rumpUK would have to be changed, yes…because Scotland is relatively underrepresented in the European parliament, so changes would be negotiated. Hardly rocket science. Same goes for opt-outs; they’ll be part of the negotiations; Scottish agriculture does significantly worse as part of the UK than it would be if it were independent, which is why many farmers are pro-indy, and pro-EU.

          Of course the EU adapts. It has its problems, but polls suggest more Scots support it than are against it. There is much greater likelihood that the little Englanders will force us out of the EU in 2017 than there is that the EU wouldn’t accept Scotland if we vote Yes in 2014.

          • Ian McKellar

            For myself I loathe the EU and wouldn’t trust the scum who run it in any shape or form. The situation has changed in that recent new entrants have not been granted the privileges Sweden has. If you say England leaves the EU then we find ourselves in the position that or biggest customer and biggest supplier are no longer in the same trading block

            • Andy Ellis

              Each entrant is responsible for the package it negotiates. The Swedish situation is much more likely than the Croat situation. Scotland isn’t some new entrant desperate to get into the club, it’s already within the EU and has been for 40 years, and complies fully with the acquis communitaire.

              I agree with your summation about the bleak prospects for rumpUK if middle England votes to leave in 2017, which is why I don’t think it’ll ever happen. People will look into the abyss and draw back, particularly when most businesses start realising the implications and saying it will affect jobs and investment if they vote to leave.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                You seem to enjoy fantasizing what’s to happen in the future. So the socialist jocks will vote to leave the suckling UK teat, and the English (sans Jockistan) will vote to stay in the EUSSR, is it?

                Delusional. The lot of it.

                • Andy Ellis

                  Well, you’ll soon find out. A Yes vote may not be the most likely result, but given the polling evidence and the 9 months of campaigning left, it’s hardly delusional except to swivel-eyed loons like yourself.

                  Similarly for the EU, it wouldn’t surprise me if the little Englanders vote to leave, even if it would be against their economic best interests to do so, their hatred and lack of knowledge about the EU is just too great in most cases. However it is just as possible that when people actually look at the issue, they will opt to stay in the EU… it would be worth it just to see the heads of unthinking Europhobes like you explode! :)

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Campaigning can’t help, as it’s being done by separatist zealots like you, and you types only drive off support. The majority of the socialist jocks will reject you crazed zealots, and vote to remain on the government teat. Yes, what you’re saying is delusional.

                  And your ranting about the EUSSR pretty much cements the above. You seem to lack everything but rage against any holding opinions incompatible with your zealotry. That’s why that referendum is going down so hard, lad.

                • Andy Ellis

                  I think it’s fairly obvious from the low-brow content of your posts who the zealot is here. I’m not the one fixated with teats, over-using tired cliches like EUSSR, Jocks, jock land, Jockistan etc., and making continual assertions that independence will never happen.

                  The inchoate rage behind your hate filled anti-Scottish bigotry won’t be lost on any reasonable observer. You’re obviously not one keen to deal in facts, as your hysterical reaction to being owned by a succession of more reasonable contributors here attests. It seems odd that if support is being driven off, the polls show support for Yes increasing, and for No decreasing; not that you are remotely interested in engaging in honest debate about the issues of course; it’s so much easier just to beat your extremist drum and circle-jerk with your Europhobic claque in here rather than engage your brain.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …what “debate” are you doing here, lad? You’re a separatist jock zealot, too ignorant to understand that you’re driving off support from your own delusional cause.

                  I still think you’re a plant for the No campaign. That’s the only explanation for a nutter like you.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Sweden was granted no special privilege with regard to the euro; like all the countries which have joined the EU since the Maastricht Treaty it is under a treaty obligation to join it. The only two countries with treaty opt-outs from having to ever join the euro are the UK and Denmark.

  • Denis_Cooper

    This is what the EU says:

    http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm

    “Member states of the EU (year of entry)

    Austria (1995)
    Belgium (1952)
    Bulgaria (2007)
    Croatia (2013)
    Cyprus (2004)
    Czech Republic (2004)
    Denmark (1973)
    Estonia (2004)
    Finland (1995)
    France (1952)
    Germany (1952)
    Greece (1981)
    Hungary (2004)
    Ireland (1973)
    Italy (1952)
    Latvia (2004)
    Lithuania (2004)
    Luxembourg (1952)
    Malta (2004)
    Netherlands (1952)
    Poland (2004)
    Portugal (1986)
    Romania (2007)
    Slovakia (2004)
    Slovenia (2004)
    Spain (1986)
    Sweden (1995)
    United Kingdom (1973)”

    Is Scotland on that list? No.

    So why do the SNP keep insisting that Scotland is already a “member” of the EU when it is bleeding obvious that at present it is not a member state, it is only a part of one of the member states, the UK?

    So that it would need the present EU treaties to be changed for it to become an EU member state in its own sovereign right, which would not be “automatic” or a “mere formality”?

    • Andy Ellis

      A deeply (intentionally?) disingenuous post: the SNP haven’t said that. What they (and others who support their view) have said is that there is no mechanism to exclude any part of an existing member state, which is true. The situation is quite clear, as even Spanish nationalists like Rajoy know, that Scotland will have 18 months following a Yes vote, prior to de jure independence in March 2016, to negotiate the terms of EU accession. None of it is rocket science, and none of it will be decided or prevented with reference to legalities, it will in the end be a political decision. The EU will act collectively to ensure the best outcome. Supposed threats of veto from Spain, or Cyprus or Slovakia are just so much bluster.

      It certainly seems that many in Danish political circles see no issue with Scottish accession being a mere formality, and the chances are that similar attitudes hold in may other EU states, and will be expressed much more forcefully in the event of a Yes vote in 2014. See the attached for reports of some Danish views:

      http://nationalcollective.com/2013/07/10/exclusive-scottish-eu-membership-straightforward-and-in-denmarks-interest/

      • Denis_Cooper

        Oh well, maybe Peter Bell wasn’t speaking for the SNP when he said yesterday:

        “Scotland is not “part of a member state”. It is part of a union of nations and it is that union which is a member. The union being a member, so too must its constituent parts.”

        “It doesn’t require a law school education to figure out that Scotland will still be part of the UK up until independence day and therefore a member of the EU.”

        Pity that the EU doesn’t list Scotland as being a member, and in fact the EU treaties don’t even mention the word “Scotland”; of course for it to be possible for the EU to list Scotland as being a member now then it would have to already be a sovereign state, which is the whole point of the referendum.

        If you’re looking for something which is “deeply disingenuous”, and deliberately misleading, it is the false assertion that because Scotland is in the EU now it must be a “member”.

        • Andy Ellis

          Not what was said, or what the situation will be. Try interacting with what IS actually said, not what you “wish” had been said to try and knock down in your deeply flawed straw man arguments. Scotland will be a member in the 18 month period between a putative Yes vote in Sept. 14 and iDay due in March 2016.

          Nobody seriously believes the EU needs more than 18 months to arrange. Newsnet recently reported Danish sources as saying they regarded it as a formality, and something which could happen more or less overnight, which would also be the case in the (probably unlikely) event that Norway decided to apply for membership. Unlike Scotland of course, Norway isn’t currently within the UK.

          • Denis_Cooper

            “Scotland will be a member in the 18 month period between a putative Yes vote in Sept. 14 and iDay due in March 2016.”

            There, now you’ve said it yourself, just as Peter Bell said it previously.

            Scotland will NOT be a member during that period, because the present EU treaties will still apply during that period and under those treaties Scotland is NOT a member state but merely part of a member state.

            Therefore for Scotland to become an EU member state it would be necessary to amend the present EU treaties.

            For some inexplicable reason you choose to assume that this would be an easy and cost-free process, even though the Spanish government is clearly minded to obstruct it to set an example to the Catalans, and the governments of some other countries like Italy and Belgium might be sympathetic to the Spanish position, and even though Merkel has made it clear that she wants all EU member states to join the euro and it is unlikely that she would be prepared to forego the opportunity to further that project in the case of Scotland, if not in the case of the rest of the UK, and the governments of some other countries might be sympathetic to her position because in order to join the EU they had to pledge to join the euro and they couldn’t see why Scotland should be given special treatment.

            • Andy Ellis

              Honestly, do you have reading difficulties, or are you just being obtuse? Neither Peter or I said that Scotland would be separate members immediately after a Yes vote in Sept. ’14. In the 18 month period between a Yes vote in the referendum and iDay which is scheduled for March 2016, Scotland remains part of the UK, and thus part of the EU. Why are you falsely trying to claim either of us, or anyone else that I’ve read, has said anything different?

              How easy and cost free the process would be is open to debate. Of course it suits pro-dependence campaigners to insist the sky would fall, and Scotland will end up like Zimbabwe, North Korea [insert ridiculous comparator of choice here].

              Once again you show your ignorance of the issue by making the false and already discredited claim that Spain would make difficulties. This is demonstrably false, since Rajoy and his cronies have been scrupulous in drawing a distinction between the Scottish and Catalan process, and saying that they do not see them as linked. However, even if they were minded to try and make difficulties, they are likely to find few allies within the EU.

              Similarly with respect to the EU, you trot out the usual “you’ll be forced to join the Euro’ scare story; sorry, just not the case. Firstly there is no compulsion in joining the Euro, as Sweden shows. In order to qualify Scotland would first need it’s own central bank (which it won’t have if the sterling zone happens), then even if it does would be required to conform to ERM2 conditions for 2 years. It is relatively simple to ensure that you simply fail to adhere to such criteria indefinitely. Given recent problems with the Euro, it is vanishingly unlikely the EU would do anything but acquiesce, even assuming the Euro as it is HAS a long term future.

              • Denis_Cooper

                No, I don’t have any difficulties with reading what both Peter Bell and yourself have written, thanks, nor in understanding that you are trying to convey the false impression that Scotland somehow already has a status within the EU beyond that of being merely part of one of the member states, the UK.

                Or what else did you mean, when you wrote above:

                “Scotland will be a member in the 18 month period between a putative Yes vote in Sept. 14 and iDay due in March 2016.”?

                Rajoy has made it perfectly clear that in his view Scotland would have to re-apply to join the EU after it had become independent:

                http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-spanish-blow-to-eu-vision-1-3211153

                “At a press conference in Madrid, Mr Rajoy said he wanted the “consequences of secession presented to Scots in a realistic way”.

                “Citizens have the right to be well informed” he said. “If part of a Member State becomes independent it would be left out of the European Union, and it would be good for citizens (in the EU) and Scots to know that. EU entry would (then) need to be approved by all 28 member states.””

                Or perhaps you think you know what he meant by that better than he does?

                He does not even admit the possibility that the negotiations for the necessary EU treaty change could take place in the interval between the referendum and the final separation of Scotland from the rest of the UK, something that I have been suggesting would be the case for several years now.

                Sweden is under a treaty obligation to join the euro, and most Swedish politicians are keen to do fulfil that legal obligation but so far have been waiting until they can either persuade the Swedes to vote for it in another referendum or they can dispense with holding the referendum and just take Sweden into it anyway.

                You can be sure that neither the EU Commission nor the governments of other EU member states already in the euro will be prepared to wait forever in the case of Sweden, and nor would they be prepared to wait forever in the case of Scotland once it had made that commitment.

                • Andy Ellis

                  It’s not rocket science Denis. Scotland WILL be a part of the EU in that 18 month period, just as it is now. I neither said, nor do I think that it has any special status – it’s pretty clear from the context of the discussion and the thread that both Peter and I were specifically saying that in the 18 month negotiation period, the situation and status would be the same – for you to try and argue otherwise simply makes you look dishonest.

                  What Rajoy said is one thing, the reality of what actually happens is quite another. It’s his opinion. Rajoy, as we seem to have to keep pointing out, has an axe to grind. It suits his purposes to maintain that both Catalonia and Scotland would have to effectively re-apply for EU membership from the outside, and that this would be a very long and complex process.

                  The fact that you agree with him simply shows your are credulous, and don’t actually know that much about how the EU works. I’d far rather take the word of others who are more knowledgeable, who see the process as a formality and taking relatively little effort.

                  Rajoy has specifically said that the Spanish government position is that they will not veto Scottish membership, because they explicitly say the Scottish and Catalan situations are different. Are you just not aware of that fact, or do you just gloss over it because it holes your argument below the water line?

                  All your discourse on the Euro shows is that, like so much else, it will be the subject of negotiation. For all we know Scotland will negotiate an opt out, and if not it can simply do what the Swedes do., and postpone it effectively indefinitely if they want to. you considerable over-estimate the ability or the political will of the EU to make Euro membership an issue, still less their desire to pick a fight about it!

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Then what do you understand by the word “member”?

                  More importantly, what do you hope others less well informed will understand by that word “member” when you deliberately use it to mislead them?

                  If there’s dishonesty here it’s on your part and that of Peter Bell and the SNP: Scotland is NOT a “member” of the EU, it is not recognised by the EU as being a “member” of the EU, indeed it cannot be a “member” when its name does not even appear anywhere in the present EU treaties.

                  “Rajoy has specifically said that the Spanish government position is that they will not veto Scottish membership,”

                  Rajoy has specifically said that if Scotland ceases to be part of the UK then it will be outside the EU – not a “member”, not even a “part” – and will have to re-apply to join the EU.

                  I don’t agree with him about the need for Scotland to wait until it is independent before there can be negotiations among the EU member states for Scotland to become a new member state in its own sovereign right; as I’ve said before, shortly after a “yes” vote in the referendum Cameron would be in Brussels, probably with Salmond in tow, pleading for the necessary changes to the EU treaties.

                  I say “with Salmond in tow” because at that point Cameron would have legal standing in the negotiations, as the head of government of an existing EU member state, the UK, and therefore able to propose treaty changes under Article 48 TEU – while Salmond would still have no such standing.

                  “For all we know Scotland will negotiate an opt out”

                  Unless it was after Scotland had already become an independent sovereign state, Scotland wouldn’t be negotiating anything within the EU, for the reason stated above – that Salmond would still have no legal standing to do so, not being the head of state or government of a sovereign country.

                  But as for the possibility of Cameron being able to negotiate a euro opt-out on Scotland’s behalf, no doubt he would try to do that, and no doubt some of the other EU member states would strongly oppose him; and why not?

                  You must be really naïve if you think that Merkel wouldn’t want to get Scotland committed to joining the euro, and if you think that other countries wouldn’t support her because they could see no reason why Scotland should be given an opt-out from the euro which they were denied under their treaties of accession to the EU.

                • Andy Ellis

                  Please try to get this straight in your head; it REALLY isn’t difficult. Neither Peter or myself is trying to mislead anyone. We have never said that Scotland has an independent membership or identity within the EU; you are simply making that up to bolster your paper thin case. Scotland is part of the UK which is a member of the EU – I’ve never said anything different.

                  What Rajoy asserts is simply his opinion. I happen to believe his view is incorrect. Time will tell which is correct, but the balance of probabilities doesn’t support him. The process of applying to be a new state in the EU will take place in the 18 month period before March 2016 – why do you find that so difficult to grasp? Why do you give total credence to Rajoy’s view, but dismiss any which maintain the process is simple and can be achieved with little bother? Anyone might thing you had an axe to grind, just like Snr. Rajoy.

                  The negotiations will involve the rumpUK, Scotland and the EU; again, big whoop. Cameron won’t be able to make commitments on behalf of the new Scottish state, the EU will therefore be negotiating with the Scottish government too, not just the rUK. Obviously there are things that affect all 3 parties, some which are bi-lateral. It’s hardly outwit the ken of man to organise. The number of Scottish MEP’s will have to be increased, the number of rUK MEP’s decreased, aScottish Commissioner appointed etc. Since Scotland and her citizens are already within the EU, this isn’t like negotiating with a new state…you keep dodging that one I see, because it suits you to avoid it.

                  Cameron won’t be negotiating on behalf of Scotland, it’s a ridiculous notion. Merkel and the Commission will no doubt try to ensure Scotland signs up for the Euro, but as already pointed out, the Swedish experience shows it doesn’t really matter. In practice it could be deferred for decades..and who knows what will happen to the Euro over that time?

                  Like so many blinkered unionists you assume Scotland has no power in the negotiations, and will be begging cap in hand. It just ain’t so, sorry! What possible motive could the EU have for NOT wanting Scotland or Catalonia as “new” members?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  “Cameron won’t be negotiating on behalf of Scotland, it’s a ridiculous notion.”

                  I can understand that you don’t like that idea, but it would help if you educated yourself by reading the EU treaties.

                  If Scotland became independent without the present EU treaties having been amended then it would no longer be in the EU. That’s blindingly obvious, and not just to Rajoy: Scotland is only in the EU because it is a part of the UK, and if it was no longer a part of the UK then it would no longer be in the EU.

                  Or, if you prefer, where Article 52 says that the treaties shall apply to a list of countries ending with “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, if Scotland was no longer part of the latter then the treaties would no longer apply to Scotland.

                  Then, Scotland already being an independent sovereign state, Salmond or some successor could negotiate for Scotland to join the EU under Article 49 TEU, and accept the same kind of terms as were allowed for all the countries which have joined the EU in recent years, including the treaty obligation to join the euro.

                  On the other hand, if the plan was to get agreement on EU treaty changes before Scotland became independent, which would be much more sensible, then that would be pursued under Article 48 TEU, which says:

                  “The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the Council proposals for the amendment of the Treaties.”

                  As Scotland is not an EU Member State, despite your efforts to imply that somehow it is a “member”, and as it would still not be an EU member state at that point, the present EU treaties would not permit its government to submit proposals for amending the EU treaties; so who do you think would do that on behalf of Scotland if not Cameron, who one might expect would have a strong interest in getting the best deal both Scotland and the rest of the UK?

                  Oh, and you’d be wise not to mention to Merkel that you’d be prepared to see Scotland make a solemn promise that it would join the euro but without any intention of ever doing that, or you might find that she would insist on writing in a deadline.

                • Andy Ellis

                  I am familiar with the treaties Denis, I just don’t accept that your interpretation is either accurate, or a useful guide to what will happen following a Yes vote in September, as there is no precedent for a part of a member state seceding. Scotland will not be treated in the same way as a totally new member, nor would Catalonia, because they are currently within the EU.

                  The transition will be seamless, because it is overwhelmingly in the interests of all the parties to ensure it happens. Merkel or anyone else can propose what she likes; whether Scots accept it or not is another matter. The EU can’t afford to overplay their hand, anymore than rumpUK or the newly independent Scotland can. There is no reason for the EU to take the high ground position you seem convinced (with absolutely no evidence) they will take.

                  In pragmatic political terms, which is what will decide the issue, the EU has every reason to make the process simple and as non-combatative as possible. To insist otherwise simply shows your ideological axe grinding.

  • Two Bob

    Thuh Yew Kay! What a cold, unfeeling name for a country.

  • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

    My understanding is that ordinary English folk do not give a dam whether Scotland remains in the union or not. So what is the point of this article.

  • monty61

    The gnats might as well turn to prayer for all the good it’s going to do them. They have no chance and all the trolling and forum spamming on earth isn’t going to change that.

  • asalord

    The “united” kingdom continues to disintegrate.
    Nine more marvelous months.
    Yes or No,the end of the “united” kingdom is assured.

    • manonthebus

      I very much doubt that the canny Scots will vote for independence.

  • Wilhelm

    Enoch said that the highest form of government is independence , but an independent Scotland is not going to be pro Scots, pro Christian, pro Western, is it ? It’ll be pro mass immigration, pro multicultural , pro islamic, making the whole exercise all a bit pointless , no ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKeqfNN7YfA

    • Mynas

      Pointless for you, maybe. Some of us are quite enthusiastic about the Scotland you describe. Only eight months to go till we get to wave goodbye, insha’Allah.

      • Wilhelm

        Mynas my child, what’s wrong with mono cultural Scotland which has been like that for centuries ?

        • Wilhelm

          The man who gave me a thumbs down is obviously a racist, since he doesn’t like the concept of a Scotland peopled by white Scots.

      • Alexsandr

        can we have our money back then please.
        lets unwind the barnett formula for the last 20 years for a start.

        • Andy Ellis

          Figures show Scotland has contributed more than it got out over much of the past 30 years… and of course there’s 40 years of oil revenue pissed up the wall unlike our Norwegian and Qatari friends. Just more Project Fear disinformation – stun us with another!

  • asalord

    First things first: an end to the evil of British nationalism and with it the disgusting union between Scotland and England.

    • Doggie Roussel

      I can’t wait…

  • London Calling

    The Tower of Babel reflects the European Union, not only do they want an army which David Cameron has rebuked its centralisation has wielded too much power over European countries infecting all areas with rules and regulation…….Scotland wants to be part of the EU after independence so has yet to join the Tower of Babel once again……………God has nothing to do with it……………….

    • JohnCK

      At last someone begins to make the real point that the so-called Christian MSPs fail dismally to understand.
      How can anyone pray in aid the Tower of Babel as a positive argument for anything? It collapsed ….
      That shows a complete ignorance of the story and its meaning. Ah well, I suppose one say anything in such a sterile discssion as Scottish indepedence and most people will miss the flaws.

  • saffrin

    Divide and rule. Religion being no different than the EU.
    All being based on little more than lies and myth.

  • dougthedug

    “In the latest issue of Idea, a magazine produced by the Evangelical Alliance, two Christian MSPs set out their arguments in favour of and against independence.”

    Since there was both a for and against argument invoking God couldn’t this article be just as easily titled, “Unionism turns to God for help with independence referendum”?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, but the Speccie kid is going for a secular-socialist bubble denizen two-fer… disparaging both the SNP and the God-botherers at a swipe. I give it a 7 for effort but only a 3 for creativity. Let’s check with the East German judge, it’ll probably score higher.

    • Jambo25

      It could but it wouldn’t suit the Speccie’s hard line anti-SNP stance. Why allow even handed accuracy to get in the way.

  • swatnan

    Gawd help the YES Campaign if all they can rely on are a few obscure verses from The Bible. Anyway, God is not a neo-Liberal.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Correct. Everybody knows God is a Keynesian.

      • MichtyMe

        Worse, when appearing, long haired and in sandals, it was all about filthy lucre, the rich, casting out the money changers and usurers, sounds like a bit of a leftie to me.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No, lefties are idiots, and God isn’t an idiot.

    • dougthedug

      “Anyway, God is not a neo-Liberal”

      In that case God hates Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems and loves the SNP.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        No, God doesn’t love the SNP either. God smites leftists, remember.

    • Jambo25

      In the same article; one of the’No’ men, Murdo Fraser (Tory MSP) was also quoting scripture to back his case.

  • HookesLaw

    If I didn’t know better I would say that Mason was taking the Michael.
    Babel is of course in the Old Testament and as relevant to reality as Farage is to temperence.
    I once met a Scotsman who fervently believed that the world, well creation actually, began 4000 years ago. I suppose against this background we shouldn’t be surprised at any arguments put forward.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      True. You believe in Call Me Dave, and he believes in the global warmingist insanity. So there are kooks abounding, apparently, especially amongst you Camerloons.

      • HookesLaw

        The scientific establishment believes in global warming. They are driving policy. ‘call me Dave’ is your invention. One of many.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No, only the global warmingist nutters believe in the global warmingist insanity. You Camerloons and Call Me Dave are part of the insane.

          • HookesLaw

            I don’t believe in ‘global warming’ and there has not been any for 17 years. the climate changes we are experiencing are part of the climates natural variation. I see nothiong catastrophic in its nature or outcome.

            If you do not believe that the govenments chief scientist and other leading advisors (eg the met office) promotes man made global warming and the need to combat it then you are unassailably ignorant. The labour party and the LDs are fully signed up to it. The tories are mostly ambivalent – and its well known that Osborne is skeptical.

            In terms of political leadership only the kippers think the sun shines out of their leader’s backside. Your obsession with the supposition that rational people have to think their party leaders are 100% perfect is just one more manifestation of your flat earther status. Endlessly repeating it only exposes how bereft you are.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              You socialist Camerluvvies ignored science, and promoted global warmingist nutters, like all the rest of the socialists, your LibLabCon soulmates.

              Sorry, lad, but repeating your drivel won’t make it true. You Camerloons and your boy Call Me Dave are global warmingist nutters.

              • Alexsandr

                check out the NIPCC for an independent scientific view on climate change

            • MichtyMe

              There have been several hundred scientific research papers published and they all think there is something to this man made climate change theory. I have not read one of them nor do I think myself qualified to knowledgeable evaluate them. I doubt if you or anyone who comments here has. What to do when there is a scientific consensus, I can do little but accept it. The world looks and feels flat to me but these science chappies say it’s round and more than 4000 years old.

  • starfish

    Church seems keen on centralisation unless you are non conformist of course

  • Denis_Cooper

    I wouldn’t read the Bible to get some insight into this question, I’d read the present EU treaties:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:0001:01:EN:HTML

    and I’d note that the word “Scotland” does not appear anywhere.

    Anyone can do a search to check that.

    So repeat a comment from a couple of days ago:

    “The simple fact remains that a country cannot be a member state of the EU if its name does not even appear anywhere in the EU treaties, and therefore it would require an amending treaty for Scotland to become a member state of the EU in its own sovereign right, rather than being part of a member state as now; and any one of the present EU member states could veto that amending treaty unless some specified condition was fulfilled; and whatever you may think Scotland is not so important that all the other member states would necessarily be falling over each other to ease that transition.”
    I’ll come back later to see how many people have expressed their disapproval of that plain truth, which will nonetheless remain the plain truth.

    • MichtyMe

      As the member state, the UK, will have legislated to create two equal, independent, sovereign states in place of the existing one, then renegotiation would be required for both.

      • Denis_Cooper

        But apart from a couple of minor matters which would need EU treaty change at some point in the future the diminution of the UK could be accommodated by secondary legislation.

        It might change its name, but it would still be about nine-tenths the same country in terms of population and GDP, and unlike Scotland it is already listed as a member state.

        It’s possible that some other countries would be picky and insist on treaty change to reflect the loss of part of the territory and population of the present UK, or maybe all of them would go along with just making the necessary adjustments, changing the numbers of MEPs and so on, by secondary legislation, and leave a few things like the UK’s contribution to the capital of the European Investment Bank (Protocol No 5) unchanged until the next treaty revision came along.

        The position of Scotland is entirely different and it would definitely, not possibly, require EU treaty change for Scotland to be listed as a member state in its own sovereign right, and for its head of government to then have the right to attend meetings of the European Council, for the Scots to then be allowed to elect MEPs, for the government and parliament of Scotland to then have a veto on future EU treaty changes, etc etc.

        • MichtyMe

          So to summarize the, rUK will require renegotiation and reaffirmation of membership.

          • HookesLaw

            No.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Yes, no and maybe.

            Yes, there would clearly have to be negotiations on matters such as the number of MEPs that the diminished UK could have, what portion of the EU budget the diminished UK would have to provide, and so on, but none of those would require changes to the treaties.

            But no, there would be no strong reason for a reaffirmation of its continuing EU membership, because in terms of population and GDP it would after all be nine-tenths the same counterparty with which the other EU countries had originally made the treaties.

            But there has to be a “maybe” about that, because even in the hypothetical case that the UK ceded the Scilly Isles to France, a relatively minor change of territory in both cases, it could conceivably happen that some other country would be sufficiently unreasonable to raise questions about that in the context of the EU treaties.

            • HookesLaw

              Contrubutions are based on GDP and VAT revenues aren’t they – so there would not be much to negotiate.
              Given the way the SNP plays up Scottish prosperity then I would guess its contributions to the EU (assuming it could get in) would go proportionately up. Allied to which its Barnett money would disappear.
              The UK govt and parliament would continue to exists and there would be no need to re-apply to the EU any more than it would need to re-apply to NATO or the UN or the Commonwealth or any of the other treaties it has signed up to.
              The only tiny new born entry that would have to find its way in the world would be Scotland.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Probably, but not certainly.

                Basically a “yes” vote would open quite a few cans of worms, and the one labelled “EU” could contain some which were surprisingly unpleasant to England as well as Scotland.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …one can hope.

              • Jambo25

                And any surplus that Scotland sends to Westminster would disappear too.

          • Colin

            Nice try. You’re forgetting one very important thing, in relation to the EU – namely its proven track record for making the rules up as it goes along. It may be that Scotland will have to apply for membership of the EU, but you can rest assured that there’s no way the EU or the UK Political / Media complex will ever take a chance with what remains of the UK.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          The jocks appear to want to keep the pound and the queen, at least in the near term, so it’s not as abrupt a change as you make out .

          • Denis_Cooper

            Not so, because if Scotland became independent but still kept the Queen as Head of State, that is to say as the head of the new independent sovereign state of Scotland just as she is already the Queen of the independent sovereign state of Australia, then she should have to appear twice in the list of High Contracting Parties to the EU treaties – once newly inserted as “Her Majesty the Queen of Scotland”, or perhaps “Her Majesty the Queen of Scots”, and again as now “Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, or whatever new name the rest of the present UK assumed after the secession of Scotland.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Perhaps all true, but don’t get all hung up on the parchment here. The EUSSR will just burn it, rub it out, white out the lettering or whatever else they have to do to quiet the peasants out in the Empire. We’ve already seen all this previously.

              If the jocks had any sense, that’s what they’d be playing up, the ties that will still bind, even as other ties get snipped or tied differently. Instead, they’re selling a separatist message, scabbing it onto a pro-EUSSR message, and that’s almost certainly a failure on the way.

              • Denis_Cooper

                That’s not quite how it works: the various EU “actors” will be very strict about observing the EU treaties and laws when it suits them, but not when it becomes too inconvenient.

                So Merkel will swear blind that the treaties forbid any bailout of Greece until she has decided that there is no alternative to bailing out Greece, when she will agree that it’s OK to do it after all through a temporary mechanism but then demands an EU treaty change to legalise bailouts on a permanent basis, and Cameron agrees and gives her that EU treaty change without asking for anything substantive in return …

                But I think that pretending that Scotland could somehow be treated as a new member state, and so Salmond could have his “place at the top table”, etc etc, when the word “Scotland” did not even appear anywhere in the EU treaties, would be too great a stretch even for those who regard the EU treaties and laws as pretty elastic.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You underestimate the EUSSR komissars. They are accountable to nobody. They will do anything.

                  Anything.

                  The German situation and Greece exposed them, finally, as you say. So let it be known to all. These people are totalitarians, and the parchment they wave around means nothing to them, so it shouldn’t to anybody else.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  The governments of the EU member states would decide, and one of them has already expressed a very clear view:

                  http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-spanish-blow-to-eu-vision-1-3211153

                  But of course Rajoy is no more immortal than Salmond.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  That would be the one strain that might incline the komissars to draw a firmer line with the jocks, the risk of additional separatist movements elsewhere that might put the EUSSR itself at risk.

                  But I say “firmer” line, not firm. The EUSSR will do whatever it has to do to preserve itself, as we see in Greece. If the jocks were smart, they’d play coy with the komissars, demand everything, and wait for the bounty to come, from either/both of Londonistan/Brussels.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  It’s not the only potential strain, because there are already strains around the UK’s desire to have something of a special position within the EU through various “opt-outs”.

                  Not only has Merkel publicly stated her goal that all EU member states should join the euro, making no exception for either the UK or Denmark, there is also a certain level of resentment among other EU member states which were not allowed opt-outs from having to join the euro.

                  For example the Tories’ allies in the Czech Republic called for their country to be relieved of its legal obligation to join the euro:

                  http://euobserver.com/political/114118

                  a plea that Cameron completely ignored.

                  I have no problem imagining Merkel taking the position that she would support Scotland being fast-tracked in as a separate member state of the EU, and would even put pressure on the Spanish to agree to that, but on condition that Scotland did not inherit the present UK’s “opt-out” from the euro, and I can also imagine quite a few other member states would go along with that.

                  Whether she would go as far as insisting that the rest of the UK must also give up its euro “opt-out” is another matter.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  A nuanced and plausible presentation. I’d agree the EUSSR will weigh all of these issues, but we must remember its only aim is to preserve and expand itself, and it doesn’t want any of its serfs to be seen as successfully fleeing serfdom.

                  Fortunately for the komissars, the jocks would do whatever they were told, good little socialist serfs that they are. Not that they’ll have to, because this referendum is going to fail huge. Ultimately, LibLabCon is going to speak for everybody, in submitting to EUSSR bondage.

            • Andy

              Her Majesty is already Queen of Scotland as she is of England. We have two ‘unions’: the union of Crowns, which happened in 1603 on the death of Queen Elizabeth, and the union of Parliaments in 1707. I assume Salmond merely wishes to disolve the latter and not the former.

              • Denis_Cooper

                I’m aware that there were two unions. But as stated in the list of High Contracting Parties to the EU treaties the Queen is “Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” for the purposes of those treaties. As the ambition is for Scotland to become, and act as, an independent sovereign state, and therefore no longer encompassed in the term “Great Britain”, then obviously it would have to be have its own separate entry in the list. That would true whether or not the Queen was retained as Head of State; if not, the entry could be something like “the President of the Republic of Scotland”, the form used by other republics such as Ireland and France.

            • David_Farrer

              The correct term for the other High Contracting Party is “The United Kingdom of Northern Ireland and Southern Britain”.

              • Fergus Pickering

                The correct term?According to whom?

              • Alexsandr

                er. which kingdoms are forming the new union? There are 2 unions in the current UK, and one of those may leave. you cant have a union of 1.

      • HookesLaw

        The UK will legislate to keepm itlsef in existence. But lets face it – Scotland is going to vote NO.

      • Daniel Maris

        Absolutely clear and correct in my view.

    • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

      Scotland is not “part of a member state”. It is part of a union of nations and it is that union which is a member. The union being a member, so too must its constituent parts.

      Scotland was not “extinguished” by the Acts of Union as the more fanatical British nationalists like to believe. That Scotland continues to exists is a matter of observable fact which defies the dogma of even the most rabid of those British nationalist fanatics.

      To keep it simple, the UK Parliament acts for and on behalf of both the partners in the union – Scotland and the rest of the UK (rUK). Therefore, Scotland is as much a signatory to EU treaties as rUK.

      It pleases Britnat fanatics to suppose that Scotland will be made to suffer for having the temerity to challenge the divinely ordained British state. But the pragmatism of realpolitik and enlightened self-interest will prevail following a Yes vote. The reality is that making life difficult for Scotland will serve nobody’s interests. It is not a question of why the member states of the EU – including rUK – would look for the easiest and least disruptive way to adapt to the new reality of an independent Scotland. It is a question of why they would do anything else.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Nicely argued.

        But the jocks seem to prefer suckling on the socialist teat, so none of your argument will likely come into play.

        • Denis_Cooper

          No. it’s a rubbish argument.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            It’s as good as any other, and if the EUcrats decide to use it to work their will, it’s the argument that will come into play here.

            But it’s senseless for the jocks or BritNats to introduce pettifogging EU nonsense into this discussion. That’s only a distraction to both. The EU matters naught, after you get down to base matters. The EU issues can be picked up later, after important matters are settled. And that initial process would likely take years.

            Not that it will happen, because the jocks are going to vote No.

        • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

          I don’t doubt that this sounded like a brilliant riposte when it was tucked up safely in dank confines of your head. Exposure to the cold light of day has n been kind to it.ot

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Not a riposte, lad, but a simple declared observation. The jocks are going to vote to remain affixed to the socialist suckling teat. End of.

            • Fergus Pickering

              He’s right of course and you know he’s right. All this stuff is purely theoretical.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                I know you and they are socialists, and you socialists will always choose to remain fixed on the currently affixed socialist teat of government .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Yu misunderstood my last poet, VG. I said you were right. Or that was what I meant to say.

      • Denis_Cooper

        “The union being a member, so too must its constituent parts.”

        Not as far as the EU is concerned: here is its list headed “Member states of the EU”, and I don’t see Scotland on it:

        http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm

        Nor do I see Wales. or Northern Ireland, or Lancashire, or any other component of the present UK.

        Nor do I see Scotland being identified as a signatory; which is not surprising as the word “Scotland” doesn’t appear anywhere in the present EU treaties.

        I see the UK identified as a signatory, but not Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or Lancashire or any other part of the UK.

        • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

          You see only what your bigotry will allow you to see. Rather than enquire as to what the outcome will be you have decided upon the outcome that you want. All facts, and even reason itself, must be bent to fit.

          The one thing that all informed commentators are agreed upon is that there is neither statute nor precedent which applies to the particular constitutional circumstances of Scotland and the UK. What this means is that the EU is free to light upon the solution which best suits its purposes. That solution is, without question, the two successor state scenario as described by the Scottish Government.

          British nationalist can scream and stamp their feet as much as they like, the fact remains that there is absolutely no reason why the EU would go out of its way to create needless, pointless difficulties and disruptions.

          In short, the Scottish Government’s position is founded on a rational assessment of the situation. The alternatives propounded by British nationalists are founded on the wishful thinking of petulant ideologues.

          Every last gobbet of Project Fear’s propaganda regarding Scotland’s EU membership has been comprehensively debunked, not least by Scottish Global Forum in their recent paper on the subject. But such papers would rank among the things that you are unable to see.

          • Alexsandr

            even if the scottish government think their position is ‘founded on a rational assessment of the situation’ that is no guarantee that the EU will be rational. They have to get all the members to agree.

            • Alexsandr

              and those countries forced into the euro may well say that they want ‘new’ member scotland to have to join the euro too.

              • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                No country can be forced to join the euro. A fact which has been explained frequently, at length and in terms accessible to many kitchen appliances. British nationalists remain ignorant of such things by choice.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh, the jocks would be so forced, lad, if the BoE preemptively cut them off.

                  It won’t happen though, because the jocks are going to vote to remain affixed to the socialist teat, which they prefer.

                • Alexsandr

                  as a eurosceptic dishwasher, i think you will find that new countries joining the EU have to have convergence plans in place to join the euro.
                  over to you mr toaster.

                • MichtyMe

                  Scotland in not joining, it is part of the EU, what has to be negotiated is representation

                • Alexsandr

                  no the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a member. The new states of Scotland and whatever the rest becomes are not named on treaties. This will require a treaty change agreed by all members. What the other members will want back in return for their co-operation we don’t know.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              There is nothing rational about assuming member states of the EU would act irrationally and, in many cases, against their own interests.

              By far the least of the flaws in the Project Fear arguments relating to Scotland’s EU membership is that they can never offer any explanation as to why any country would want to impede Scotland’s transition to independent membership. British nationalist fanatics will latch onto the carefully-worded and curiously conveniently-timed utterances of the likes of Mariano Rajoy, but they remain completely oblivious to everything that contradicts their faith position.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                The EUSSR doesn’t want separatists to start hiving off the feudal authoritarian construct, lad. Where there’s one there’s liable to be many, and they might not all act like good little serfs.

                The EUSSR wants to grow the empire. That’s be one explanation they wouldn’t cotton to you frothing jock separatists.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Get back to me when you grow up, sonny. At least enough to stop referring to some fantasy organisation called the “EUSSR”.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  That’s probably the biggest reason that referendum is going down so hard, lad. You separatist fanatics see nothing other than what you want to see, and those who disagree with your pure vision, in every detail, are simply to be rejected. And it’s amusing that you believe all that, and are also in love with the EUSSR.

                  Human nature is a funny thing, I suppose, to have a direct contradiction built right into a prime argument. It doesn’t even rise to the level of irony, it’s more base than that.

          • Dan

            Irony.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Ah! Scottish Global Forum. Heavens, how did I miss it? I think because anything with Scottish at the front end is bound to be ghastly. Scotch now. Scotch whisky. Scotch eggs. Even a Scotch mist. I like it.

          • Alex

            Peter. Well done on keeping your patience with this ignorant lot. It’s heroic stuff and makes for a good read.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              Cheers, Alex. I realise, of course, that it is all pretty pointless. Few if any of those with whom I am having these exchanges are willing or able to grasp the points being made. But it is good sport.

              I also like to take the opportunity to remind myself how desperately ill-informed are most of those commenting on the constitutional question from an anti-independence standpoint. They really are blinkered.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …which reminds me, how is it you jocks can see anything, so firmly affixed to the socialist teat of government as you are (and will still be, 10 months from now)?

      • Dan

        The state is the United Kingdom, the fact it was created by the legal mechanism of a Union is an irrelevance.

        Scotland is geographically part of the EU, but not legally. The legal member is the UK, in leaving the state (the UK) Scotland therefore leaves the EU. The rUK remains the state, as per what happened with the creation of the Republic of Ireland.

        This is the legal position that I learnt at law school, and that many other senior academics have enunciated.

        The EU is an important body to many Scots, it’d be nice if you’d start to be a bit more honest/intelligent when talking about the issue.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Agreed. It is the United Kingdom not United Kingdoms

          • Drabble

            James Forsyth raised additional concerns about Kingdom tinkering last month:

            “If the Scottish referendum is the forgotten one then the Welsh one is the one ‘nobody’s ever bloody well heard of’. Last week, David Cameron announced that there would be a vote in Wales to decide whether the assembly there should be able to vary the rate of income tax. This is, by any reasonable standard, a significant change to the fabric of the United Kingdom. Yet, in a sign of how inured we have become to constitutional tinkering, it was not front-page news in the London press.

            This diet of constant constitutional change is putting the Union in danger. Too often these new arrangements are being pushed through for tactical, rather than strategic, reasons. When I pushed one senior Cameroon about the rationale for devolving income tax varying powers to Wales, he responded by pointing to the number of marginal seats there.”
            In truth Cameron is not bothered abot Scotland exit because it would remove the Labour MP’s permanently.

            • terregles2

              The reason the Cameroons are now talking about tax raising powers for Wales and Scotland is that it is just another way to undermine both Scotland and Wales.
              They plan to keep getting their greedy claws on all the revenue that is raised everywhere in the UK. We all send our income tax, oil revenue all our whisky export revenue etc down to the greedy Westminster. They keep a large percentage. They then grant Scotland and Wales their own tax raising powers. Westminster then cut back on our share of the money that they send back to us forcing Wales and Scotland to make deep cuts in spending. The Cameroon chancers can then hold up their hands and say look what happens when we pass tax raising to them they can’t run their countries properly. they make the lives of ordinary people even worse.
              The fly Tories then kill two birds with one stone. I hope both Scotland and Wales vote for independence and tell the Westminster cheats where to put the tax raising powers. We should have all the money we raise to spend how we decide.

              • Fergus Pickering

                The Cameroons keep a large percentage of the taxes. What do they do with it? Spend it on cocaine and whores? I must have missed that. Or do you mean they spend this large percentge on England? Well, since England is 85% of the UK by population, that is only right and proper, is it not? Orshould the celts get more… because they are Celts?

                • terregles2

                  Cocaine and whores. it would be better if they did spend it on that it would mean they had less time to f**k up the country.

            • bobduncan

              Scotland is about to vote on whether to end the Union, and you are complaining that constitutional change in Wales is a threat to that same Union. I think you need to gain a sense of perspective!

          • allymax bruce

            H’geezer, you are Wrong! The Queen was crowned twice; once for England & wales etc, then again for Scotland, with Scotland’s own Crown! You can write & say whatever yoos liars want, but the proof Scotland is a Kingdom within Her own Right is in the fact the Monarch of the United Kingdoms is Crowned TWICE!
            The EU is not a problem for me; if the EU don’t want us, then fine; we’ll be even more richer!

            • BoiledCabbage

              Was just fer the telly, all that.

        • Jambo25

          And a number of academics and ex judges have said that it is fairly pointless as an independent Scotland while starting from outside the EU would be pretty quickly hurried in through the door.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …and the socialist jocks are likely dumb enough to do so. They do like the socialist teat, afterall.

          • Dan

            That’s a separate argument.

            But if the Scotland leaves the UK + therefore EU, it leaves things like the opt-outs that the UK has.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Yes, if that’s what other members states insist must happen, and some of them might take the attitude that they had things they didn’t really want imposed on them when they joined the EU, like the legal obligation to join the euro, so why shouldn’t that also be imposed on Scotland?

              • Dan

                I believe there’s no precedent for a new member state to get opt-out on things agreed in prior treaties i.e no member state has got an opt-out from Schengen apart from those who were member states at the time of creation.

            • MichtyMe

              Scotland does not leave anything, it does not have the legal capacity to do that. It is the UK which legislates. An Act of the UK cannot unilaterally remove EU territory or EU citizenship. The EU has currently no procedure for such a thing either. It would need to create a process, with unanimity, to do so. This will not happen, the EU will resolve the problem in a less disruptive way.

              • Dan

                It does de facto, by voting Yes the nation is exercising it’s democratic right to self-determination, and thus starts the process of forming its own individual state with the rUK as the successor. We can see precedents for this in the USSR, Republic of Ireland and many more.

                The UK doesn’t remove Scotland from the EU, as Scotland isn’t part of the EU, the UK is.

                Y’all need to stop conflating nations with states.

                • MichtyMe

                  The referendum is just a big opinion poll. It is nonsense to believe that territory could be removed from the EU and citizenship from some of its people without any action having been taken by the EU.

                • Dan

                  It’s a decision by the Scots to leave the UK, not a decision by the UK Government to oust the Scots.

                  The EU is a legal creation, independence is a legal process.

                  There is no part in the EU treaties that define the UK geographically, they refer to the UK as a legal entity, a state.

                  Independence is Scotland forming a new state, a new legal entity separate from the UK.

                  Thus, Scotland is not in the EU, the UK is.

                • MichtyMe

                  The reasons for the Act are irrelevant and that Act cannot remove EU territory and EU citizenship. The UK would have to negotiate beforehand with the EU for that to happen and the EU would not or could not agree that.

                • Dan

                  Since when do the EU treaties work on territory… they don’t!

                  – The EU is a Union of the UK and 27 other states, signed in law by those member states and ratified by all the others.
                  – The UK is one, Scotland is not. (European Communities Act 1972)

                  I’ve explained how it works, it’s really not that difficult to understand.

                  If you can’t accept that there are negatives to independence (as well as some benefits), then it’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

                • MichtyMe

                  You still haven’t explained the legalities of how Scotland could find itself excluded. There is a precedent. Greenland was part of the jurisdiction of the EU as part of the territory of the Danish Kingdom. Although the greenlanders fervently wished to sever ties it took them a number of years to agree this with the EU.

                • Dan

                  It’s not Scotland finding itself excluded, it’s Scotland choosing to form a new state and thus in doing so leaving the state that is a member of the EU.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  With all the unwarranted confidence of the shallow-minded you say this as if it was automatic and inevitable. Which, of course, it is not. It is perfectly feasible for the EC to adopt the two successor state solution. And there is no reason why other member states would oppose this.

                • Dan

                  http://europeanlawblog.eu/?p=1551 < read this, and the report contained.

                  I must go do some work.

                • Dan

                  Denmark has something more like devo-max with a degree of autonomy on international issues than independence.

                  Completely different to an independent Scotland.

                • MichtyMe

                  My point is that EU jurisdiction is an EU matter and that Westminster legislation cannot compromise that. If Scotland is to be outwith that jurisdiction it would require EU unanimity for that to happen and it is also unbelievable the EU would be so perverse.

                • Alexsandr

                  no. butt hey will want some quid pro quo from Scotland for co-operating. and you can bet it will be expensive :(

                • Dan

                  No it’s not, member states are sovereign. The EU does not decide it’s jurisdiction, member states define it in legislation.

                • MichtyMe

                  Think not, they surrendered that by treaty with the EU.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Precisely the point that those who have approached this matter from a rational point of view have been making for years. There is not statute or precedent that applies to Scotland’s constitutional circumstances. Which means that the EU is pretty much free to light upon whatever solution suits it best. We know what the options are. What British nationalists have to explain is why the EU would not take the easiest option. They have to explain why the EU would go out of its way to make difficulties for itself.

                • Dan

                  There are similar precedents, not exact ones. For example the break-up of the USSR saw Russia with the vast majority of land mass, population etc continue as the successor state.

                  We saw the Republic of Ireland break away from the UK through an Act of Parliament, which led to the UK continuing as the successor state.

                  The EU cannot take the easiest option if Scotland is a new state, because Scotland is outside the EU. You cannot keep a state in the EU, if it’s not part of the EU!

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You really are deplorably blinkered on this. You have got a wee idea into your head and nothing is going to shift it.

                  You appear totally oblivious to the fact that Scotland will and and cannot be outside the EU immediately on voting Yes. Scotland will remain part of the UK until independence becomes a legal fact.

                  You also seem oblivious to the fact that there will be a period of negotiation, lasting approximately 18 months, prior to Scotland becoming independent. And here’s the bit that is hardest to credit, you seem to imagine that the matter of EU membership for both Scotland and rUK will not form part of this negotiating process.

                  You have convinced yourself that nothing is going to happen until independence day when, all of a sudden, it will be discovered that Scotland isn’t on the right lists and that, therefore, it is decreed (by nobody knows whom) to have quit the EU despite no due process having been followed.

                  Do I really need to point out the idiocy of this?

                  Back in the real world, the matter of successor state status will be decided by politicians as part of the negotiations leading up to independence. Most of this will be mere formality.

                  Yet another thing you fail to realise is that, following a Yes vote, the whole political environment changes. The rhetoric of the anti-independence campaign, which you are doing such a fine job of parroting, will be redundant. We will be done with the lies and smears and scaremongering of Project Fear.

                  The idea that the atmosphere of the campaign will carry over into the period of negotiation is just plain silly. The politicians will be looking to maintain business as usual as far as possible. People like you will be swept aside in the process. But you will not be alone. You’ll have plenty other narrow-minded naysayers for company.

                • Dan

                  No, i said that of course Scotland is in the EU whilst part of the UK. Upon independence it becomes a new state, it could pre-negotiate membership of bodies whilst in the transitional phase, but it’d do so from the position of a nation that’s about to become a new state.

                  The irony of you calling me blinkered after saying all this is hilarious.

                  Furthermore, it’s not just my view. It’s the view of academics from universities like Edinburgh, Cambridge + Glasgow.

                  I’ve also noted that from the reading i’ve done on the matter i’ve seen far more opinion that says Scotland would be a new state.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I see no evidence of you being anything other than highly selective in your reading on this matter. Were it otherwise, you would be aware of the many opinions which contradict yours.

                  But there has been some progress. I see you back-pedalling now that you have finally been able to acknowledge that there will be negotiations. What you have yet to grasp is the relative simplicity of those negotiations ending with agreement based on a two successor state scenario.

                  What this means, of course, is that Scotland will never be outside the EU, as you have insisted. It will have continuing membership under adapted terms. Which is precisely the position of the Scottish Government.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  And the bottom line is that nobody knows. The EU will make it up as they go along, which is what they usually do.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Correct! In fact, it is inevitably the case that the EU will “make it up as they go along” – for the simple reason that there is neither statute nor precedent which is applicable. But this “making it up” is in no way something that is deserving of the reproach that I sense in your otherwise sensible comment.

                  The EU itself is an ongoing experiment in a wholly new form of international association. What might be regarded as a post-imperialist structure. It is inevitable, therefore, that it will have to adapt to circumstances that have not previously been encountered in such a context.

                  In the not too distant past, the ultimate response to Scotland’s independence movement would have been suppression by brute force. There are more than a few on the lunatic fringes of British nationalism whose fervid fantasy is a return to the days when the British state would deal with challenges to its divinely ordained authority by generous application of the club, the bullet and the hangman’s rope.

                  Less troubled souls recognise that we live in altered times which demand a more sophisticated approach.

                  The EU will, indeed, “make it up as they go along”. Or, in less pejorative terms, they will find a pragmatic solution to the matter of the transition of Scotland and rUK to separate membership of the EU. The approach taken by the Scottish Government has been to look at the situation as a whole and, in the light of such facts as can be known, awareness of the political complexities, and experience of how the EU operates, attempt to discern what the nature of that solution might be.

                  This approach contrasts starkly with that of the UK Government and other elements of the campaign to deny the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, which has been entirely focused, not on what might realistically be expected to be the response of the EU, but on what would be the response that would best suit the purposes of anti-independence propaganda. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the analysis presented by unionists is sorely skewed.

                  There is no need to detail here what is the all but certain outcome of the process of the EU “making it up as they go along”. The Scottish Government has already done that. Suffice it to say that they will take the easiest path. The route that involves the least disruption. That, in short, is the two successor state solution in which, as far as this is practicable, both Scotland and rUK carry on as before

                  The other possible scenarios – a single successor state or no successor state – both have implications for the EU which range from the troublesome to the hugely disruptive.

                  If those determined to oppose Scotland’s independence want to argue that a solution other than that outlined by the Scottish Government offers a more temptingly trouble-free option for the EU, let them do so now. Or if they want to argue that the EU would, for some reason, “make up” a solution that would cause it easily avoidable problems, let them explain why the EU would act so irrationally.

                  The EU will, indeed, “make it up as they go along”. So why would they make up something that doesn’t suit them?

                • Deep Thought

                  Everyone agrees that there would be negotiations in the event of Scotland voting for independence. The problem is that you assume that there would only one outcome – the EU agrees to Scotland becoming a new member state, and it does it at an unprecedented speed. This is particularly unlikely as the Scottish Government wishes to renegotiate some aspects of membership. Such negotiations in the EU take years and the idea that they would be completed within 18 months is extremely unrealistic (particularly given likely Spanish opposition). Once negotiations were completed the accession of a new member state would then need to be ratified by votes and referenda in other member states (a process that could take over a year on its own). A break in EU membership (possibly for some years) would be very likely.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Among many others, Graham Avery, an Oxford academic and senior Brussels policy adviser, disagrees. But the British nationalists like to pretend that such contrary opinions don’t exist.

                  The outcome that I and others see is not a matter of blind assumption or belief. Our conclusions are the product of a rational assessment of the situation. This contrast markedly with the propaganda of the anti-independence campaign which eschews rational analysis in favour of promoting uncertainty and fear. They tell you that Scotland will, by some as yet unexplained process, be ejected and excluded from the EU, not because it is what even they themselves believe will happen, but because it is what they want the people of Scotland to believe will happen.

                  They lie! Assuming people such as Alistair Darling are not stupid to a degree that would prevent them from functioning even at the relatively low level required of a British Labour back-bench MP, they must realise that there is no way the EU is going to create problems for itself needlessly.

                  I always find it remarkable that so many apparently intelligent people are prepared to so unquestioningly accept what British politicians tell them, as if they were some sort of neutral commentators on the situation. But then I realise that, if large numbers of people were not so easily fooled. most of these politicians would never have been elected.

                  If people were less gullible, Scotland would have restored its rightful constitutional status a long time ago.

                • Deep Thought

                  oh dear – just repeating your own view without evidence and abusing everyone who disagrees with you is not a rational argument. A rational argument requires analysis of the points put to you. Try it.
                  The EU is not in any way obliged to accept an independent Scotland as a new member. Please explain in detail each stage of the process you believe will lead to an independent Scotland being a member of the EU.
                  You appear to believe that Scotland, as it was a part of the UK, will continue to be bound by all treaties previously signed by the UK, as will all the other signatories to those treaties. Or do you believe that Scotland would be able to pick and choose which previous treaties are in force? And if you believe Scotland would be able to pick and choose – why do you believe the other signatories to those treaties are not also able to pick and choose?

                • bobduncan

                  Great, that should save us about £120 bn.

                • Alexsandr

                  ‘Most of this will be mere formality.’ really? the other parties will want something back or they will just say ‘non’. I suspect Scotland needs the EU more than the EU needs scotland.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  This too is characteristic of the arrogance of British nationalists. They are so firmly entrenched in the habit of denigrating Scotland that it is impossible for them to imagine our country as anything other than weak, powerless and inadequate.

                  We also see in this the shallowness of what passes for thinking among these Britnat fanatics. Not only do they make facile assumptions about Scotland, they make the mistake of imagining all the nations of Europe are afflicted with their own dismal mindset.

                  It never occurs to these buffoons to ask why other EU member states might seek to make things difficult for Scotland. They are not capable of recognising the damage that such obstructionism in the face of a peaceful, democratic process might do to their reputation in the world.

                  They are certainly too far gone to see that Scotland would have allies, particularly among the smaller European nations.

                  There is no rational reason why Scotland’s transition to independent EU membership should not be a fairly smooth process. But this does not suit the narrative favoured by British nationalists. So they just make stuff up.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  To repeat, lad, the EUSSR may very well not want you separatist zealots to be hiving off their empire at whim, whenever they’ve had a few too many down the pub. Their EUSSR empire may be more stable and growing if you zealotsous separatists are squelched.

                  Of course, that may not comport with your fantasies of joyous welcome everywhere.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I should perhaps have told you that I developed the knack of ignoring Europobe nutters several decades ago.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, but fortunately and sensibly, you’re responding to me, which is smart because you’re a separatist zealot and you don’t seem to have much grasp on reality.

                • dalai guevara

                  Now here we go again – a Scottish referendum which is first and foremost about the position of Scotland within the UK and a decision affecting, what shall we call it, the *remaining set of club members?*, and all you turn it into is the undeniable sideshow which is whether some new/ new old/ existing nation will be part of some *other* club it already is a member of? Wowsers, tovarishch – you are desperate.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …can one of you other socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

                • dalai guevara

                  What’s the EU gotta do with anything, matey?
                  Nowt, dunnit?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and translate this gibberish too, while you’re at it.

                • dalai guevara

                  EU + England and hangers on – Scotland = EU
                  EU + England and hangers on + Scotland = EU

                  UK = Scotland + England and hangers on
                  UK – Scotland = England and hangers on

                  Scotland = Scotland
                  England and hangers on ≠ GB ≠ UK
                  England and hangers on = England and hangers on

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …but don’t bother translating this gibberish. It’s even more incoherent than usual, from the looks of things.

                • BoiledCabbage

                  well it might provide a wee Currency to the zealots who will be kicked off Sterling?

                • dalai guevara

                  Anyone will use any currency they wish to use. Andorra is not even in the EU, never mind the Eurozone. Yet their currency is…?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, a dolt can use any currency they want, as long as they’re willing to pay the tax resulting.

                • BoiledCabbage

                  Especially if ye zealots cant be arsed to quit Sterling?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Try not, my dear sir, to characterize anyone who hs the temerity to disagree with you, as a buffoon. Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter!

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I merely acknowledge the character that those you refer to as buffoons present to the world by their own words.

                  It is intellectually indolent to consider this acknowledgement of buffoonery as a response to disagreement alone rather than as a response to the quality of the arguments presented in disagreement.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …well, you jocks surely know about indolence, for certain.

                • bobduncan

                  If the UK were the successor state, like Russia, it would need to keep all of its debt, like Russia did. I don’t think that represents current thinking in Westminster or Holyrood.

                • Major Plonquer

                  Spain is a senior member of the EU. They will veto anything and everything that could later be applied to Catalonia. The EU will move Heaven and Earth to placate Spain.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  This is irrelevant. Spain’s position is that there are no parallels between Scotland and Catalonia because the constitutional situations are totally different. They realise the significant constitutional differences even if British nationalists are to ideologically hidebound to do so.

                  The reality is that Spain cannot actively oppose Scotland’s transition to independent membership of the EU, far less apply a veto, for the rather obvious reason that to do so would be a tacit admission that Scotland is relevant to Catalonia after all. They could have no other reason for such opposition. And, even if they claimed some other reason, the general perception would be that they were trying to block Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU because they were afraid of the implications for their internal politics.

                  The only circumstances in which it would be feasible for Spain to oppose or veto Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU would be if they were guaranteed to be successful in the effort. That is to say, if they were absolutely certain they could succeed in keeping Scotland out of the EU in the long term. Only the seriously deluded imagine that Madrid would find any support for such a project within the EU. All but the most rabid Britnats acknowledge that, even if there are attempts to impeded the process, Scotland will be part of the EU.

                  Obstructionism would therefore be pointless and, in the case of Spain and others, would ultimately undermine efforts to suppress independence movements in their own countries.

                  There is a related point that evades the childishly simplistic analysis of British nationalist fanatics. It is a point well made Dr John MacDonald of Scottish Global Forum when he says,

                  “[T]he EU defines itself as a champion of democracy and of legislatively-protected human rights. It seems almost unthinkable that Brussels would reject a newly independent Scotland at the end of what would surely be amongst the most pristine constitutional transition processes witnessed in the modern age. The EU’s self-defined status as a banner-carrier for democratic values would lie – very publicly – in tatters if this is how it were to treat a state which had negotiated the often-perilous waters of major constitutional change in such a
                  peaceable and measured way.”

                  What applies to the EU as a whole also applies to the individual member states. There can be no rational economic or political justification for seeking to obstruct Scotland’s independence. Attempts to do so will inevitably be perceived by the wider global community as unreasonable and anti-democratic. The carefully cultivated reputations of the EU and its member states would be seriously damaged. None more so, perhaps, than the UK/rUK because it would have the added problem of being seen to renege on the commitment to a democratic process represented by the Edinburgh Agreement. (Hence the relevance of that agreement which some of our less intellectually acute correspondents were completely unable to grasp.)

                  British nationalists and anti-independence propagandists come to the issue looking only for sticks with which to beat Scotland. This narrow, petty obsession renders them incapable of more than the shallowest, most self-serving analysis. Standing back from the situation and regarding it absent the prism of intellect-crippling prejudice, one gains an entirely different and much more realistic perspective.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Because certain states, notably Spain, would see it as a precedent for Basques and Catalans and what-have-you, to seek independence, whiich they don’t want. I think the government of Spain has already stated its position. The italians might take a similar position because they would be fraid ofthe rich North breaking away from the ooor South.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You really need to learn that, however obsessive, the narrow arguments of one wee lawyer are not beyond challenge.

                  And what is it that you are saying, anyway. Nothing new. Nothing that we were not already aware of. Scotland’s transition to independent membership of the EU will require some adaptation. The idea that a legal document, once formalised, cannot possible ever be amended is…. shall we by kind and say quaint.

                • terregles2

                  If Scotland remains within the UK in 2014 and England votes to leave the EU in 2016 Scotland will be out of the EU anyway.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  That is a faith position. It carries no more weight in the real world than any other religious delusion.

                • Dan

                  Pardon? That’s a legal position.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I’m sure you lie to think so. Just as you seem to have convinced yourself that the matter of Scotland’s relationship with the EU is a legal decision and not a political one.

                • Dan

                  Course it’s legal, the EU is a legal creation that has power only because member states give it in domestic legislation.

                  Members are part of the EU because of legal documents, new members join because of legal documents and members can leave by other legal documents.

                  The EU can only act politically insofar as the law allows.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Show us the law that allows for the expulsion of a member state, or part thereof, and the stripping of rights from EU citizens.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Lawyers are mere bureaucrats. They do not make decisions. They merely codify the decisions taken by politicians. The lawyers will do as they are told.

                • Dan

                  Judges make decisions based on the arguments of lawyers, Judges have the ability to strike down the decisions of politicians on certain grounds.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  This is fantasy. The EUSSR judges will strike down nothing that inhibits the EUSSR. That’s the only thing that’s certain here .

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  And what might be the grounds for striking down a decision to treat both Scotland and rUK as successor states? Bearing in mind that Scotland’s independence from the UK will have been achieved by means that are entirely constitutionally legitimate.

                • Alexsandr

                  one could argue that the split is unconstitutional because the other members of the union did not have a vote.

                • Dan

                  this further strengthens the argument that Scotland would be a new state, there’s only one part voting thus there’s a mandate for the creation of one new state, not two.

                • M4rkyboy

                  This completely ignores the constitutional timeline.Scotland didnt join the UK,we are the UK.

                • Dan

                  Yes, but independence would could from a separation from rUK, not a dissolution of the treaties.

                • Alexsandr

                  the UK was formed when the royal families converges when James VI of scotland became James 1 of England
                  But the act of union joined the 2 states, when Scotland needed bailing out after their Darien empire venture. That required the consent of both parliaments. Scotlands government became part pf the UK government. so only the UK government can dissolve the union. I am not sure the present government has a mandate for such an act.

                • M4rkyboy

                  No it didnt.Scotland and England were in personal Union-2 Kingdoms,1 King.
                  ‘Scotland’ didnt need bailing out-Darien was a private venture.Scotland was debt-free and received a payment from England to offset future liability on Englands debts.
                  ‘Scotlands government became part of the UK government’.Are we retrospectively applying UK to England now?Did the UK invade Scotland in the 13th century?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, actually, they did invade in the 1300’s as we know.

                  But it’s interesting to consider whether the jock invasion of 1745-6 did not abrogate any “union”, and transform the state of affairs, with Jockistan becoming a vassal state, with no rights of “union”. That’s what happened de facto, whatever happened de jure .

                • M4rkyboy

                  England invaded.Not the UK.My point is could we stop calling England the UK and saying Scotland joined the UK.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, let’s get even simpler and put your whole argument aside and just say that Jockistan is a conquered province with no unique rights whatsoever, as a result of the 45’er and their unambiguous beatdown, which abrogated any “union”.

                • M4rkyboy

                  That would be an incredible leap.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  How so? Jockistan was completely subjugated, by the Westminster Taliban. There was no union of equals then, why should one be recognized today?

                • M4rkyboy

                  Because Scotland didnt exist as a functioning nation state under international law at the time of the rebellion so you can hardly attribute the rebellion to this non-existent entity and then claim to have conquered this non-existent entity.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  But you’re claiming that a nation existed, under a “union”. That nation decided to press its claims against its union mates, and got whacked for its troubles. Then it got subjugated most severely.

                  Doesn’t sound like “union” to me. Sounds like a vassal state. Who are these peasants to be claiming nationhood today, and why would they be asserting rights beyond the rest of the citizens of this single nation?

                • M4rkyboy

                  Scotland and England voted themselves out of existence in 1707.Quite how one could then subjugate the other in 1745 is difficult to understand for a mere peasant like me.Attributing the Jacobite rebellion to ‘Scotland’ would be a large leap considering ‘Scotland’ lacked the functioning apparatus of state to conduct a legitimate military expedition.Or maybe they were a group of religiously motivated Monarchists trying to unilaterally install their favoured King on the throne.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, you’re claiming that 2 nations formed a single state, but continued to exist as separate nations, thus your contention that Jockistan exists today and can hive itself off at will, by their own leave.

                  But you’re also claiming that after one of those nations attacked the other and got whacked, and was subjugated, it continued to exist as a state, when clearly it wasn’t and wasn’t being treated as such.

                  And now, you’re claiming that the 2 nations voted themselves out of existence back in the day.

                  That’s at least 3 different stories to reconcile here. See the problems with your contentions? The jocks cannot vote themselves out, sorry. They gave that up when they rejected union of equal states, long ago.

                • dalai guevara

                  Oh look, the Scots are simply subordinates now? Wowsers dude, you really are increasingly desperate.

                  Guess what – if they were a mere protectorate/colony or whatever you will come to assert next, perhaps you would consider that this circumstance would not stop any nation in a similar position from embarking on an journey of independence. What was India when they absconded, what status did Jamaica have? Did they care what you and you lik thought then? No. So why should a n y o n e care now?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, nobody cares what a socialist nutter like you thinks, that’s for certain.

                • dalai guevara

                  watch and learn, matey.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and even if they cared, they’d first need a translator for your gibberish. None has come along yet .

                • dalai guevara

                  Oh no matey, you understand – the dealings of the entire world, a “socialist teat sucking”, your words, not mine. Now watch and learn how it’s done properly.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …but still, most would probably be inclined to fall back on not caring what you think. You are a socialist nutter, afterall.

                • dalai guevara

                  Inclinations matter not – what matters is that the entire planet around you is enjoying the socialism of not socialising losses. Unly you

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and the translator services would be a might expensive, for your gibberish.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  It was not a Scottish invasion. It was an invasion of the Jacobites. Many (most?) Scots detested Prince Charlie far more fiercely than the English did. A reading of ‘Waverley’ and ‘Kidnapped’ will put you right. Scott and Stevenson knew that of which they spoke.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The Lowlanders were basically English, yes.

                  But make no mistake, that was an invasion.

                • Alexsandr

                  if scotland was not bust why did they agree to the act of union?

                  and let us not forget Scotland has made incursions into England many times, getting as faf south as Lancaster.

                • M4rkyboy

                  The private financiers of the Darien scheme were the Nobles sat in parliament.

                • Michele Keighley

                  They got much further south than that in their attempt to put Charles Stuart back on the throne in place of George; they got as far as Swarkstone Bridge in Derbyshire.in 1745.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Only if one wanted to convince others of ones constitutional illiteracy. The right of self-determination is well-established in international laws and conventions. The kind of external interference you describe is expressly prohibited.

                • Alexsandr

                  but England did not conquer Scotland. The 2 countries joined together by mutual consent.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  False. The jocks were conquered in 1746.

                • M4rkyboy

                  False,the Jacobite rebellions were dynastic succession disputes.Nothing to do with the political union.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Them’s fightin’ words, bucko.

                  I take your point, but I’m sure you understand that politics and the crown are somewhat interrelated. More than somewhat, in fact. The Highland Clearances weren’t about dynastic succession. They were about dealing with a conquered people.

                • M4rkyboy

                  You seem to twist history to fit your own prejudices’

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I’m not twisting anything, lad. These are historical events. They occurred. You can look it up.

                  Now, the question is, what of these events transformed this alleged “union” that’s being made such a centerpiece of affairs, and how did they transform it?

                • M4rkyboy

                  yeah you are.You think the Highland clearances were the result of the 45.You think the 45 was done in Scotlands name.You think the 45 was a war of conquest.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The Clearances were the direct result of the 45’er, lad. Absent the Culloden shellacking, they wouldn’t have happened. Those people would never have been disarmed, and thus they’d never have happened.

                  The rest of your whining is just semantics. We know what happened de facto. Now the question is, how do these events affect matters today, de jure .

                • M4rkyboy

                  It means if we leave and form a new State then we take none of the assets or liabilities.The UK takes all movable assets out of Scotland.The UK continues with the Treaties in its name and Scotland has to start everything from scratch:Embassies,Diplomats,Central bank,Armed forces,join UN,apply to EU etc etc etc

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, it means if you attempt to leave, the UK may decide to punish you, like before as Culloden, or more likely financially, and via diplomatic coercion, in company with other nations and international organizations as applicable.

                • M4rkyboy

                  You can do what you want.The ‘UK’ will be the laughing stock of the world.That and the Trillions in Oil and Gas will be enough to cushion the worst of blows your discredited,downrated,bankrupt wee country can throw at us.Block us from the EU?Cheers mate!Invade us?You have no idea.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  We’ll see what you’re saying when the bills come due, lad. And when you can’t pay them, you can deal with your new masters, when they issue diktat to Jockistan.

                • M4rkyboy

                  What bills?Scotland would start debt-free with our own central bank.We can print the money to fund our embassies and armed forces.Have the Bank of England get some Bullion ready lad,we will be making a withdrawal soon.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  What bills, the lad asks? You’re in for a world of hurt, son, with that kind of thinking. .

                  You don’t start debt free, you start with at least 10% of UK GDP indebtedness, and then add on the pension debt.

                  You can print whatever you want. That doesn’t mean it’s worth anything, and certainly not to non-jocks, which is most everybody in the world in case you haven’t noticed.

                  The BoE can ignore you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re in for a world of hurt, as mentioned, if you think everybody is just going to do whatever you’re blathering, lad. That only works in your imaginations .

                • M4rkyboy

                  You cant have it both ways.Either Scotland is an equal partner with a share of all assets and liabilities or we are a province of England who upon leaving starts from scratch.This is the reality.If we dont inherit EU membership then we dont inherit the debt or any of the assets.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I got news for you, lad. The UK can have it any way they want, when it comes to dealing with Jockistan. They hold all the cards. Jockistan holds a very big mouth and a grudge. You best quite blathering and get ahold of that simple reality. Your failure to do that is the reason that referendum is going to fail huge.

                  Just put aside your either/or nonsense, or simple choices Jockistan is sure to hammer irrevocably and inevitably on others. Those are only your fantasies.

                • M4rkyboy

                  You have nothing intelligent to say.The sum of your contributions are predicated on falsehoods and tainted by your own fevered mind.EUSSR,Jockistan etc You brandish your idiocy like a child caught playing with its own mess.I am done,you are nothing but a bitter,twisted,idiotic wee troll who is obsessed by the EU,socialism and immigration.Typical right-wing English kneejerk muppetry.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and at the end of your rant, you’re standing there whining because your referendum goes down hard, because the jocks themselves think you’re a separatist zealot with no understanding of reality.

                • M4rkyboy

                  PS it’s England that has been overrun by Muslims and deserves the ‘istan’ postfix.Entire towns and cities.The delicious irony of you calling us Jockistan is a joy for me.We’ll go off and stew in our socialist paradise,you can stew in your right-wing Islamic paradise of Englandistan.Tata

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh I’d certainly agree, lad. Londonistan is no better than Jockistan. Problem is, you jocks are itching to become exactly the socialist paradise that Londonistan is. I wish you would split, but the vast majority of jocks will vote to stay on the socialist teat, unfortunately.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  More, more! I am enjoying this!

                • Fergus Pickering

                  The landlords who organised the clearances were predominantly Scots. They did it for money.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Doesn’t matter who or why, they did it at Westminster’s behest. The Flatlanders are basically English, in any event.

                • MichtyMe

                  On the subject of dynastic disputes, did not the Dutch invade England in 1688 and put a cloggie on the throne

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes. A small segment of society decided on welcoming that invasion and coup, which is sort of what’s happening today if you look at it.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  No they didn’t. The cloggie shared the throne with the daughter of James Stuart. On his death, the crown went to the other daughter of James Stuart. All thee people were Protestants, unlike James Stuart. It’s about Protestants and Catholics, don’t you see. As was the Jacobite rebellion. Nothing to do with Holland and England and Scotland. Religion was what people fought and died for, not nationalism..

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Precisely! The UK is, at least nominally and certainly in constitutional terms, a voluntary union of two nations with a single parliament acting on behalf of both. Which makes a nonsense of the assertion that Scotland is not a member of the EU. The term UK MEANS Scotland and England (or rUK). Any treaty signed by the government of the Uk is, by definition, signed on behalf of all the constituent parts of the union.

                  Take that along with the fact that Scotland has been part of the EU for 40 years, is fully in accord with all conditions of membership and has a population of 5.3 million EU citizens, and the notion of Scotland being ejected/excluded from the EU starts to look just as ridiculous as it really is.

                • Michele Keighley

                  You are very eager to leave a democratic union, one your government voted to join and one your people may vote to leave- to get yourself enmeshed in one whose un-elected President has just declared that a sovereign member nation [Italy] doesn’t need elections. Why is that? What’s in it for you then?

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Equating the UK with the EU is just one item on a long list of inanities favoured by British nationalists.

                  The UK can hardly be described as democratic from Scotland’s perspective when we are mostly subjected to government by parties we have decisively rejected at the polls imposing policies that are anathema to the people of Scotland and which have been opposed by the vast majority of the politicians we did vote for.

                  You have a very strange idea of democracy.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Equating the UK with the EU is just one item on a long list of inanities favoured by British nationalists.

                  It’s a strange kind of democracy when we are mostly subject to government by parties that we have decisively rejected at the polls, imposing policies that are anathema to the people of Scotland and which have been opposed by the vast majority of the politicians that we actually did elect.

                  Maybe you need to get somebody to explain the concept of democracy to you.

                • MichtyMe

                  I think that the Westminster Government has taken it upon themselves to decide on behalf of the other part of the Union.

                • Andy Ellis

                  You can argue anything you like, but not all opinions are of equal value; the referendum not being “constitutional” (whatever THAT means?) is up there with believing the earth is flat, denying global warming and supporting intelligent design.

                • Dan

                  Competence, the EU does not have the legal ability to meddle in the constitution of the UK and the way it legislates the separation of one of the parts of the UK from itself.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  And yet you insist that the EU does have the competence to unilaterally nullify the status of a nation that has been part of the EU for over 40 years and arbitrarily strip millions of people of their EU citizenship in the process.

                  On top of that, you totally discount the political negotiations that will take place following a Yes vote.

                  What law school did you go to? You do nothing to commend it.

                  We have more than enough self-serving half-wits telling us it can’t be done. What we need are people with the wits to figure out how it will be done. You can take a wee rest.

                • Dan

                  No i don’t, Scotland isn’t in the EU, the UK is. Scots strip themselves of EU citizenship by voting for independence and thus starting the process towards forming a new state.

                  I actually got top of my year in constitutional law, but whatever.

                • MichtyMe

                  Does voting in the referendum have legal significance? It has political significance but it is really just a big opinion poll. It is Westminster that is sovereign and it is they who will form two new states.

                • Dan

                  Depends if the referendum is binding or not, but you’re probably right on that issue.

                  They won’t form two new states, they’ll grant Scotland the powers they’ve voted for and thus a new independent Scotland would be born.

                • Dan

                  Did you read the opinion link i sent you earlier? I’m growing tired of this now i’ve so many things to do and i’d only intended to make a short comment, it’s taken up a lot of time haha, i’m sure that’ll have made any other points i’d end up making.

                  Has been nice chatting with someone who’s raised interesting points rather than making a point then spending the rest of the time typing abuse!

                  I’m not sure we’d agree not matter how long we kept posting things.

                • MichtyMe

                  Of course there will be two states, new or if you prefer, different states. England+ or whatever it calls itself and Scotland, both independent, of each other.

                • Dan

                  Read the link.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You claim to be something of a constitutional law expert. but you come out with obvious balderdash such as this. There is no legal process by which EU citizens can be stripped of their citizenship en masse. The longer you go on about this the more nonsensical your ranting becomes.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Of course they can. The jocks can be stripped of that referendum tomorrow morning. The UK can be withdrawn from the EUSSR 15 minutes later.

                  You need to stop making these sweeping statements. It is you that is spouting balderdash.

                • ButcombeMan

                  Mr Bell gets highly excited and writes too many words but surely the reality is you are both partly right?

                  You are correct in law, that Scotland will be a new State seeking entry to the EU (not a successor State) but excitable Mr Bell is surely correct that the EU will find a way to make membership for Scotland continuous, if difficult and with lots of uncertainties around currency.

                  One of the reasons I believe there will be capital flight..

                • terregles2

                  Is Guest the latest moniker for Alistair Darling.?

                • M4rkyboy

                  The Republic of Eire is not a comparable precedent.
                  Eire was part of the English realm when it joined the Union and required nothing but domestic Acts of Parliament to make the transition.Scotland was a Sovereign Nation State and required an instrument under International law-a Treaty-to complete a Union with England.
                  When Eire left it fell under domestic jurisprudence and did not have any of the protection of International law.
                  Scotland is in International agreement and the terms of this agreement are under the jurisprudence of International law and the principle of Sovereign equality which means that what happens to England happens to Scotland.
                  The only way this doesn’t happen is if England claims sole-ownership of the legal personality and tears up the Treaty.

                • Dan

                  Ireland wasn’t part of England when it joined the Union, else it not have needed to join the Union.

                  But this substantively is an irrelevant point. Has nothing to do with the position Ireland found itself in when leaving the UK.

                  Scotland doesn’t have anymore protection under international law than Ireland does btw, with the Act of Union Scotland ceased to be a state and thus the UK was the member of the international community.

                • M4rkyboy

                  The Acts(plural) were the domestic ratification of the International agreement.The conclusion of the Treaty concludes the Kingdom of Great Britain with 2 Succesor states each equal to the other under international law emerging.
                  The existence of the Treaty is enough to move the terms of this split outwith the legislative competence of Westminster.The lack of Treaty with Eire or Wales renders them domestic matters.

                • Dan

                  No it doesn’t, it says that the UK of GB will exist forever. It says nothing on successor states. You presume that Scottish independence would mean the reversion of the nations to their pre-1707 constitutional position. It won’t.

                  There was a treaty with Ireland to bring it into the UK, another Act of Union. With Irish independence a new state of the Republic of Ireland was created. The same would* go for Scotland.

                  *predicated on an extremely unlikely vote for independence.

                • M4rkyboy

                  There was no Treaty with Eire because Eire was part of the English realm and they shared the same state functions-it would have been one group of diplomats negotiating with themselves.Acts arent instruments of international law.They are domestic legislation that carry no weight internationally.
                  Where treaties include in-perpetuity clauses it takes the agreement of both parties to the Treaty to conclude them as per the Vienna convention.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  By what authority do you declare that rUK is the sole successor state? Who made you Emperor of Europe?

                • Andy

                  Scotland can hardly leave a union and claim to be the sole successor state can it ?!!

                • M4rkyboy

                  We cant leave something we didnt join can we?

                  Scotland is in Treaty with England.Treaties are governed by international law and international law has the principle of sovereign equality underpinning all of its institutions.The conclusion of the treaty will see two equal successor states emerge each inheriting the same rights and responsibilities as the other.

                • Dan

                  It’s more than a normal treaty, it’s an Act of Union, the merging of two states into one. Sovereign equality occurs after Scotland becomes a new state, at the moment there is only one state, the United Kingdom.

                • M4rkyboy

                  And it is the constitution of this State that you are misrepresenting.Either it’s an actual Union or this is just another name for England.Which is it?

                • Dan

                  It’s a Union, the merging of two nations into one state that became the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

                • M4rkyboy

                  So we agree on this point at least.
                  I understand the argument you are making.You are arguing that because England is the larger of the partners it can claim ownership of the legal personality a-la Soviet union-Russia.
                  This is convenient for England and i appreciate that but do you see how this is not convenient for Scotland who has a legitimate claim to part of this personality?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  They have a legitimate claim if they can enforce one, isn’t it?

                • M4rkyboy

                  They can only enforce it if they circumvent international law by tearing up the Treaty.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, they can enforce a claim only if they use force, is the point I was making there. And remember, the jocks tried that in 1745, and the resulting and current state of affairs might very well be considered as them incapable of making any claim that puts them on unequal footing with anybody else on that island, which is what’s happening today if you look at it.

                  The union transformed into something other than that, in mid 18th century. That history can’t just be ignored.

                • Dan

                  Scotland should get the 9% or so share of assets etc, there’ll be negotiations over all that. But because of the nature of the breakup, a Scottish desire for an independent state, Scotland will be a new state.

                • M4rkyboy

                  It depends which legislative instrument you give primacy to whether Scotland is a new state or the old one.
                  International law and the conclusion of the Treaty would ensure Sovereign equality and recognise the constitutional timeline.Domestic legislation would give carte-blanche to Westminster to do what it wants.
                  Westminster intends to circumvent international law by ignoring the Treaty and Scotland would be set to suffer as a result.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Nobody is suggesingtiong such a thing, of course. It is the British nationalists who are insisting that rUK has the right to declare itself the sole successor state.

                  Another serious flaw in the arguments of those posing as lawyers here is the fact that it is not so much a case of Scotland leaving the union as the union being dissolved in a negotiated settlement.

                • Michele Keighley

                  Negotiated settlement? With whom? The English? Since when have the English been invited to give their opinion in this matter? There is no English Parliament, so who are you going to negotiate with – the UK Parliament? But you’ve just been arguing that when you make your grand gesture and disappear from the union in a huff – there will be no UK to negotiate with!!

                  Here’s a prediction – even if you get your independence the UK will remain; and from out here in the real world Scotland is not important – but the UK is my friend, and even our government will not act contrary to UK’s interest to support a small insignificant nation like Scotland – and that is what you really are, without the mantle of the UK you are politically insignificant; and all your huffing and puffing and blustering will not make a blind bit of difference; diplomats are realists not dreamers and UK still wields more power than you do.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You seem to be prone to petulant tantrums. I’m sure you could get help with that.

                  While there is a valid argument that the UK will cease to exist once Scotland leaves the union, it is not an argument that I have ever made. While I acknowledge its validity, I don’t see it as having any relevance. Why would I care what the rump UK chooses to call itself after Scotland reinstates its rightful constitutional status?

                  Perhaps because your thought processes are impaired by your little fits of temper you make a very foolish error. The negotiations to which I refer will be taking place BEFORE Scotland becomes independent. So, even if we accept that the UK will cease to exist at the point of Scotland’s formally leaving the union, it will still exist during the period of negotiation.

                  I note the huffing, puffing and bluster of your closing rant with a tolerant smile and a slightly weary shake of the head. The bombast of British nationalist wind-bags is hardly new to me.

                • Alexsandr

                  umm
                  maybe by splitting the whole UK leaves the EU.
                  Excellent!

          • kyalami

            As has been pointed out elsewhere, this is at the very least highly debatable.

            • Jambo25

              Yes; that was my point. It is something left open to debate. What is your point caller?

              • kyalami

                You really must try reading your own posts. Your point was quite the opposite.

                • Jambo25

                  No. It’s merely pointing out that the situation is up for discussion and expert opinions vary. I would suggest that you do something to up your comprehension of the written word. You wouldn’t have done very well in English analysis tests in the old days before schools went soft.

                • kyalami

                  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I suspect that you are considerably more junior than I. Still, I note that when you’re losing an argument you resort to personal abuse: that’s always a dead give-away.

                • Jambo25

                  No. I’m simply requesting; that before you attack what I’ve written, yo acquire the ability to, at least, understand it.

                • kyalami

                  Actually your point, quoted in full, said “And a number of academics and ex judges have said that it is fairly pointless as an independent Scotland while starting from outside the EU would be pretty quickly hurried in through the door.” It said nothing about this being debatable.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Pragmatically, you’re absolutely right. I don’t think anyone seriously envisages a situation where Scotland is denied access to the EU. But the EU also has its own real politk to consider, and the question of whether a “joining” state should, for instance, be obliged to join the euro, could well be a point of some importance to other parts of the EU. Again, I doubt that the end result would be Scotland getting kicked out, but on balance the situation would suggest that an independent Scotland might find herself making further concessions to secure that outcome before the constitution has even been begun.

            • Andy Ellis

              There is no compulsion to Euro membership, as the Swedish case demonstrates. Prospective members are obliged to have their own central bank (which Scotland won’t have unless they opt for their own currency in the event rUK is stupid enough to make a sterling zone too painful), and to adhere to ERM2 criteria for at least 2 years.

              It is therefore a simple matter to simply fail to adhere to such criteria, if you feel like it for ever, whatever the obligation is to join the Euro at some point in the future. Assuming of course the Euro even survives long term?

              Nobody in the EU has any interest in keeping Scotland out of the EU; the decision will be political, not legal.

              • grutchyngfysch

                I quite agree that the decision will be political, and that the EU will waive whatever its members decide is in their interests to do so – what I was suggesting is that such a political decision will also be subject to pressures of other nations – the European realpolitik, which has very little to do with the SNP’s plans or desires. If, for instance, Spain, whose present government are extremely nervous about the prospect of constituent parts of modern nations gaining independence, decides that they wish to use the opportunity to set a precedent more in keeping with their own interests, there is very little that Scotland can do *besides* make concessions of some kind or another to assuage them. That’s really my point – just as it is correct to say that the legal obstacles (if any) could be overcome by political will they might equally be confounded. In that sense it is something that is simply beyond the power of the SNP to control. I have no doubt that it will get in – as I said above – it’s just a question of being realisitc about the possible cost of that occurring.

            • Jambo25

              Frankly, I don’t share the fear and horror of the Euro that a sizable number of my fellow citizens, especially of the English variety seem to. Even if you do have to join the Euro there is normally an adjustment period which can be drawn out for so long as to be virtually endless.

              • grutchyngfysch

                If you can secure the agreement of your fellow countrymen at the ballot box, and they share your assessment of the euro, I simply wish you well. You’ll get no argument on that front here – I’m a firm believer in self-determination. I would note, though, that the present line is that the euro will not be necessary and I’d expect any such adoption to be subject to, at the least, an electoral win – my point is that if members of the EU wish to make political hay out of this issue, that may not be the case in practice.
                I am simply inclined to be a little bit more sceptical of the SNP’s idealistic view of things, simply because not everything that pertains to Scotland’s putative independence is within their control (and yes, I have read large parts – though I confess not all – of that enormous doorstop they’ve been sending out). None of this changes the right of anyone to want or vote for independence but then neither does noting possible hindrances make one a fantasist.

            • bobduncan

              As I am sure you are well aware, the EU has no mechanism to require states to join the Euro. Scotland could not even begin the application process until it had adopted its own currency, which you may note it has no current plans to do.

        • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

          It doesn’t require a law school education to figure out that Scotland will still be part of the UK up until independence day and therefore a member of the EU. All the negotiations for Scotland’s transition to independent EU membership would be conducted from within the EU. It must be so as there is no mechanism by which a member state can be expelled, far less any “part of a member state”.

          I say again, British nationalists allow their emotions to get the better of them. In their mindless devotion to the British state they assume that the government of the remainder of the UK will be bound to renege on the Edinburgh Agreement and punish Scotland for exercising its right of self-determination. And they imagine that the rest of the world will be eager to join with the remnants of the British state in this puerile exercise.

          It is for this reason, if no other, that British nationalists tend to come across as particularly stupid people. Such is the nature of bigotry.

          • Dan

            Yes, Scotland will be part of the EU until it leaves the UK.

            And your second paragraph is pure gold.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              Maybe you should get an adult to look up the word “transition” for you and explain what it means.

              I am always struck by the sheer desperation of British nationalists whose obsession with Scotland being punished for challenging the British state leads them to abandon reason altogether.

              We might look forward to revelling in the discomfiture of these bigots when Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU proceeds pretty much as described by the Scottish Government. But, of course, they will then deny ownership of the idiocies they have spouted on the subject.

              • Dan

                Maybe you should stop being patronising, and for some bizarre reason labelling me a bigot.

                Is it because you can’t make a legal argument but only have the capacity to blindly follow what Alex Salmond tells you?

                P.S, still waiting on his legal advice.

                What makes you think i’m a British nationalist? Scottish independence won’t have any impact on my life at all.

                • MichtyMe

                  There is quite a bit of legal opinion from academics on this. Professor Andrew Scott of Edinburgh for example and his opinion is “both would be continuing members of the EU” evidence to HoC committee.

                • Dan

                  He’s an economist though, not a lawyer.

                  Prof Adam Tomkins is a Professor in public law at Glasgow, his legal opinion is that the UK would be successor state and Scotland would start as a new state.

                  This is in keeping with my own interpretation of the legal position of Scotland, and the majority of others in the law who’ve commented on the area (from what i’ve seen, anyway).

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  The matter of Scotland’s continuing EU membership will be decided by politicians and not lawyers.

                • Dan

                  If it’s illegal politicians can’t decide it…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Of course they can. They can do whatever they can get away with. Who’s going to stop them?

                • Dan

                  If politicians act ultra vires, Judges reign them in.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  But they would not be acting ultra vires. There is no statute which prohibits the EU adopting the two successor state solution. You have foolishly convinced yourself that you have found such a legal impediment. But you have not. You have merely identified some of the documents which will need to be amended in the light of the new political reality.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  They wont’ have to be “amended”. The EUSSR will simply decree.

                • Dan

                  It’s not for the EU to decide!

                  The UK would pass an Act that would allow Scotland in keeping with the referendum to be independent, upon the coming into force of that it becomes a new state.

                  The UK continues as it is now, simple less Scotland. That would apply to NATO, the UN, and the EU.

                  It wouldn’t take long for Scotland to join the EU, as it will fulfil most of the criteria at the moment, but it’ll require negotiations.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Still determinedly oblivious to the negotiations that will take place before Scotland becomes an independent state. That is a serious blind spot you have there.

                • Alexsandr

                  we will see. I feel you are being naive to think Scotland will not be taken to the cleaners in any negotiation. Sticking your fingers in your ears and singing ‘la la la’ isn’t an adult response..

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  On the contrary, it is British nationalist fanatics who are being naive in supposing that European governments, including that of UK/rUK, will follow their agenda of petty retribution against Scotland. The real world just doesn’t work like that.

                • kyalami

                  It’s not a case of petty retribution. It is a case of considering the requirements of European governments. Spain, for example, has made it abundantly clear that it would look with disfavour on the situation, given the possible divisions of its own country.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You display all the ignorance of one who relies entirely on the anti-independence propaganda machine as their sole source of information.

                  You are aware only of the utterances of Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. Utterances which have been spun by the anti-independence mob and their pals in the media to imply that Spain would oppose, or even veto, Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU. You are apparently quite contentedly oblivious of the fact that Cameron and the Tories have for months been conspiring with Rajoy and his party to help each other in what both London and Madrid perceive as a threat to the established structures of power and privilege.

                  To any unbiased observer, this collusion would at the very least cast some doubt on Rahoy’s credibility. But any unbiased observer would have realised that he wasn’t talking about Scotland anyway. He was talking about Catalonia.

                  You also seem blithely unaware of any of the statements which contradict what Rajoy has been portrayed as saying. Statements from people such as Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo.

                  And, to round off this catalogue of wilful ignorance, you are evidently unaware of Spain’s official position on the constitutional question. That position is that there are absolutely no parallels between Scotland and Catalonia because the constitutional circumstances are entirely different.

                  I could explain to you why this means that it is not in Spain’s interests to actively oppose Scotland’s independence, but past experience has taught me that this is a complete waste of time. This would constitute a new perspective and fresh understanding of the issues. Something beyond the convenient distortions and facile over-simplifications preferred by Project Fear.

                • kyalami

                  I have no idea what this mythical project fear is about. The only fear I see being spread is by the SNP: the mainstream British parties are in favour of union, while I’d be quite happy, should the referendum come out in favour of “Yes”, for Scotland to become independent.

                  However you try and spin it, Scotland would not be fast-tracked into the EU. It’s not in the EU’s interests as a whole and especially not in Spain’s.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  By your admission that you haven’t a clue what Project Fear refers to you demonstrate just how appallingly ill-informed you are. And yet, despite this profound ignorance, you presume yourself qualified to pontificate. Those of us who actually know what we are talking about are, of course, accustomed to such dumb arrogance from British nationalists.

                • kyalami

                  Project Fear is a myth created by the SNP to justify their existence. Nothing more.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  More ignorant twaddle! The name “Project Fear” was coined by Better Together staffers to describe their propaganda campaign.

                  The SNP has been in existence for almost 80 years. Somewhat before better Together started calling themselves “Project Fear”.

                  The SNP’s existence is justified by it being the largest political party in Scotland and the party democratically elected to govern.

                  What will be your next bit of idiocy, I wonder.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  There we have it, folks! Someone so ignorant of the referendum campaign that they don’t even know what Project Fear is, yet they imagine they know more about the issues than someone who has been involved in Scotland’s independence movement for half a century. And more about Spanish foreign policy than Spain’s foreign minister!

                  Some of these numpties are a real hoot!

                • kyalami

                  My word. You’ve been involved in Scotland’s independence movement for more than half a century? Tell me, how is it going?

                  One can always tell when an opponent realises they have lost an argument – they start making personal remarks rather than discussing the issues.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  The independence movement is going rather well, actually. We have a referendum on independence coming up in September 2014. And the polls are now showing a small but steady trend to wards a Yes vote.

                  I’m happy to discuss the issues with people who are at least aware of such things.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  If you think you’re doing “well” with that vote, I have a bridge I want to sell you, lad.

                • kyalami

                  Oh, your mighty highness. I fear I might have displeased your eminence.

                  In reality, the SNP is a bit of a joke outside Scotland (if that’s not too offensive).

                  Excuse me, but I am off to plans Burns Night (really). At least it’s on a Saturday this year.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Is this your last display of ignorance? I hope not. You’ve been a terrific source of amusement today.

                  To say that the SNP is “a bit of a joke outside Scotland” is a piece of arrogant idiocy that simply ignores the inconvenient fact that this is the party which has forced the British state to concede a referendum on independence having already forced it to accept devolution and defied its devices designed to ensure that the British parties would always keep a grip on power at Holyrood.

                  Throughout Europe and beyond, the success of the SNP is acknowledged and its significance recognised by informed commentators. It takes a special kind of idiocy to be involved (albeit only on the margins) in a discussion about the most fundamental threat to the structures of power and privilege which define the British state since the end of empire while dismissing as a “joke” the political party which represents that threat.

                  That one definitely wins you the unionist cretin of the week award. Please come back next week and try again.

                • kyalami

                  As ever, resorting to personal abuse when losing an argument. Coming from outside the UK, I can assure you that the SNP is virtually invisible on the International stage, and greeted with bemusement on those few occasions where it does creep into the news.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Your whining grows tedious.

                  And perhaps you should consider the possibility that others are not quite as bemused by Scotland’s politics as you evidently are.

                  Thanks for all your help with the Yes campaign. I’m done with you now.

                • kyalami

                  You have delusions of grandeur.

                  The Yes campaign needs all the help it can get.

                • Michele Keighley

                  But it IS a joke in the outside world!! Why on earth would anybody here in Australia give Scotland a moment’s thought? I’ve told you before and I’ll you again – the UK has more clout, is considered far more important than a little bit of the island that would get lost in the state of Queensland.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  By the same token, why would I care about the demented ranting of some loud-mouthed Aussie arse-wipe?

                  This disrespect thing works both ways, my little dunny-dweller.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  What? EUSSR judges? Please.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  There is no legal constraint on the EU in this regard. You have got carried away with the idea that because Scotland’s name doesn’t appear on a list it cannot be a member of the EU. Those of us not encumbered with the mind of a petty lawyer will immediately light upon the very simply solution of adding Scotland to that list.

                  Get over yourself. This is not a matter of law. it is a matter of policy. Policy, moreover, that is specific to the particular situation. The politicians will decide. The lawyers will do as they are told.

                • Alexsandr

                  I will ignore your hectoring tone..
                  if a countries name is not on the treaties it will need adding. Thats a treaty change, and any country can veto it. So they may want something in return. You are quite right its political, but you are wrong that it is a simple admin matter.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  We grown-ups call that negotiation. Precisely the process which is anticipated. A process which goes on all the time. But, for some reason that they are never quite able to articulate, British nationalists suppose that this very commonplace process will be impossibly difficult when it comes to Scotland regaining its rightful constitutional status.

                  One very good reason for wanting to be free of the British state is to be rid of such defeatist incompetents.

                • Dan

                  Something that is not a state cannot be a member state of the EU.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Scotland will not be a state until after the negotiations which will settle the matter of EU membership. Negotiations which will take place within the EU.

                  I really do have difficulty understanding what is so hard to grasp about this.

                • kyalami

                  So if the EU negotiations are drawn out (or Scotland is turned down) then Scotland will remain part of the UK? How odd.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  The only odd things here are the quaint notions popping out of your head.

                  In the first place, there is no rational reason to suppose that negotiations will be “drawn out”. Nobody’s interests are served by protracted talks. Try not to be so gullible as to fall for Project Fear’s attempts to conjure problems and obstacles where none exist.

                  But the really odd idea is that Scotland could somehow remain part of the UK after the people have voted Yes. That goes beyond quaint and into the realm of the surreal.

                • kyalami

                  “the really odd idea is that Scotland could somehow remain part of the UK after the people have voted Yes”.

                  Indeed. But that logically followed from your previous post.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You clearly have your own “special” form of logic. Do you have “special” arithmetic to go with it? I only ask because “special” arithmetic is something of a feature of the anti-independence campaign.

                • kyalami

                  You clearly don’t bother to read your own posts. You wrote above “Scotland will not be a state until after the negotiations which will settle the matter of EU membership” and then you wrote “But the really odd idea is that Scotland could somehow remain part of the UK after the people have voted Yes”.

                  Unless you are assuming that the negotiations for Scotland to become a member would be concluded overnight, these two statements contradict one another.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Yet again you flaunt your ignorance of the issues as if it was you proudest achievement. Evidently you aren’t even aware that there will be an 18 month period of negotiation.

                  What kind of clown imagines that independence will happen “overnight”? The kind of clown I’m not prepared to waste any more time on.

                • kyalami

                  I see that you’re ducking the question. Again.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  You didn’t ask a question. At least try to understand your own comments even if mine go way over your head.

                • kyalami

                  The question is why you contradict yourself and then get personal when it’s pointed out. Really very simple. And we know the answer: when all else fails, fling mud and hope that it sticks.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I have not contradicted myself. I cannot be held accountable for the clamour of voices in your head. Or your curious tendency to apply your own idiosyncratic meaning to my comments, disregarding the actual meaning of the words.

                  My sense is that you have bitten off more than you can chew here. You came to this discussion tragically ill-equipped and, while your tenacity is to be commended, you are such an easy target that slapping down your inane comments has ceased to be good sport.

                • kyalami

                  Abuse and insult again. No serious point made. And yes, you have contradicted yourself.

                • Alexsandr

                  but it is petty lawyers who will dissect the treaty if anything comes to court. as it will.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Why? Why would anything need to come to court? Why do you assume that it would?

                  In fact, it is highly unlikely that there would be any legal challenges – as you would realise if you just thought about it for a moment. Why would any of the member states mount a legal challenge to something which, by definition, they have agreed to in negotiations?

                • Alexsandr

                  because if something is not written down in unambiguous language then someone somewhere will cry foul and the lawyers will be like vultures.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  But if any of the member states have issues with any of the terms then they have the opportunity to have their concerns addressed during negotiations. Why would they wait until after signing the agreement to start disputing the agreement they have just signed? You make no sense.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Exactly, the EUSSR can just decree.

                  Which makes it amusing that you jock separatists worship the EUSSR komissars so much, as they’re nothing but autocrats.

                • Jambo25

                  Since it’s the pantomime season: Oh yes they can’.

                • kyalami

                  Scotland is not a member of the EU. Therefor, the “matter of Scotland’s continuing membership” does not arise.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Now you’re just being silly. You have already acknowledged that there will be negotiations with the EU. What do you imagine they will be talking about if not Scotland’s continuing membership? Duh!

                • kyalami

                  Since you ask, Scotland’s POSSIBLE NEW membership.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  What Orwellian trick of self-delusion is it that enables you to erase from your own awareness, if not from recorded history, the four decades that Scotland has been a member of the EU?

                • kyalami

                  Scotland hasn’t. The United Kingdom has. When it comes to self-delusion, look in the mirror, old chap.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  So now you’ve convinced yourself that Scotland is not part of the union which makes up the UK. I despair for you.

                • kyalami

                  In which case, you will doubtless be able to quote chapter and verse of the EU membership which lists Scotland?

                  The membership is that of the United Kingdom. Scotland being part of the UK is irrelevant. Basingstoke is part of the UK but, strangely, not a member of the EU.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Ah, you’re slipping! Now you are plagiarising somebody else’s foolishness. The idiotic idea that there is a magical list of EU members which cannot be altered. Despite the fact that it is being added to all the time. The EU is inherently expansionist. One of the great fallacies of Britnat propaganda is the plainly idiotic notion that the EU wants to eject and/or exclude countries.

                  Credit where it is due, however. You did manage to add a little gem of stupidity that is all your own. Equating an English town with the nation of Scotland -as if Basingstoke were a signatory to the Acts of Union – is enough to keep you in the running for the title of unionist cretin of the week.

                  Please keep going! This is fun! And you are doing a great job of discrediting big chunks of anti-independence propaganda.

                • kyalami

                  Ah. Just remind me where the Act of Union appears in EU documents? It’s quite irrelevant.

                  And, as usual, resorting to personal abuse when your arguments fail.

                  As for your claim that support for the Yes vote is increasing, that too is false. A link to polls is shown below. The Yes vote varies between 30% and 40%: the No vote between 45% and 60%.

                  Wrong, wrong and wrong again.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Nobody said anything about the Acts of Union (note the plural, fool) appearing in EU documents. At least, not until you just did. I’m afraid you’re getting quite irrational.

                  But you did refer to the origins of the UK. Surely not even you are daft enough to deny that the Acts of Union are relevant to that. Or can you?

                  You finish with another demonstration of your unfortunate reading difficulty. Perhaps you’d like to go back and read again what I said about polls. More slowly this time. Don’t be embarrassed about moving your lips if that helps.

                • kyalami

                  Yet more rudeness. Are you incapable of rational debate.

                  Here’s the link to polls, which I inadvertently omitted from the previous post. It doesn’t make good reading for the SNP.

                  http://news.stv.tv/politics/249845-referendum-what-polls-say-about-voting-intentions-on-independence/

                • MichtyMe

                  I didn’t want to have to do this but here go’s
                  HoC – Scottish Affairs Committee – Minutes of evidence – Witnesses – Patrick Layden TD QC Scottish Law Commission & Prof Andrew Scott U Of E gave evidence.
                  Prof Scott – I think that Patrick is absolutely right that the UK of BG&NI would no longer exist (after Scotland vote to withdraw from the Union). Both parts of the UK would be in the same situation but my view is that both would be continuing members of the EU. Of course there would have to negotiate, there would have to be treaty amendments which would have to be unanimously agreed upon but they would be negotiated from within rather than outside

                • Dan

                  Yes, i’ve read it. It’s the opinion of an economist on the matter. I’ve given you an example of a Professor in public law who argues that Scotland will be outside of the EU, my position too.

                  There are some who’ll argue the contrary, but from what i’ve read it seems to me the majority agree Scotland would be outside and negotiating entry as a new state.

                • MichtyMe

                  Scott is Professor of European Union Studies at Edinburgh Law School I will research as to him being an economist

                • Dan

                  He states he’s an economist at the beginning.

                  http://europeanlawblog.eu/?p=1551

                  Check out this blog for some more legal opinions, and a link within that blog to a report by two professors in law, one at Cambridge the other Edinburgh, who again conclude Scotland would be a new state.

                • MichtyMe

                  Yep, your right, Scott an economist but Layden is not.

                • Alexsandr

                  dan. the main thing is that it isnt 100% sure either way what is the position. The scottish electorate have to know this isnt a done deal

                • Jambo25

                  So, basically, you pays your money and takes your choice.

                • Alexsandr

                  yes. but it is dishonest of the YES camp to suggest this is cut and dried. It clearly isn’t and such a huge question mark is a risk that the Scots should be aware of.

                • Andy Ellis

                  They haven’t done anything of the sort. More Project Fear disinformation – please give it a rest!

                • terregles2

                  We face a bigger risk if we are foolish enough to remain part of the UK . In 2016 if England vote to leave the EU Scotland will be dragged out of the EU even if a majority of Scots vote to stay in.

                • Jambo25

                  And there are major risks to staying in the Union as well. A wave of xenophobic, anti-EU hysteria is , at least, as big a danger to Scottish membership of the EU.

                  You are right in one sense. The ‘Yes’ side cannot predict the future with certainty but why do th ‘No’ men claim that they can.

                • Dan

                  I shall dig it out and give it a read, nonetheless.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I was not being patronising. I was being patient. My natural inclination is not to suffer fools gladly. You should appreciate the fact that I am making an effort here.

                  It didn’t take long for the British nationalist obsession with Alex Salmond to rear its silly wee head.Were you capable of analysing the situation rationally you would come to precisely the same conclusion. But all you can do is parrot the propaganda fed to you by Project Fear. The planet-weight irony of you accusing me of toeing some party line while doing your parroting will not, I’m sure, be lost on more open-minded readers.

                  You pose as someone qualified to give an opinion on this matter. But you shoot yourself in the foot with the comment about legal advice. The Scottish Government long ago stated that it has no unpublished legal advice. Any moderately well-informed individual would be aware of this.

                  They would also be aware that there would be no point in seeking such legal advice. We already know as much as it is possible to know of the legal position. This is described in a number of places, but perhaps nowhere more concisely than in a House of Commons Library briefing paper which, if you were half the expert that you pretend to be, you would be well aware of.

                • Dan

                  God, you’re insufferable.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              I see my second paragraph struck a raw nerve.

              • Dan

                I quite enjoyed it, if that’s all you can say then it shows the weakness of your argument.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Oh dear! You thought that was an argument. How sad. It was an analysis of the British nationalist mentality. An analysis that is amply borne out by some of the drivel being posted here by such as yourself.

                  The arguments are all out there. But British nationalists cannot see or understand them.

                • Alexsandr

                  why do you assume hating the dysfunctional undemocratic EU is nationalist? Its the EU that is cr@p, not Europe or its peoples.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Hatred is not compatible with rational thought. As you amply demonstarte.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …right back at ya’, jocko.

                • Alexsandr

                  if you cant be civil why dont you go and take a long walk down a short pier. Your stupid insults just make you look like the wazzock you surely are.

        • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

          The EU is not an important body to the English. It is obvious they wish to leave as the media reflects this hostility to Europe. Why would you claim that Scots are any different ?

          • Carfilhiot

            “Why would you claim that Scots are any different ?”

            Possibly because they are different? Witness the number of Conservative MPs returned by Scots – 1 (one). And then there are a great many studies and opinion polls that show a different attitude to the EU north of the border.

            • Ian McKellar

              Accepting a certain unreliability in polls, there was a recent poll which showed 36% of the Scots favoured withdrawal from the EU- slightly less than the 42% in England and slightly more than the number of Scots who favour independence

            • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

              The Scots are being told by the English media that the Scots can not join the EU. But the English media wants the English to leave the EU. So what point are they making ?

              • Carfilhiot

                That “what’s sauce for the goose isn’t sauce for the gander”? Do as I say, not as I do?

      • kyalami

        It is, uniquely I think, a British conceit to believe that the UK is comprised of distinct countries. This is no more true of the Uk than it is of Germany, Canada, the United States or Italy. Consequently, should any part of the UK secede, then that part would need to apply to join international organisations such as the EU.

        You may disagree, but then you would need to show where Scotland is recognised as a country in its own right in international treaties.

        • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

          There are many ways in which Scotland is recognised as a distinct country. But for the purposes of this discussion one document will suffice – the Edinburgh Agreement.

          • kyalami

            It really won’t. That doesn’t change the EU constitution or that of other organisations. If you want to believe that blue-sky SNP propaganda, you of course may. Talking of which, I presume you similarly believe that Santa will deliver all this.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              There is a limit to the amount of time I am able or willing to expend on the effort to try and explain simple issues to people who have no interest in anything not encompassed by their ill-informed prejudices. If you haven’t grasped the significance of the Edinburgh Agreement by now, I doubt that you can be helped.

              • kyalami

                On the contrary, I have fully grasped that the Edinburgh Agreement is an agreement between parties in the UK but not an EU agreement.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  Had your other comments in this exchange not so amply indicated how desperately poor is your understanding of the issues I might have been surprised that you failed to grasp the significance of the Edinburgh Agreement in relation to all the negotiations leading up to independence, including those with the EU regarding Scotland’s continuing membership.

                  I would also have more hope that you would be able to understand any explanation that I might offer. But, for the sake of those who are suitably equipped, I shall offer something to think about. Since you have repeatedly alluded to Spain, I will quote José Manuel García-Margallo, the Spanish foreign minister,

                  “What I do say is that the attitude of the United Kingdom would be the determining factor at the time of deciding our vote.”

                  It should now be a simple matter to work out the relevance of the Edinburgh Agreement. Let’s see if you’re up to it.

                • kyalami

                  Since you ask, here’s the Spanish Prime Minister.

                  “Mariano Rajoy said his government believed an independent Scotland could only apply to join the EU from outside the organisation as a new state, as he warned against regions of Europe embarking on “solo adventures in an uncertain future”.

                  That was way too easy.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I wondered what your next bit of idiocy would be, and here it is. You are fool enough to imagine that Rajoy’s politically motivated comments are a definitive statement of the EU’s position.

                  As I have already pointed out, Rajoy and his Partidad Popular are in cahoots with the Tories and their British Labour allies. He is anything but neutral and far from being the ultimate authority that you so foolishly suppose him to be. If you knew anything at all about the issues then you would already be aware of all this.

                  You’re going to find it difficult to top this level of stupidity. But I’m sure you’ll give it your best shot.

                • kyalami

                  Amazing. You quote the Spanish Foreign minister as gospel but dismiss the Spanish Prime Minister as politically motivated. And you try and muddy the water by claiming it’s all part of a Tory plot, when all three main parties in the UK support union.

                  And finally, as ever, you resort to personal abuse when your argument fails. If you’re a leading light in the independence campaign, I suspect it may be doomed.

                • Andy Ellis

                  Peter is simply correcting a common piece of unionist agitprop, which has already been comprehensively rubbished elsewhere. There IS no certainty on this issue, because it has never arisen before. No part of a current EU state has ever become independent. Nobody in the Spanish government can speak authoritatively on this matter, because there is no precedent, and no EU ruling on it. Expert legal opinion is divided, and the weight of political opinion suggests that the EU will do everything it can to prevent this situation turning into a crisis, so they will try to ensure Scotland or Catalonia if it comes to it, are fast tracked.

                  Of course, the one way to get a definitive ruling from the EU would be for the UK government to ask the EU officially for a decision. The UK (and Spain for that matter) have singularly avoided doing so. One might almost think they had something to hide, or feared the answer might not be to their liking, huh?

                  If you don’t want to be called out for stupidity, it might perhaps be better avoiding giving stupid responses.

                • kyalami

                  Your last paragraph would be better aimed at Mr Bell.

                  The quotation was from the Guardian, hardly a mouthpiece of agitprop. Fascinating how this archaic language comes out from SNP supporters.

                  You can hardly be taken seriously if you treat one Spanish politician’s quotation as gospel and another as rubbish, especially as the second politician is senior to the first.

                • Andy Ellis

                  The Guardian is hardly an authoritative source either on Scottish politics, and still less on Spanish politics. The PP in Spain has an axe to grind, but they have been careful to draw a distinction between the UK/Scottish process, which they see as legitimate because it is “agreed” by London via the Edinburgh Agreement, and the prospect of a Catalan referendum, which they regard as illegitimate because in their view the Spanish constitution forbids such a referendum unless the Spanish parliament agrees to it, i.e. Catalan independence can be forever prohibited by the rest of Spain, however large the majority in Catalonia in favour of independence might be.

                  I wouldn’t trust anything that came out of the mouths of the sub-francoist cadres in the PP, still less agree that their position on either the Scots or Catalan referendums was coherent or legitimate.

                  Please try to interact with the issues, as you’re simply making yourself look more ridiculous with every post.

                • kyalami

                  Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that last sentence? Did you bother to read what the Spanish PM said, regardless of whether it was printed in the Guardian, Telegraph or anywhere else? Does anyone who has a hold on reality still use words like “cadres” or “agitprop”?

                  The pro-independence lobby is desperately trying to prop up its case by making outlandish claims. Should Scotland vote for independence, these fantasies will be revealed, at which time these same pro-independence fantasists will blame a Tory/English plot.

                  If you Scots wish to become independent, go ahead and good luck to you. But do try to keep a grasp on reality.

                • Andy Ellis

                  Yes, I did read what he said, and what his foreign minister said. I’ve also read extensively on the reactions to it both here and in Europe.

                  Yes, educated people do use such words; sorry if your limited intellectual capacity finds them difficult. A dictionary might help, though it probably won’t do much for bloviating gum slappers like yourself. (Would you like me to provide a definition, or can you look that one up for yourself?).

                  It’s quite obvious where the outlandish claims are coming from, and which campaign is the negative one. Even many in the No camp are worried at the relentless negativity, and have said so in public. Why would the Better Together campaign have self identified internally as “Project Fear”?

                  We’re done here; feeding trolls becomes tiresome in the end.

                • kyalami

                  Your language is archaic but also redolent of the communists of the 20th century. Similar to them, you decline to discuss facts and simply seek to smear those who oppose you. If that’s what the independence campaign has supporting it, then it’s in deep trouble indeed.

                • kyalami

                  No, educated people don’t use words like agitprop and cadres: left wing loonies do.

                • Andy Ellis

                  Sorry…don’t you have a bridge to guard or some goats to terrorise…?

                • kyalami

                  I thought you were done? Typical commie.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I see that you are trying very hard, But there is no way you are going to top your winning idiocy about the SNP being a “joke”.

                  Those not suffering from your reading problem will, like myself, be wondering where I so much as hinted at the Spanish foreign minister’s words being “gospel”. But any reasonable person will allow that the foreign minister may just be some kind of authority on foreign policy.

                  The collusion between Cameron’s Tories and Rajoy’s Partidad Popular has been widely reported over a period of some months. But I don’t think anybody who has been following your comical comments today will be very shocked to discover that you are totally unaware of this. Unaware is where you excel, after all.

                  Nor did I claim to be a “leading light” in the independence campaign. That’s the voices in your wee head again. And pointing out stupidity does not constitute personal abuse. The solution to making such stupid remarks as you have been making all day lies in your own hands. It takes only a small effort to become moderately well-informed about the referendum campaign and the issues pertaining thereto. The important first step is to step away from your copy of The Telegraph.

                • kyalami

                  The real problem is your lack of information, Peter. Also your unwillingness to accept inconvenient facts. Your search for conspiracy. Your trying to muddy the waters by making this look like a Tory plot when all three main parties in the UK government are pro-union.

                  And finally, your grand boast of having been pro-independence for more than 50 years.

                  You go on and on about the Edinburgh agreement: you ignore the fact that the EU is not a signatory.

                  You resort to insults when your points are disproved. If the SNP relied on people like you they would be doomed.

      • John McMad

        Sorry to take the lords name in vain on such a thread, but Jesus Christ Peter have you slightest idea how clueless you are??

        Seriously have you not paid any attention to the comments by Romano Prodi, Jose Manuel Barroso or Her,an Van Rompuy? Have you even bothered to read Articles 48 and 49 of the Lisbon Treaty?? Do you even know what they are??

        In the event of a yes vote the UK will continue on, see the opinion of Professors Crawford and Boyle ( you know the one ECk tried to pretend he hadn’t seen) and Scotland will not be able to negotiate entry until it becomes an independent country. I.e. It will have to wait until after it’s official Independence Day or wheat ever it would be called. It would not be possible to negotiate from within as you and yellow fellow deluded extremists claim.

        I completely despair at the ignorance of hard core sep campaigners like yourself who can only offer lies and assertions when the truth is very different.

        • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

          I have indeed paid close attention to the comments by Romano Prodi, Jose Manuel Barroso or Herman Van Rompuy etc. Unlike you, however, I am able to understand these comments in their full political context rather than as abstracted gobbets of British nationalist propaganda.

          Also unlike you I am aware of other comments, with equal or greater authority, which contradict or cast doubt on the only ones that the blinkers of your prejudice will allow you to see.

          I differ from you further in that I am not so foolish as to imagine any of these comments to be a definitive statement of a position which will only be settled by negotiations which have yet to take place.

          Like many moderately well-informed people on the pro-democracy side of the constitutional debate, I am ever highly amused by the pant-wetting antics of the British nationalists every time the unionist media feeds them some pre-digested morsel of propaganda from the likes of Mariano Rajoy that is supposed to represent a fatal blow to the Scottish Government’s rational, pragmatic position on Scotland and the EU. The Pavlovian eagerness with which the dupes pick up their cues and start parroting lines they’ve been supplied by their puppet-masters remains just as hilarious no matter how often one of these “fatal blows” is delivered.

          In the sincere hope of rescuing you from the pit of credulousness into which you have fallen, I offer some sound advice from Dr John MacDonald, Director of the independent research institute, Scottish Global Forum,

          “There is no irrefutable ‘truth’ to be reached in the debate over
          Scotland’s future if it votes for independence. Those searching for it –
          those who demand ‘clarity’ with such strident insistence – should
          perhaps be more realistic in their expectations and focus instead upon
          more attainable understandings.”

          Those “attainable understandings” are to be gained, not from selectively attending exclusively to the comments that accord with your prejudices, but by listening attentively to all the arguments and by analysing the issues rationally.

          As far as Scotland’s relationship with the EU is concerned, such an approach can lead the genuinely open-minded only to a conclusion which accords closely with the position set out by the Scottish Government. If you doubt this, then try asking yourself why it is that neither the UK government nor the British parties nor Project Fear attempt to make the case for one of the other two possible broad scenarios. If the exercise is not too painful for you, ask yourself why it is that nobody in the campaign to deny the sovereignty of Scotland’s people is prepared to set out in detail the reasons for supposing that the EU might go for the single successor state option.

          Ask the awkward questions.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            You’re delusional.

            Having been beatdown and fully subjugated in the 45’er, and having completely submitted to Londonistan rule, there can be nothing made of Jockistan but a wannabe breakaway province, assuming a successful referendum 9 months from now (which will fail in any event, as the jocks prefer the suckling socialist teat).

          • John McMad

            Total nonsense. Just so realise that I am not some clueless numpty I am a lawyer who has studied European law. I have read all of professors crawfords and boyles opinion and I have looked at many of the precedents they cite and I agree with them. The EC has restated it position many times. Accession through article 49 is the only way it is going to go meaning that all states will have a say in Scotland’s terms of entry and a veto.

            You can maybe blind others with waffle but I can see straight through your baseless claims and assertions.

            • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

              You certainly lie like a lawyer. The EC has never stated its position on Scotland reinstating its rightful constitutional status. It has said it will do so if the UK Government makes the request. The UK Government, while insisting that the people of Scotland need and are entitled to this information, flatly refuses to ask. It’s not difficult to figure out why. Maybe even a lawyer could manage it.

              • John McMad

                Quit your slavering. They EU/EC were referring to ALL circumstances where a part of an existing member state secedes. It is written in plain english, you are being deliberately obtuse and from your multiple postings i can only assume you are part of the yes campaign. Mind you i suppose it is possible for someone to be as ignorant as you appear to be.

                You are an ill informed know it all with a dangerous level of knowledge, i.e. virtually none. People like you try baffle the uninformed by repeated posting of the same nonsense over and over again. It will not work with me, i have marked your card and you’ve got a Z for your knowledge of the EU so far.

                I suggest you sit down with a poke of chips of whatever else it is that you enjoy scoffing and read article 49 of the EU Treaty and the letters by Prodi, Barroso and Van Rompuy over and over again until they stick.

                Maybe even have a flick through Professors Crawfords and Boyles legal opinion as well if you can hack it.

                While you are at it you can read Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union where it clearly states they EU citizenship derives from the citizenship of an EU Member State. The implication being that if Scotland is stupid enough to vote to leave the UK we are no longer EU citizens as we are giving up our UK citizenship.

                I am fully expecting to be subjected to more of your lies and assertions, but hey thee is nothing more amusing than a know it all who knows nothing.

                • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

                  I certainly found you highly amusing.

    • Deep Thought

      Denis is clearly correct that an independent Scotland would not be an automatic member of the EU. Scotland is not a member state. Scotland did not sign the treaties. There is no mechanism in the European treaties to make a newly independent state an automatic member of the EU. There are no discussions to create such a mechanism – and even if there were such a treaty would be vetoed by Spain and others.
      It is worth reflecting on why the SNP did not, and has not, commissioned independent legal advice on this subject. If there is such advice – publish it.
      The position of the SNP on UK international treaties is an odd one – if it believes an independent Scotland would be bound automatically by an international treaty signed by the UK would this not also apply to every other other treaty signed by the UK? Including ones that the SNP object to?

  • Smithersjones2013

    So Mason ‘s argument is that Scotland should leave the Union because it is over centralised (clearly the primary purpose of devolution has passed him by) but presumably equally Mason believes Scotland should join the European Union with its increasingly centralised (on a scale way beyond that of the UK) ever closer Union because?

    No doubt he also favours Scotland setting its own currency (nominally nicknamed ‘The Haggis’) because they really wouldn’t want an over centralised currency such as either Sterling or the Euro.

    Mason might know a tad about the bible but he’s completely clueless when it comes to economics or politics!

    Alternatively given he is so against centralisation (not forgetting God and his unwritten 11th commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Centralise’) I’m surprised he has not set up his own party in opposition to the SNP because clearly they are far too centralist for his tastes.

    I think the SNP can do without the musings of John Mason MSP

    • MichtyMe

      The meddling in Scotland’s affairs by the EU is minor compared with the intrusion of metropolitan elitism, and the SNP offers the people sovereignty and the power to decide for itself on Europe.

      • Andrew Richardson

        if you believe that with Salmond in charge you will believe anything

        • MichtyMe

          Salmond is not an immortal. With independence the Scots electorate will have a parliament and government which can decide all. If they so vote, they can leave the EU, have a wee war perhaps, maybe reintroduce the bawbee etc.

          • Andrew Richardson

            I have a question. Is there any debate in Scotland about the 60million who are disenfranchised in this. What the cost to the rest of the UK is and whether that should be a pause for thought by you guys. And not just the millions of Scots who live in England. but we English and Welsh and Irish whose country will be torn asunder because at most 2million Scots want out? Do you have any conscience about that.

            Is your culture being trashed? Are Scots discriminated against? Is your wealth being plundered? No – 20 years ago a scary English tory lady imposded a tax on you when she should not have and ocassionally you don’t have Labour PMs of the quality of that great Scottish political giant – Gordon Brown. I think you are being pathetic and if you vote for independence it will lose lose for us all and something quite precious and special will have trashed for no good reason. Its like a husband wanting out of a marriage because he is a bit bored and wants to freshen his life up a bit. But still wants his cloths washed and his things kept at the old house, until he needs them.

            There my rant is over. Just listen to it and ask yourself if you can feel any conscience at all?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              I can make their case for them. The Londonistan bubble is a creation of the mass of people you speak of, and it is an abomination. That bubble is a problem for all of the mass. Popping that bubble is a good thing for all.

            • dougthedug

              I didn’t realise you’d written a humorous comment until I read this.

              “…and ocassionally you don’t have Labour PMs of the quality of that great Scottish political giant – Gordon Brown.”

              Great stuff!

              • Doggie Roussel

                Yes Dougthedug… that really does call Mr Richardson’s sanity and credibility into question…

                Gordon Brown must exceed Lord North, Ted Heath and Anthony Eden as the worst Prime Minister that this country has ever had to endure.

                • Whyshouldihavetoregister

                  Look up the word ‘irony’ in your dictionary, would you?

                • Alexsandr

                  what about harold wilson?

                • Doggie Roussel

                  A shifty, womanising alcoholic… but weren’t many of our best Prime Ministers… not that I’m suggesting that Wislon (Private Eye) falls into that category.

                  Wilson had a first class brain, until it was demolished with booze and Alzheimer’s… but he was so utterly devoid of charisma and inspiration that he left a snail trail over his years in office, rather than blazing across the firmament like a comet.

                • Jambo25

                  Wilson was a shifty, dishonest paranoid mentalist who ran a government which was a circus of grotesques. As a PM he was infinitely worse than Brown.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, the Broon was infinitely bad, and one would think it would be impossible to stack infinity upon infinity.

                  Further, if the Broon as a function of ” bad x ” approaches a limit of infinity, it’s impossible to introduce a limit further out on any 2-dimensional ordinates to describe another bad PM.

                  So as I’m sure you’d now agree, we’ve mathematically proven that the Broun is the worst and I mean the WORST there has ever been or ever will be. The last part of that hypothesis is a given and obviously doesn’t require a proof.

                • Jambo25

                  Politically, I don’t like Brown at all but the hatred of him which is frequently expressed in the English MSM verges on the pathologically hysterical. To say that he is the worst PM ever shows an alarming lack of historical knowledge given some of the absolute clunkers we’ve had in the past.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …none more clunkier than the Broon, lad.

                • Jambo25

                  Baldwin, Chamberlin, Eden, Douglas-Home, Wilson etc.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The Broun was worse.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Nothing wrong with Lord North.

            • Andy Ellis

              Oh do try to do at least a modicum of research. Around 800,000 scots live in England. I imagine a good proportion would take Scots citizenship in the event of a Yes vote. A large number of English, Welsh and NI folk live in Scotland; I imagine a fair few will want Scottish citizenship, many however will prefer to retain rUK passports.

              You seem to have a faulty understanding of how democracy works. Those resident in Scotland decide on independence. Those who don’t vote can’t complain about the outcome, any more than people now who didn’t vote in the GE or AV referendum can complain about the outcome.

              Your harking back to the emotional/historic aspects of the union betrays your lack of understanding of the Scottish political situation, and the nature of current civic nationalism. What is unconscionable is not changing Scottish society for the better when we have the chance. The shambolic, crypto-medieval UK system isn’t for for purpose, and can’t be rendered so; the only realistic option is to euthanise it now, to the great benefit of BOTH parts of broken UK.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …you jocks won’t be doing that, unfortunately. The socialist teat is too comfortable for you to spit out.

                • Alex

                  Oh dear – a troll who has mastered copy-and-paste functionality.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh dear, a nattering internet nabob who has mastered nabobery.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Bingo. The shiny eyed zealots who are driving this separatist movement are concurrently headed pellmell for the EUSSR. It’s like children running away from the terrible people at home, to go and join the circus, which they’re sure will be just wonderful for them, but then finding out the circus isn’t quite what they imagined it would be.

      This movement might have succeeded and been a very good thing for all, if it had been founded on true independence, and true freedom and liberty, and not just blind separatist rage coupled with a grasping for the authoritarian socialists in Brussels.

      • Jambo25

        Speaking as a “shiny eyed zealot” I have to say that I prefer the relatively rational people of the EUSSR than mouth breathers like your good self.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, you socialist jocks think the EUSSR is “rational”.

          The referendum is going down, so I guess we’ll never know how it would have all turned out at the circus.

    • Jambo25

      So should all Christians keep out of politics.

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