Alex Salmond’s case for independence relies on Scotland joining the European
Union. If an independent Scotland was a member of the EU, then Scotland would be part of the single market and free movement of labour across the border could continue (an independent Scotland
would also have to join the euro, but that’s something Salmond is less keen to talk about). But, as one Whitehall source points out to me, it is far from certain that Scotland would be able
to join the EU.
The Spanish are currently blocking Kosovo’s accession to the EU. Why? Because the Spanish, who don’t even recognise Kosovo as a state, fear the implications of a region becoming
independent and then joining the EU. They worry that it would encourage Basque separatism. There’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t take a similar attitude to an independent Scotland,
especially if the PP — the current governing party — is in power.
Now, advocates of independence may dismiss this as an unlikely scenario. But it does illustrate just how much uncertainty independence would create.