An election and its consequences: Scotland’s possible path back to the EU

An election and its consequences: Scotland's possible path back to the EU

Thus: May 6, 2021 at 4:46 am.

Ahead of today’s regional elections in Great Britain, much will revolve around a possible new Scottish independence referendum. Even if it comes to that, the road back to the EU is long, despite all the odds.

Von Astrid Coral,
ARD studio brussels

“Leave a light on,” said then-MEP Elin Smith in a speech to the European Parliament in 2019. So that Scotland can return home.

astrid coral
ARD studio brussels

Home – to Aileen Smith who is EU. Scott is now in the British House of Commons and belongs to the Scottish National Party, the SNP. Its top candidate, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, wants citizens to vote on independence for the second time since 2014 if they win the election – and bring Scotland back to the European Union.

Too many obstacles to second referendum

It will be a long road with many obstacles. The first important question for David McAllister, MEP from the CDU, is whether the SNP will win an absolute majority today and how high it will be.

Should he get an absolute majority, that would give the party, according to his statements, the moral and political legitimacy to launch a second independence referendum – hence the argument in Edinburgh.

The British government would have to agree to a possible referendum. And Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already made it clear – there will be no more votes with him in Scotland.

Scotland must go through an accession process

Nevertheless, discussions are ongoing about the pros and cons of leaving and a possible return to the EU. One can imagine this, Fabian Zulig of the European Policy Center think tank in Brussels.

I think the basic requirement is that freedom is legally in order, i.e. that you can be recognized as a free country.

If Scotland ever meets this requirement and knocks on the EU’s door, it will have to go through the normal accession process. And it doesn’t happen overnight, explains Katrina Jau, MEP from SPD.

Because even with a country that would have already been a member as part of another country, a new contract must be negotiated in such a case. This will probably be easier than others because you already knew some of the rules, but it will be a process you will have to go through first.

Scotland must also meet all economic, political and legal requirements, says David McAllister. For this, important questions have to be clarified. For example, how to deal with the fact that an external EU border would arise between Scotland and England. And finally, a majority in all member states and the European Parliament has to agree.

“UK Domestic Matter”

For David McAllister, who has Scottish roots, and for Katrina Barley, who also holds a British passport, it’s all too far. First there should be a referendum. And when it comes to that and potential freedom, both are clearly reluctant. This is a matter within the UK.

This is why you will find people in European institutions across Europe who are very cautious about this topic, as it is a very polarizing topic within Scotland.

Political expert Fabian Zulig says: “If it comes to a plebiscite, it will have to be dealt with more openly because one has to decide if this country decides to become independent and for membership.” If so, how to deal with it?

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It would also mean that the EU would have to tell if it had left the light for the Scots.

Before the election: Scotland’s possible way back to the EU

Astrid Coral, ARD Brussels, 6.5.2021 12:32 am.

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