Dear Heads of State and Government of the European Union, Dear President of the European Council, Dear President and Members of the European Parliament, Dear President and Members of the Commission,
We are Europeans from all over the continent and around the world. Of course, we don’t agree on everything. But we all agree: we want the people of Scotland to know that Europeans, wherever they are, would be happy to welcome them to the EU if that was still their democratic will.
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, not a single Scottish district voted to leave, and Scotland voted with a 62% majority to remain in the European Union. In subsequent years, the Scottish Parliament rejected the withdrawal process at every level. Yet in 2020 Scotland had to leave the European Union along with the rest of the UK.
When Scots voted to remain in the European Union, they did so as part of the UK. It is another matter to leave the UK to become a member of the European Union. It calls for its own referendum, which has been officially called by the Scottish Parliament and Government.. Currently, the British government is denying its authorization.
As long as this impasse persists, we must not remain idle. This is an unprecedented development that requires new thinking on the part of the European Union. We therefore ask you to ensure that the EU clearly indicates Scotland to become a member before any referendum on independence.
The normal procedure for the European Union is to respond to a request for membership only if it comes from an independent country.
Scotland deserves a separate process. Although it is legally part of the UK, the Scottish government cannot negotiate with the EU. But the latter can say that, because Scotland has been part of the European Union for a long time, if it becomes legally and democratically independent, it is likely to run as a ‘new’ candidate for EU membership. is not needed.
Rather, the EU and its member states should make a unilateral and open offer of membership: an extraordinary offer to meet the extraordinary circumstances of Scotland.
The EU has already shown that it can recognize the unique situation created by Brexit. The European Council unilaterally confirmed at its summit on 29 April 2017 that Northern Ireland If it votes to join the Republic of Ireland in the future, it will immediately become part of the European Union. The EU should give a similar guarantee to Scotland. It requires creativity and practicality.
No one knows the short- and long-term costs of Brexit for Scotland, or those associated with the break-up with the UK – issuing a new currency if the Scots want (let them join the euro or not). In this context, generous terms must be offered to support Scotland’s budget in the difficult months of transition before re-entering the EU.
These questions are important because they will allow any referendum to be a clear, practical and democratic choice for Scotland between two unions: the EU or the UK.
The European people must always defend democracy and solidarity. Accordingly, we ask you to express your solidarity with the citizens of Scotland and support a democratic decision on the future of Scotland.
among the signatories : Adam Toos, British historian; Saskia Sassen, Dutch sociologist; Paul Gilroy, English sociologist, winner of the Holberg Prize; Jaan Asman, cultural historian, German Peace Prize; Slavoj Zizek, Slovenian philosopher; Philip VanPeris, Belgian political economist; Roberto Saviano, Italian investigative journalist and author; David Edgerton, British historian; Etienne Balibar, French political philosopher; Thomas Hyland Ericsson, Norwegian anthropologist; Elena Ferrante, Italian novelist; Axel Honneth, German philosopher and sociologist; Daniel Kehlman, German-Austrian writer; Ian McEwan, British novelist and screenwriter; Kolam Tobin, Irish journalist and novelist.
To sign the letter and see a full list of signatories.