The fight is again for the future of Scotland.
A victory for separatist parties in last Thursday’s national elections could mean a divorce from Britain is still on the table.
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Green Party have set an independence platform and wish to return to the European Union.
The London government rules out another referendum, but if the time comes, how easy will it be for Scots to return to Europe?
Thus, Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Center on European Relations: “If it wins yes in the referendum, and everything happens in the next five years, Scotland will still be very close to EU laws and laws in Scots. There is almost half a century of experience. In the EU and I believe there is a common sentiment in favor of accession”.
Maintaining this current alignment with EU law will depend on how far the UK decides to move in a post-Brexit direction in the coming years. There will also be the question of the boundary between Scotland and England, one country within the European Union, the other outside.
On the European side, any agreement between Scotland and Brussels would require the blessing of all member states, with some countries, most notably Spain, having their own separatist problems to consider.
Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Center on European Relations, adds: “Spain would agree to the application for membership as long as the independence process was legal and constitutional, and what this would mean, particularly from the point of view of Spain and other EU countries.” From the point of view of the Member States, it is essentially that London and Edinburgh have to come to an agreement”.
One area of concern is public finance.
An independent Scotland could start its new life with a deficit much higher than the EU rules.
At the moment Brussels remains at the window, but in the near future there will come a point where that silence has to be broken.
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