EU Commission Confirms Independence Position Unchanged

The European Commission has today confirmed its position on an independent Scotland’s EU membership remains unchanged from existing statements, saying that comments yesterday had been misinterpreted by many and that they wished to make it clear that they would not interfere in the internal affairs of Member States – including on Scottish independence.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith said:


“The Commission has made it absolutely clear today that it will not interfere in Scotland’s independence negotiations, saying that it is an internal matter for us and that it is not the Commission’s business.

"Scotland’s membership of the EU after independence will continue; we are citizens of a Member State of the EU now and we’ll continue to be citizens of a Member State of the EU after independence.

“In 1998 the Guardian reported that, "A spokesman for the commission in London said that Scotland could be admitted to the EU on the same day that it became independent, after completing a series of formalities."

“That was backed up by Labour MEP David Martin who said, at a public conference we were both at, in January 2008, that the reality of the situation was that “a way would be found to keep Scotland in the EU."

“In June of this year, lawyers for the EU said an independent Scotland could be treated as one of two successor states.

“The whole point to the independence discussions is that the people of Scotland will be in charge of their own future.”

Video of Commission statement is here - http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/player/streaming.cfm?type=ebsvod&sid=210600

The text is: “The position of the Commission remains unchanged and has been set out clearly, including in replies to Parliamentary Questions. In the hypothetical scenario of a part  of a European Union MS wishing to leave that MS, it is first and foremost an internal matter within that MS to define the arrangements.  There are several theoretical scenarios envigeable under international law.  The Commission cannot speculate on which choices would be retained: in any case is not our business. The reference to one scenario in reply to a question yesterday cannot be taken as an indication of any Commission view on which scenario might apply in any hypothetical case.”