SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today branded a report by Business for New Europe as nothing more than a “fantasy”, and has highlighted the inclusion of a number of basic errors within it.
"Scotland's position in Europe is clear and straightforward; Scotland, together with the rest of the UK, is part of the territory of the European Union and the people of Scotland are citizens of the EU and will remain so.
"Only last month legal experts were quoted as saying that Scotland's independent membership - like that of what's left of the UK - would be negotiated as a deal “done by the [European] Council, using qualified majority voting, and with the required say-so of the European Parliament" and in January EU lawyers said that Scotland and the UK would both be treated as successor states. That's not new, a Commission spokesman told the Guardian newspaper in 1998 that Scotland could be a Member State on the first day of independence.
"The idea that Spain would oppose Scotland's membership is a myth that has been exploded as well: the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said last month that, "Spain would have nothing to say, just that this does not affect us. No one would object to a consented independence of Scotland."
"The Business for New Europe report contains some basic errors, like the assertion that European enlargement requires adjustments to the founding treaties. Lisbon changed that and the treaties are now set up to accommodate enlargement without renegotiation. The report also appears to fail to understand that MEP numbers for each State are now determined by formula rather than negotiation and that weighted voting will disappear in November 2014 - just after Scotland votes for independence. The report is a fantasy reliant on inaccurate premises.
"The SNP welcomes all contributions to the independence debate but we would hope that organisations which tout themselves as expert voices would at least try to get the details right. Scotland will be an EU Member State on day one of independence."