12 Sep 2012
A separate Scotland’s automatic entry into the EU has been again challenged by a senior European figure.
European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said any newly independent state would have to apply for membership, contrary to SNP assertions on the matter.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“This is an expert view that the SNP cannot simply ignore.
“Alex Salmond is already spending considerable sums of public money trying to suppress whether or not he has taken legal advice on EU entry.
“Now we have the European Commission reaffirming what everyone knows – that a separate Scotland cannot simply waltz into the EU unchallenged.
“Application to the EU means Scotland would have to take the Euro, could have huge implications about corporation tax – leaving the country at a disadvantage to the rest of the UK – and could affect border and passport arrangements.
“These are the questions that the people of Scotland need answered if they are to make an informed choice in the referendum.”
The SNP’s confusion over EU entry could also cost the country’s agricultural industry hundreds of millions of pounds.
As it stands, the EU grants Scotland £600 million a year in farming subsidy, something that would vanish instantly should Scotland separate from the rest of the UK, and fail to continue within the Europe.
Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson MSP said:
“The agricultural sector needs to think very carefully about this advice, given the amount of support for Scottish farming that comes from the EU.
“It is a fact that several member states, Spain in particular, would almost certainly oppose Scotland becoming a full member of the EU for their own political reasons.
“That would have a devastating effect on the amount of support available for agricultural and rural development in an independent Scotland.
“Scottish farming is unique, and current flexibility within the UK allows the Scottish Government to vary support schemes to address our own diversity.
“To try to support that diversity without the money that comes to Scotland every year through the CAP simply doesn’t add up.
“This is yet another question about a separate Scotland for which Alex Salmond has no answer.”
Farming in Scotland receives £600m in EU subsidy (under budget spreadsheets)
The Scottish Government itself has made reference to the importance of the £600m EU farming subsidy:
Olivier Bailly made the remarks on Tuesday: