There has been much talk recently of the future relationship between an independent Scotland and the European Union.
However, one aspect of the debate appears to have been completely neglected.
Currently, Scotland – population: five million – is represented in Brussels by only six MEPs, the same number as Malta (population: 420,000). However, were Scotland to become independent and a member state of the EU in its own right, its number of MEPs would double to 12. Even the highly partisan House of Commons foreign affairs select committee admits that the "allocation of seats in the European Parliament disproportionately favours small states; thus, Scotland's MEPs would double in number".
Not only would Scotland have its own seat at the top table and a voice on the international stage, but the number of representatives championing Scottish interests and concerns at the heart of Europe would double, in turn doubling Scotland's prominence and influence.
The evidence confirms that independence will not result in separation, isolation or loss of influence. Independence will place Scotland at the heart of the international community in the UN and EU, whereas the Union leaves us powerless on its fringes as a mere "region" of Britain.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.