There has been much comment in the media in recent days on the subject of an independent Scotland's membership of the EU following comments made by two EU officials ("Fresh doubt over SNP's EU position", The Herald, September 13).
I believe that any comparison with Catalonia is false as, if Catalonia were to become independent, it is my understanding that legally the Kingdom of Spain would remain as a sovereign state with Catalonia forming a completely new one. On Scottish independence, the existing sovereign state and EU member, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, would legally cease to exist by virtue of the dissolution of the Kingdom of Great Britain and there would be two new states created as a result: Scotland and the Union of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In February this year the EU Commission confirmed, in reply to a Catalan MEP, that in the event of Scotland becoming independent the two described as "parties concerned" would be regarded equally and refused to differentiate between them in terms of their continued EU membership.
In other words, both Scotland and the Union of England, Wales and Northern Ireland would need to go through exactly the same process of negotiation, whatever that might entail, to continue membership as successor states to the UK.
The First Minister has freely acknowledged that, as you report, but the failure of Scotland's Unionist leaders to acknowledge this level playing field once again illustrates their arrogance and tells us as succinctly as we need to be of their belief that everything which is now British ought to be inherited by England post-independence.
It is time they too started to stand up for Scotland and ceased to be so ready to give away Scotland's earned share of the UK's assets.
19 Kirkfield View,
Iain MacWhirter is right to suggest that Nicola Sturgeon should abandon forthwith the Scottish Government's action against the Information Commissioner ("EU has done nothing to help independence vote", September 13).
For the SNP to maintain it is "not in the public interest" for Scots to know whether the Scottish Government has sought legal advice on EU membership should Scotland become independent would be laughable if the stakes weren't so high.
The EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso asserted on Wednesday that Scotland would have to apply for EU membership if it became independent. The SNP should stop wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money and drop their court case, appealing against a decision by the independent Information Commissioner. The Scottish people deserve better.
Catherine Stihler MEP,
Rue Wiertz, Brussels.
Is it a coincidence that on the very day the Hillsborough report reveals what terrible consequences can arise if the authorities meddle in procedures when the situation on the ground does not suit them, that the EU President, a Portuguese who has not been an EU citizen as long as I have, attempts to exclude Scotland from the EU? Portugal only joined the then European Community in 1986, 15 years after the Scots became EU citizens.
The Scots are not some newly emerging nation from eastern Europe, nor are we some economic basket case from the Mediterranean screaming for financial support from the European Central Bank. Nor, indeed, are we a nation that has resulted from break up from the UK as a result of civil war.
The Scots are endeavouring to regain their independence through the ballot box – a perfectly normal democratic process as Jose Manuel Barroso should be well aware. The fact that there are demonstrations in Barcelona as Catalonia also make demands for independence from Spain, a move which Mr Barroso does not wish to encourage, is no excuse for being so devious.
It should be recalled that the first and highly respected Secretary-General of the Commission of the European Community from 1957 to 1987, Mr Emile Noel, was of the opinion that in the event of Scotland gaining independence, both Scotland and the remaining countries of what no longer would be the UK would both remain members of the EU. But the treaties would have to be amended after negotiation because of changes to the legal status of both nation states.
Mr Barroso would be well advised not to give a knee-jerk reaction to the perfectly democratic process in Scotland just because there is a problem in another EU member state.
14 Shawfarm Apartments,
It is disturbing to hear EU spokesmen state that Scotland will no longer be part of the EU if it were independent, and would have to re-apply for membership.
They also assert that the reduced UK state would not have to re-apply. Does this not view Scotland as a colony of London?
This is indeed a discriminatory position by the EU. Which part of the UK land mass possesses EU membership? If only London were left and the rest of the UK were a new state, would London still hold EU membership?
The EU spokesmen's view gives more rights to the people of London than to those of Scotland. I would urge Scotland not to re-apply to the EU but join the European Economic Area, which has trading rights in the EU but accepts no social diktats from them. Whatever the outcome Scotland will succeed as an independent state.
40 King's Meadow,