EuroDiplomat

If Scotland becomes independent it will need to apply for EU membership

 

Theresa May might still be celebrating her latest success at the Commons (February 9), when all her nine proposals concerning the Brexit were approved by a large majority 494 to 122 votes. However, she must be concerned with a vote that took place on the previous day in Edinburgh.

 

The Scottish Parliament rejected a legislation that would give PM May the power to trigger the famous article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. The result leaves no place for doubt about Scottish intentions, the “Notification Bill” was defeated by 90 votes against 34.

Although the vote is not legally binding, it paves the way for another referendum on Scottish independence. The first one was held in September 2014. Back then 55,3% voters stated their will to remain within the UK. Now, the tables have turned. As Brexit is taking shape, the authorities in Edinburg are not willing to lose access to the European Single Market. It should be noted that when Brexit vote took place in June 2016, 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU.

Unfortunately, British negotiations or, better yet, speculations with regards to the withdraw from the EU are creating more and more uncertainty for Scotland. The Scots have already dreamt of automatically joining the EU in 2014. A wish that gained new momentum right after the Brexit vote.  Even former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt expressed such stance on his twitter account as follows:

 

Unfortunately, the position was not adopted by European policymakers. According to Jacqueline Minor, the European commission’s head of representation in the UK, Edinburg would still need to go under accession negotiations as properly established in article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty. Mrs. Minor believes that talks could move at a faster pace taking into account that Scotland already complies with European regulations. For Mrs. Minor, the most probable obstacle is timing. Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission, declared his willingness to expand the bloc during his tenure in office, i.e., 2020. Besides, there are already other candidates in line to join the EU.

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