CAMERON BLUEPRINT TO PUNISH SCOTLAND; Scots Could Face Veto on EU Membership; 'Remaining-UK' Could Keep Scots out of EU

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), February 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

CAMERON BLUEPRINT TO PUNISH SCOTLAND; Scots Could Face Veto on EU Membership; 'Remaining-UK' Could Keep Scots out of EU


Byline: by Brendan Carlin

DAVID Cameron could punish an independent Scotland for breaking away from the UK by blocking its attempt to get back into the EU.

The Prime Minister could 'veto' First Minister Alex Salmond's application to rejoin the EU if the divorce from the rest of the UK were less than 'amicable'.

Spain, Belgium and Italy could also block Scotland's re-entry amid fears it would encourage the break-up of their own countries.

And England could build Hadrian's Wall-style border controls to stop illegal immigrants flooding the rest of the UK.

These are among the dramatic possible consequences of Scottish independence outlined in a Foreign Office memo leaked to The Mail on Sunday. The document refers to the remnants of the UK if Scotland went it alone as 'remaining-UK.' Entitled An Independent Scotland and the EU, it also says: ? Scotland would be forced to join the euro if it is regarded as a 'new state' by Brussels.

The UK would lose influence in Brussels as its voting strength would be slashed.

Mr Cameron could be forced to surrender part of the UK's [pounds sterling]3 billion EU rebate to Scotland.

The 'remaining-UK' may itself be forced to reapply to join the EU.

The memo flies in the face of claims by the Coalition that Scotland's economy will suffer a hammer blow if it cuts its links with the UK. It says: 'Whether the economic effects passport controls. It says a fully-fledged international border would be necessary as Scotland would become part of the openborders system used by 25 European states but which Britain has opted out of. It would also mean Scotland leaving the Common Travel Area involving the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

But a spokesman for Mr Salmond said: 'All these tired old scare stories are demonstrably untrue - they are insulting to Scotland and the only effect they are having is to boost support for independence. As legal, constitutional and European experts have confirmed, the reality is that Scotland is part of the territory of the European Union and the people of Scotland are citizens of the EU - there is no provision for either of these circumstances to change upon independence and the rest of the UK will be in exactly the same position.

'All the claims these inept Whitehall sources are making against an independent Scotland would apply equally to the rest of the UK - and they are equally ridiculous.

'The cast iron position is that an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound - even the Scottish Secretary in the UK Government has said that, so the Westminster coalition is totally incoherent. …

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