Scotland, Against all odds 

Article published on March 13, 2014
Article published on March 13, 2014

After David Ca­me­ron, it is now José Ma­nuel Bar­roso who’s raising an obstacle to Scotland’s march towards independence. The referendum, scheduled on 18th Sep­tember 2014, will solve the question, but, in the meantime, it stirs up passions and fosters double-talks. 

The British Prime Min­is­ter, who has or­gan­ised the ref­er­en­dum and ac­knowl­edged its va­lid­ity what­ever the re­sult, had asked the Scot­tish peo­ple for a neg­a­tive vote dur­ing his speech on the 1st of Jan­u­ary 2014.  The de­bate was then rekin­dled re­gard­ing the cur­rency in use. On the 13th of Feb­ru­ary, the Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer, George Os­borne, un­der­lined that if Scot­land ever got its in­de­pen­dence, the new Scot­tish gov­ern­ment wouldn’t be al­lowed to use the British Pound as its cur­rency.

Fi­nally, on the 16th of Feb­ru­ary 2014, the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Pres­i­dent tried to give the last straw by stat­ing the EU will not ac­cept the new Scot­tish state as a mem­ber. He then ex­plained his words by say­ing that « it would be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to have the agree­ment of all the other mem­ber states to the in­te­gra­tion of a new mem­ber com­ing from an ex­ist­ing mem­ber state ». He com­pared the Scot­tish case to the Kosovo ex­am­ple, high­light­ing that this na­tion wasn’t rec­og­nized as a state and couldn’t ask for EU mem­ber­ship.  How­ever, the Scot­tish rul­ing party (Scot­tish Na­tional Party) quickly un­der­lined that Kosovo wasn’t part of a Eu­ro­pean State, which is there­fore very dif­fer­ent from Scot­land.

Hence, we are wit­ness­ing a new kind of process. The Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion com­ment­ing on States’ in­ter­nal af­fairs, some­thing it didn’t dare to do for the Cata­lan ques­tion. While some might ques­tion the mo­ti­va­tions of the Com­mis­sion’s Pres­i­dent and see an elec­toral manœuvre, the ques­tion of a po­ten­tial Scot­tish State in the EU re­mains unan­swered. A lot of el­e­ments are ris­ing up against Scot­land, while it is only fol­low­ing a de­mo­c­ra­tic process. All sce­nar­ios are how­ever still pos­si­ble given the ap­prox­i­mate stance of both the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion and West­mins­ter on the EU mem­ber­ship ques­tion as well as on the use of the British Pound.

The ap­point­ment is set for the 18 Sep­tem­ber.