Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Complications of independence

It may be that negotiations could resolve some of the issues, but if Scotland opts for independence, there will be many details to work out.

Scotland Faces More Hurdles if It Approves Independence
Scotland would have to renegotiate membership in the European Union and other international organizations if it votes for independence in a referendum next year, according to legal advice published on Monday by the British government…

[T]he document drew a prickly response from advocates of Scottish independence, who have treated the question of European Union membership for an independent Scotland as essentially a technical issue.

The European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, said last year that an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership. That raised the possibility that Scotland would, like other newly admitted members, be obliged to adopt the euro currency, an unpopular prospect in Scotland…

The legal advice suggests that if Scotland becomes independent, it will be a “new state,” while the “remainder of the United Kingdom” would be considered a “continuing state,”… The continuing state would automatically keep the rights, obligations, memberships, treaty relationships and powers under international law that the United Kingdom currently has, while the new state would have to start from scratch…

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