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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


Daniel Kenealy contributes to debate on Scotland and the EU

Piece in 'The Scotsman' argues that Jose Manuel Barroso's letter is not the final word.

The independence debate is in full flow in Scotland and the issue of an independent Scotland's position within the European Union (EU) is a cause of ongoing speculation.

Daniel Kenealy, in an opinion piece featured in The Scotsman on 13 December 2012, has argued that this week's letter from EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is far from the last word on this topic.

outfile2567The article, based on ongoing research, makes several points. First, there is no definitive legal solution to the puzzle; it will ultimately be decided through an interaction of law and politics. Second, the opposing arguments put forward by pro- and anti-independence forces are overly simplistic. Third, the notion that Scotland will be forced to adopt the euro is false. Fourth, the EU’s commitment to democracy and self-determination ought to tell us a lot about how this will play out.

The article argues that the quest for certainty on this issue is a futile one. With no precedent, nothing in the EU treaties, and no existing EU case law, the best we can do is apply common sense and political judgement. Doing so leads to the conclusion that while the precise details of an independent Scotland's membership of the EU are uncertain, its continuing membership of the EU is far less so.

The article was referenced by both the First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 13 December.

Read the article here.

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