Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future Scotland in Europe The
By Dr James Wilkie
I am afraid that Nicola has
a mental hangup on the EU, and no amount of reasoned argument is going
to shift her from her fixed position.
The first question that has to be answered is: should Scotland be in the
EU in the first place, and if so why. How would membership benefit
Scotland? The SNP has never yet come up with an answer to this.
You don't join an international organisation just because it is there;
there has to be a reason for the step, and the balance between
advantages and disadvantages has to come out by a large margin on the
advantage side to justify the expense and complications involved.
This pie-in-the-sky reference to one hoped-for advantage that is in fact
completely illusory (as several commentators have pointed out, the EU
budget is fixed at its present level until 2020) is a fair indication
that the SNP cannot come up with a single concrete reason why Scotland
should seek EU membership at all.
Even if the CAP subsidies to Scottish farmers Ms. Sturgeon claims were
to be realised, they would still be no more than a fraction of our own
money being returned to us. As presently a net contributor to the EU it
would be much more economic to pay them ourselves rather than sending
the money on a tour to Brussels and with luck getting a fraction of it
The subregional EU is not European in scope. It represents only half of
Europe, despite its unjustified hijacking of the title. The other four
major European institutions, with up to 57 member states each, are
all-European in scope, with genuinely all-European parliaments.
Most people are unaware of how far the EU has been rendered redundant by
globalisation and global governance. For example, recent research has
revealed that some 80% of the EU's economic activity is now downstream
of the global organisations where the policy decisions are now taken -
the EU can only pass them on disguised as its own policy. It is the EU
itself that is governed by "fax diplomacy" on policies that it has no
power to alter.
All the EU and EFTA states are members of these global institutions like
the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) or the
all-important World Trade Organisation (WTO), etc. The difference is
that the likes of Norway, Iceland or even tiny Liechtenstein have a full
say in the formulation of economic policy, whereas the EU member states
are forbidden to put forward their own cases under the EU "common
policies" regulation and are represented by the EU Commission.
Fact is that, at the upstream decision making level, Norway and Iceland
have more economic clout than any EU member state, and just as much as
the EU itself. And still there are people who distort facts to disparage
EFTA/EEA membership for Scotland. As I have stated elsewhere, they need
their heads felt.
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