More European politicians recognise Scotland’s status or prospect of independence
POLITICIANS FROM ACROSS EUROPE raised Scotland’s future in Europe during the crucial opening debate on Brexit negotiations in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The debate, which overwhelmingly passed a motion including recognition of Scotland’s vote to remain in the European Union, was the latest example of growing awareness of Scotland’s constitutional status among continental leaders.
Whereas in the 2014 independence debate European politicians were careful to avoid intruding into the question of Scotland’s future, the Brexit issue has raised the prospect of an independent Scotland seeking its own terms with European partners in the near future.
The most exceptional turn around in the debate came from Spanish unionist politician González Pons MEP, who in 2012 co-ordinated a hardline anti-independence pact with the Tories. Pons hit out at Tory hypocrisy on Scotland stating: “They are wrong because they are preventing Scotland from staying in Europe, while allowing Gibraltar to continue to be a tax haven.”
Pons’ comments, from the Spanish governing Partido Popular party, follows full confirmation by Spain that it will not veto Scottish membership of the EU – correcting widespread misinformation.
French conservative Franck Proust MEP, from the Union for a Popular Movement, raised the prospect of independence so that Scotland could “stay close to the world’s leading economic powerhouse, the European Union”.
French political party the Union of Democrats and Independents previously wrote to the French president stating that the EU door should remain open to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The comments from France and Spain follow more explicit comments of support from leading European politicians including President of the European Movement Jo Leinen MEP, Sean Kelly MEP from Irish governing party Fine Gael, ally of German chancellor Elmar Brok MEP, Brexit negotiation Guy Verhofstadt MEP, Manfred Weber MEP, and Poland’s Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, to name a few.
— Robbie (@RobDunsmore) April 5, 2017
Catalan MEP Dr. Josep Maria Terricabras called for Brexit talks to respect the interests of Scotland, Northern Ireland & Gibraltar.
Polish MEP Janusz Lewandowski said in his view: “Scotland has one vision of the future. Northern Ireland has another. England has a third.”
Meanwhile, Scottish MEP Alyn Smith told the parliament that he was “heartbroken” at the Tory-led retreat from cooperation with the EU, and reaffirmed that Ukip and the Tories have no democratic mandate from Scotland.
Picture courtesy of Giampaolo Squarcina
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