From Europe with love: 5 ways the euro press followed Scotland’s voice after Article 50

Nathanael Williams

As Article 50 was triggered European media commentators were giving their hot takes on where Scotland stood 

THE EUROPEAN press and commentariat were busy talking about the path that lies ahead for Scotland after UK Prime Minister Theresa May sent a letter yesterday (29 March) confirming the UK’s exit from the EU.

CommonSpace brings you some of the choicest parts of commentary and coverage that can be found on the European continent, looking at Scotland’s chances of independence and EU membership.

Here are 5 highlights from France, Germany, Italy and Denmark. 

1). The Long Divorce

The Italian AGL news, which coined the term “il lungo divorzio” or ‘the long divorce’ entertained the idea of Scotland becoming independent as almost inevitable. Other outlets and commentators on the continent focus on the fact that Scotland voted to remain by a large margin compared to England and Wales, which voted to leave. EU leaders might not be forthcoming with immediate and unequivocal support for an independent Scotland in the EU, but the European press is catching on to the idea.

2). It’s the final showdown

The Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet went for a touch of theatrics in proclaiming the combination of the Holyrood vote for ScotRef on Tuesday and the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday as “the final showdown”. The expectation in the paper’s eyes is that independence is a realistic possibility, but it does air concerns about whether Westminister “will approve a referendum plan”.

3). The cost of Brexit

Rossana Miranda at Formiche frames the triggering of Brexit in terms of Scotland being the cost that the UK will pay for Brexit and it’s “departure from the EU bloc”. The Italian commentary and news outlet also focuses on Scotland’s assets, including Scotland’s oil wealth but also mentioning that the nation has resources such as the whisky industry which the EU should welcome.

Miranda also points to the view growing in Europe that Scotland’s membership of the UK union actually costs it in terms of growth.

4). Pandora’s box

Gilles Senges, correspondent for L’Opinion, one of the biggest outlets in France, has spoken of the “near impossible” task of keeping the UK together. In his view the tensions of holding Scotland in the Union, preventing a referendum on a united Ireland and negotiating firmly with the EU can not be achieved.

He said: “For a vote supposedly to restore the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, Brexit could prove completely counterproductive!”

5). Growing certainty in vote

L’Opinion in its coverage, after the triggering of Article 50 and the receipt of the Brexit letter by EU President Donald Tusk, seemed to be assured that a vote on Scottish independence would happen. It takes Sturgeon at face value and believes that the UK Government will have little option but to grant a referendum in the time limit of the Brexit negotiations.

Pictures courtesy of Kitvet and CommonSpace

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.