Scottish Greens: Parliament should unite to keep Scotland in Europe if England votes to Leave 


Greens back calls to defend Scotland’s EU relationship if Westminster overrules Scottish result

THE SCOTTISH GREENS will call for unity in the Scottish Parliament to keep the country in the European Union if votes from out with Scotland threaten the country’s place in Europe. 

Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would act to “protect” Scotland’s EU relationships, if a vote in the rest of UK backed a vote to Leave despite voters in Scotland wanting to stay. 

Ex-SNP leaders Alex Salmond and Gordon Wilson have called for direct negotiations between the Scottish Government and Brussels to make a specific deal for Scotland. 

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens told CommonSpace: “We’re committed to continuing to make the case for Scotland and the UK remaining inside the EU, and we’re convinced this is an argument which can be won next Thursday in all four nations. But if Scotland and the rest of the UK make different decisions it will of course be vital that Scotland’s voice is heard, and our interests as EU citizens defended. 

“The whole Scottish Parliament would have a role to play in working to keep Scotland in Europe, not just the minority government. But the clearest way to use that voice and protect those rights is to vote Remain.”

Although Scotland is expected to return a vote in favour of EU membership, a vote to Leave from the rest of the UK would likely swing the result. 

Nicola Sturgeon will seek to keep Scotland in the EU if UK votes to Leave

A major controversy over the impact of such an outcome is whether the Scottish Government would promote a second independence referendum. However, a spokesperson for Sturgeon raised expectations of a mid-way scenario where “diplomatic” routes to continued EU membership for Scotland could be discussed without an immediate rush to independence.

Queen Mary University of London academic Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott has said that Scotland could remain part of the EU with the rest of the UK outside – on the model adopted by Greenland (which is part of Denmark, but outside the EU while Denmark remains a member). `

However, this route would be fraught with legal and constitutional uncertainty. Any deal would conflict with the EU’s legal structure of negotiating only with independent states – yet a Brexit would be uncharted constitutional and legal territory for the organisation. 

The Leave campaign has claimed the Scottish Government would benefit from greater powers after a Brexit. 

Picture courtesy of Colin Hattersley

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