Thursday, 21 February 2013

EU Will be "Anxious to Embrace" an Independent Scotland


The SNP today welcomed expert opinion that Scotland will be a welcome member of the European Union if we vote Yes in the referendum.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, who served as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and was a Foreign Office Minister in the last UK Labour government - serving in government alongside the No campaign chair Alistair Darling - told the BBC the EU would be “anxious to embrace” an independent Scotland.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown also told presenter Glenn Campbell that Scotland’s entry would be smooth and that the No campaign were “trying to make a mountain out of a molehill” on the process of independence.

Welcoming the comments, Annabelle Ewing MSP, a member of the Referendum Bill Committee, said:

“These sensible comments from a former UK Labour government minister completely back up the position of the Scottish Government that an independent Scotland will be 'welcomed to the top table in Brussels', as he himself puts it, 'with relative ease'.

“Mark Malloch-Brown served in government alongside Alistair Darling, so these comments are hugely embarrassing to the No campaign which he chairs.

“Lord Malloch-Brown's analysis that the No campaign is 'making a mountain out of a molehill for political reasons' on the process of independence demolishes their negative scaremongering.

“The EU is no stranger to dealing with new constitutional situations, and will adopt a common-sense approach - just as it has done in the past. The Irish Europe Minister - with Ireland currently holding the EU presidency - has already agreed with the Scottish Government that Scotland will negotiate its position as an independent EU member state from within, after a Yes vote in 2014 and before becoming independent in 2016.

“In reality the only threat to Scotland’s place in Europe is the dangerous moves by Westminster towards isolation from the EU and the single market of half-a-billion people. As Scotland looks to take our seat at the top table in Europe with independence, the Tory-led UK Government is fast scurrying towards the exit."
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