Monday, 21 Sep 2020

Sturgeon’s Scottish independence dream in TATTERS: The three KEY demands from EU laid bare

The Scottish National Party leader has set out plans to break free of the United Kingdom in a bid to start membership talks with Brussels. But before she can succeed in her pro-European Union mission, the Scottish First Minister must answer three key questions posed by membership to the bloc. In a speech last week in Brussels, Nicola Sturgeon conceded the Scottish government would have to mitigate customs checks on the border with England.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We will seek to become an independent country and seek to establish EU membership.

“Ultimately when Scotland achieves independence I believe the case for us joining the EU will be an overwhelming one.

“I believe very strongly that our sovereignty will be amplified and not diminished by membership of the EU.”

She added: the country’s trawlermen would have to be betrayed as they are forced to obey the EU’s hated Common Fisheries and a heated row over the future currency would emerge.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Obviously when we see where the UK-EU relationship ends up then the Scottish government can work out how we mitigate that in a Scottish sense.

“It’s not independence that threatens borders. It’s Brexit that does that and it’s the approach to Brexit that’s being taken.”

Before Scotland could rejoin the EU, Brussels would insist on border controls with England to maintain integrity of its single market.

The negotiations would likely replicate the bitter dispute over the Northern Ireland border throughout the Brexit negotiations.

In theory, the only way to maintain with England would require Boris Johnson to sign up join to the EU’s single market and customs union, which the Prime Minister has repeatedly ruled out as a possibility.

On fisheries, Ms Sturgeon admitted Scottish fishermen would be forced to adhere to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFC).

She said the Scottish government would seek reforms to the Brussels system, but insiders have conceded the “odds would be stacked against them” in doing so.

Ms Sturgeon said: “My party is a long standing critic of the Common Fisheries Policy but I think Scottish fishermen were made promises during the referendum campaign that will be very hard to deliver.”

She has also pledged to keep the pound but has warned conversations would need to be had with Brussels.

The bloc is unlikely to accept a permanent solution where a member state’s currency is not pegged to the euro.

An EU source said: “Every member, unless they negotiate otherwise, will eventually have to join the euro, which is in the Lisbon Treaty.”

Without finding an answer to the questions, Ms Sturgeon will never be able to realise her dream of an independent Scotland rejoining the EU.

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