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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 15, 2017, 05:47 PM

6. And so the propaganda war starts for real.

With all due respect to Giles Tremlett, that reads like a bunch of slanted hooey from the title on (despite the weird backtracking in the last two paragraphs, saying that "If they are patient, and wait for Brexit before leaving the UK, they will have a far better chance of a quick return to the EU. Unlike other applicants, Scotland’s laws already meet all the necessary requirements. And Spain would gain very little from making life difficult for a country that became legally independent outside the EU," so maybe the sub-editor has to take the lion's share of the blame for giving it the stupid and unfounded title "Why Spain will block any attempt by Scotland to join the EU", and could as well have been written a year or more ago.

We have a succession of Spanish politicians going on the record over the last year or two, and even this last week or two, reiterating again and again that they see no parallel between the situation of Scotland and that of Catalonia, and that once Scotland attained independence, all bets would be off. Here's a recent example:

Spanish MEP from ruling party: We won't veto Scotland's EU membership

SPAIN would not block a bid by Scotland to rejoin the EU, according to a senior MEP from the country’s ruling party.

Esteban Gonzalez Pons from Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party said the Catalonian situation was “very different” to that in Scotland, and indicated concerns over the possible breakaway of the province from Spain would not be an obstacle if a newly independent Scotland wanted to join the EU.

Anti-independence campaigners in Scotland have frequently suggested Rajoy and his party would block Scotland if it tried to apply for membership of the EU after a successful independence vote because to do so would be to encourage Catalan separatists.

But in an interview for the BBC Pons said: “If Scotland wants to come back [into the EU] they have to begin the procedure as would any other country.” Asked if Spain would veto a Scottish application, Pons said: “No. If they are thinking about Scotland the Catalonian situation is very different to the Scottish situation.”


If you read Spanish, here's El Mundo:

And if that's not enough, here's a UK TV clip:

Pilar Fernandez @pilaraymara

#TheSpanishVetoMyth debunked #ScotlandinEurope #Brexit #indyref2 🙂

Tremlett's also plain wrong, or deliberately misleading, on a number of other issues, like:

Foreign minister Alfonso Dastis has been crystal clear about what would happen if Scotland left the UK before Brexit. “If by mutual agreement and by virtue of constitutional change Scotland ended up being independent, our thesis is that it could not stay inside the European Union,” he said this week. “It would have to join the queue, meet the requirements, go through the recognised negotiating system and the end result will be whatever those negotiations produce.”

That's not a "no", not a threat of veto, it's a banality. There is no "queue" in the sense of "first applied, first acceded". It's a question of compliance with the requirements for membership, and we have senior EU politicians on the record this last week, saying that if Scotland gained independence and applied for entry, it could be a quick and easy negotiation because (as Tremlett concedes above) it's already legally in compliance with the main aquis strictures:

Gareth Quinn @GarethBQuinn

Elmar Brok MEP, Chair of European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs: "Easy negotiations" if Indy Scotland wanted to join EU #ScotRef

I won't bother picking over the other myths in this article as it's not worth it, but the measure of it and the writer can be seen by its parroting of the lazy myth that Scotland would have to "join the euro". Tell that to Sweden, which acceded in 1994, doesn't use the euro, and has no plans to do so (or indeed Croatia, a more recent entrant that hasn't adopted the euro). The Maastricht Treaty says that signatory states should join the eurozone once they meet the necessary conditions, but it sets out no timescale whatsoever for doing so, and no penalties for not doing so.

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