Scotland Is in Favour of EU Membership
The Scottish government and its citizens have made their stance on EU membership crystal clear. In the 2016 EU Referendum, a significant 62% of Scottish voters chose to remain part of the EU. This result was emphasized by Nicola Sturgeon, former leader of the SNP, as an undeniable and steadfast endorsement of EU membership. The issue has caused substantial rifts within the UK, mainly due to the negative impact Brexit has had on the country’s economy and global standing.
EU Market Boosts Trade
Re-establishing an open border between Scotland and the EU would bring substantial economic advantages to Scotland. Being the world’s largest single market, the EU presents significant trade prospects for Scotland, with export values to this market exceeding those of the rest of the UK. By achieving independence from the UK and becoming an EU member, Scottish enterprises would unlock access to a consumer base of more than 500 million potential customers.
Trade Opportunity Inside EU Is Immense
Extensive research conducted by the Scottish government demonstrates that EU membership holds the potential for increased trade and economic growth for Scotland. Moreover, as EU citizens, Scottish businesses and individuals would enjoy the freedom to trade, work, travel, and reside in 27 other European countries. Facilitating interactions and movements between Scotland and the EU would contribute to smoothly transferring goods and services.
Scotland Is a Potential Trade Power
Scotland’s prospective EU membership carries substantial economic consequences, especially within vital industries like food and beverage, engineering services, advanced manufacturing, technology, digital media, chemical sciences, financial and business services, and energy resources. As a technologically advanced nation, Scotland can enhance its border procedures with the EU by implementing efficient systems akin to the single trade window adopted by countries like the United States and New Zealand.
Scotland Might Rejoin EU Either in Short or Long Time
The process of becoming an EU member state will undoubtedly be time-consuming. An independent Scotland could rejoin the EU within three to four years. According to an analysis by the Scottish government, the process could take up to eight years, but optimistic estimates suggest it could be completed in half that time. In either case, EU membership negotiations for Scotland might be swift and intensive.
EFTA countries joined the EU Fast
There are instances of countries joining the bloc for relatively short or long periods, as former EFTA countries Austria, Sweden, and Finland completed their accession talks within 13 months “politically” and 17 months to negotiate and sign the accession treaties. An additional six months were then allocated for ratification, meaning they joined the EU in around two years.
EU Membership Could Took Over a Decade
There have been cases of countries with protracted EU membership processes, such as Bulgaria and Romania, whose requests to join were submitted in 1995 before finally becoming members in 2007. Scotland has the potential to transition seamlessly into a prosperous EU member state, having been part of the EU for 47 years. The nation has already been part of the Single Market and the Common Agricultural Policy and adheres to their rules.
Rules & Laws in Scotland Is Similar to Democratic EU States
Scotland adheres to a substantial portion of the EU’s rules and regulations. As a European nation boasting an advanced democracy and a well-developed free-market economy, it stands in a favourable position to address the political and economic aspects of the Copenhagen criteria. The Scottish government maintains its commitment to align with EU law to the extent feasible. The primary challenge for Scotland would revolve around demonstrating its institutional capacity to fulfil the duties and obligations associated with EU membership competently.
Majority of Scots Want EU Membership
As a collective, the Scottish electorate has consistently demonstrated support for EU membership. The decisive vote to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum highlighted the nation’s commitment. Moreover, Scotland already aligns with vital EU policies, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Customs Union. Essential issues for negotiation, such as Scotland’s budget contribution and its position on Schengen, justice, and home affairs, would also be addressed.
Political Will Makes Procedure Shorter
Scotland can apply under Article 49 TEU to initiate the EU membership process. It can follow the standard procedure for any new state seeking full EU membership. The European Commission would assess Scotland’s application and provide a non-binding recommendation to the European Council on whether to proceed. If given the green light, negotiations would begin. This preliminary stage could take up to a year, but it could be significantly shorter with political willingness.
Transition Period Has Its Own Rules
The subsequent phase of negotiations would result in an accession treaty, requiring unanimity from the Council, a majority from the European Parliament, and ratification from all Member States based on their constitutional requirements. It would be essential for Scotland to agree on transition periods before fully adopting EU rules it currently does not adhere to. This may include justice, home affairs, and budget deficits.
Currency Issue Could Extend EU Membership Talks
A notable consideration regarding Scotland’s EU membership is its currency. The SNP policy does not advocate for joining the Euro but proposes using its pound without a currency union with the UK. It is essential to recognise that as a member of the EU, the UK did not utilise the Euro either, as it has always maintained its currency. While this may not be a significant issue, it is a subject that could become a source of negotiations, further extending the timeline.
Scots Will Have Ultimate & Exclusive Authority
Scotland can become an EU member, but first, it needs to decide on its independence from the United Kingdom. The fact that Scots were forcefully removed from the EU without consent justifies the need for a second Scottish independence referendum. The SNP advocates for Scotland’s EU membership to be determined solely by the votes of Scots. Once independent, the Scottish people will have the ultimate and exclusive authority to decide their EU membership.
Scotland Can Re-establish Its Place in the EU
In summary, although the journey towards EU membership for an independent Scotland may entail significant time and effort, the prospect of Scotland rejoining the European Union remains viable. Scotland’s robust adherence to EU standards and regulations and its electorate’s endorsement of EU membership positions the nation advantageously. By adhering to the conventional membership process and resolving critical negotiation issues, such as currency arrangements, Scotland can progress towards reinstating its position within the EU. This move would open up economic prospects and bolster its global status.