UCL News


UCL Comment: Kosovo could end Scotland's European dream

26 February 2008

Simon James, 'Financial Times' Scotland's nationalists have always affected breezy insouciance about Europe, asserting that an independent Scotland would automatically remain an EU member state.

Not necessarily. Legal analysis by the UCL Constitution Unit suggests that Scotland would not automatically inherit membership. …

The Scottish nationalists' fallback is to argue that other EU states would never lock Scotland out. Most EU members, including probably the residual UK, would probably reason like that. Yet this seriously underestimates the fear that runs through those countries that oppose Kosovo's independence. Their motivation is nationalist and, like the Scottish National party, they put their nation first. …

If these countries think Scottish independence will encourage their separatists - and Basque leaders and Turkish Cypriots have openly hailed Kosovo as a precedent - blocking Scottish EU membership would be their only means of hindering it. …