Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 election

Solving the EU Conundrum

The Scots (at least some of them) want independence but want to stay in the EU.  The Conservatives seem to want to be out of the EU but are wary of negotiating such a position.

The President of the EU Commission says that Scotland, if it achieves independence will have to re-apply for EU membership as outsiders.

A suggestion (bear with me!):

If we change the referenda about and instead of asking:

  • Scots: Should Scotland be an Independent Country?
  • The United Kingdom: Should the United Kingdom be in the EU?

We should instead ask (sequentially):

  1. The English, the Welsh and the Northern Irish: Should we leave the United Kingdom?  Voting “yes” makes us a “new entity” that the EU would not recognise as part of the EU and since we would not want to be members of the EU there would be no need to negotiate an exit.
  2. The Scots (now the only members of the UK): Do you wish to federate with the newly independent England, Wales and Northern Ireland?  Voting “No” would achieve/maintain independence and (because they are the rump of the UK) would maintain EU membership without any need to negotiate (because in the eyes of the EU Commission they are the existing state called the UK).

Just a thought.

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