I see Jose Manuel Barros, President of the EU Commission, has just announced that an independent Scotland would have to apply for EU membership and would not be able to carry over its membership as part of the UK to its independent status if the 2014 referendum goes in favour of independence. This runs contrary to claims by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond.
While this is a blow for those Scots with nationalist aspirations (with whom I sympathise, as I sometimes wish North East England could put itself out of reach of inevitably-damaging Tory governments), it’s great news for ordinary people in the UK as a whole.
As I wrote recently, the Tories know that they have a better chance of clinging to power if Scotland secedes, and in spite of their instinctive desire to maintain the Union (the only union they do like), they have recently started making announcements that demonstrate a tactical, hypocritical readiness to provoke Scotland to vote in favour of independence in order to improve their chances of continuing to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of ordinary people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is a classic Tory ‘divide and conquer‘ ploy, but on a huge scale, and while Scots might escape this robbery in the short term, in the long run they’re more vulnerable, as a smaller, single country, to being picked off by concerted, international neoliberal actions to bring them to heel.
The best option for all of us, in my opinion, is for ordinary people all over the UK to work together and fight back in a concerted, co-ordinated manner to consign the Tories to political irrelevance for the foreseeable future. It can be done, but only if we stick together.
In unity is strength.