The anti-independence No campaign has been left with the unenviable task of arguing for an internationally isolated Westminster, as Labour and the Tories both move towards a referendum on EU membership which has attracted strong criticism from the United States and Germany.
The Westminster Government has increasingly distanced itself from the EU and David Cameron is soon expected to reveal plans on whether he will look to hold a referendum on withdrawing from the European Union.
Reports have also indicated that Ed Miliband is warming to the idea of calling for an in/out referendum on EU membership.
These moves have seen the USA take the unusual step of publicly intervening in the debate by warning that “We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU… That is in America’s interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it.”
Meanwhile the chair of the German Bundestag’s European Affairs committee warned that in the event of a referendum on EU membership, “Britain would risk being isolated. That cannot be in Britain’s interests.”
These interventions are hugely damaging to the anti-independence campaign as it is left with the daunting prospect of trying to argue that Scotland should remain tied to a Westminster system that key international partners have publicly warned is in danger of becoming isolated and inward looking.
Commenting, Dr Aileen McLeod said:
“These are hugely damaging interventions for the anti-independence No campaign as they have been left in the unenviable position of trying to argue that Scotland should remain tied to a Westminster system that is turning its back on the EU and becoming isolated.
“It is perfectly clear that the only significant threat to Scotland’s EU membership comes from Westminster, and its growing determination to pursue isolationism and withdrawal.
“With Labour and the Tories both moving towards supporting a referendum on EU membership, it seems that international isolationism is the policy of the anti-independence campaign.
“America and Germany clearly feel that it is not in their interests for the UK to turn its back on Europe and isolate itself from our partners in the EU.
“Just as such an approach is not in their interests, it is even more overwhelmingly not in Scotland’s interests. The only way that people in Scotland will be able to safeguard ourselves from such damaging isolationism is with a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in 2014.
“With our own membership in the EU, we will be able to ensure that Scotland always has a voice at the top tables of Europe so that the needs of people in Scotland are always pursued instead of being damaged by a Westminster Government that is more interested in turning its back on working with our partners.”