Yes group welcome expert report highlighting ‘uninterrupted’ EU membership


  Lawyers for Yes today welcomed authoritative new research which confirms an independent Scotland can continue European Union membership without need to re-apply.
Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, professor of European and human rights law at Oxford University, says that under existing European Treaties there is no reason why an independent Scotland’s “uninterrupted membership of the EU” would not be preserved.

In a detailed research paper entitled How easily could an independent Scotland join the EU?, Professor Douglas-Scott concludes that an independent Scotland’s EU membership should be assured, “relatively smooth and straightforward.”

She says this can be achieved by using the treaty amendment procedure of Article 48 of the EU Treaties and would take the form of an internal enlargement.

Professor Douglas-Scott says: “These arguments are made on the basis of EU law itself, which, it is argued, provide all the resources necessary to assure an independent Scotland’s EU membership through EU treaty amendment, and not through a cumbersome accession process as a new member state. In particular, the values, norms and “special ethos” of the EU, expressed in concepts such as EU citizenship, fundamental rights and duties of loyalty, combine to provide a reasoned justification for such internal enlargement.”
She says it will be necessary for negotiations to commence immediately upon a Yes vote in the independence referendum.

Joanna Cherry QC, a founder member and convener of Lawyers for Yes, said: “This research paper, from an eminent and authoritative source, comprehensively supports the views of the Scottish Government and Lawyers For Yes that, as a matter of EU law, Scotland would continue to be a member of the EU after a Yes vote.”

Ms Cherry added: “Voters should appreciate that the real threat to their continuing citizenship of the EU and all the rights that go with it comes from a No vote. If we stay with the UK an in/out referendum will inevitably follow with the likely result  that Scotland will be taken out of the EU, against the wishes of the people who live here.”