• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Nicola Sturgeon says an independent Scotland would apply to rejoin the EU

ByPaul Battle

Nov 8, 2022
An image of the Scottish Parliament debating hall

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that an independent Scotland would apply to re-join the EU.

Given that during the 2016 Brexit referendum, all 32 local authorities in Scotland voted to remain in the EU, this may not come as a surprise.

In order to re-join the EU as an independent state, Scotland would encounter some economic and political hurdles.

The EU requires that each of its members are politically stable, with a proven democracy.

It also requires that its member states have a secure economy and would not become a financial issue for the bloc.

The political requirements of joining the EU would not be a problem for Scotland as it has over 20 years’ experience of representative democracy.

This particular requirement has been an on-going issue for some Balkans countries which wish to join the EU but have not been deemed politically stable enough by the bloc.

A greater challenge to Scotland re-joining the EU is the state of its public finances. 

Scotland has a much higher deficit than EU rules would normally permit.

To meet the EU’s requirements, Scotland would have to make large cuts in public spending. 
Brussels would not want to admit a fiscal dilemma and instead would want to be sure that Scotland would be a net-contributor to the EU budget.

However, with economic planning, there is no reason to believe Scotland could not act financially secure.

Finally, each existing member state of the EU would have to accept Scotland.

Spain could raise an objection, as they may not want to make independence seem a feasible and attractive option for some of its regions.

However, some Spanish politicians have said the issue would be resolved if Madrid was sure that Scotland was applying like any other member would and was not receiving any special privileges.

If Scotland were to gain independence, there would be no insurmountable challenges to joining the EU.

However, to get to that stage, Sturgeon still needs to get a second referendum legalised, win the vote, and then put it into law.

File:Debating chamber, Scottish Parliament (31-05-2006).jpg” by User:pschemp is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.