Friday

27th May 2016

Independent Scotland could be €4.5bn worse off in EU

  • Sturgeon: An independent Scotland would get an extra £850 million in farm subsidies (Photo: The Laird of Oldham)

An independent Scotland would be up to £3.8 billion (€4.5 billion) poorer each year, the UK government warned on Friday (17 January).

Unveiling a 'Scotland Analysis' paper looking at the consequences independence would have on Scotland's international status, UK foreign secretary William Hague said in a speech in Glasgow that Scottish government confidence about its continued EU membership is "based on very shaky ground." 

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"On the terms of the White Paper alone, they are offering a fraction of what Scotland already has and at a higher price," he added.

Treasury minister Danny Alexander, whose constituency is in the Scottish highlands, noted that Scotland was between £1.9 billion and £3.8 billion better off in Europe as part of the UK.

"Leaving the United Kingdom we would see our international influence decrease and we would see the costs to our country increase," he said.

Unsurprisingly, the UK government's lawyers assert that Scotland would have to re-apply to join the EU if it voted for independence.

"As a new state, an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership of the international institutions. In some cases this would straightforward; in others, notably the EU, it would not," the paper warns.

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Hague said that Scots "should be in no doubt" that an independent Scotland would have to reapply for European Union membership.

According to analysis from Westminster, Scotland would also have to contribute to the EU budget without being entitled to any of the UK's £3.1 billion (€3.7 billion) per year rebate, although it does suggest that it would receive extra farm subsidies worth £850 million (€1 billion) from the bloc's common agricultural policy.

Scotland will vote on whether to leave the UK in September 2014.

The Scottish government estimates that it would then take eighteen months to negotiate the status of its independence from the UK and its continuing membership of the EU. But Alex Salmond, who leads the Scottish government, claims that the country would be able to renegotiate its status from within the 28-country bloc.

For her part, deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon hit back, suggesting that plans by David Cameron to renegotiate Britain's EU membership was a greater threat to Scotland's place in the EU.

"Nothing we propose changes the material conditions of any other member state - while they are so certain of complete success in their own ill-advised re-negotiations with the EU," he said.

EU to scrutinise environmental action

Modelled on the EU's economical monitoring mechanism, bi-annual reports should ensure that member states correctly implement the environmental acquis.

Nato mulls use of new drones near Libya

EUobserver has learned Nato may send powerful new drones near the Libyan coast should it receive permission from Libya's new unity government.

News in Brief

  1. Syrian refugees sue Denmark over immigration law
  2. Ukraine bans Gorbachev for backing Crimea's seizure
  3. Dozens dead in two shipwrecks outside Libya
  4. Slovak PM says his country is no place for Muslims
  5. Juncker's spin-doctor warns of populist 'horror'
  6. EU urges Hungary to end discrimination of Roma children
  7. Majority of voters think UK will stay in EU
  8. Leading MEP says Greek bailout will not work

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCAEducation and Training 2020 - Giving Young People the Workplace Skills They Need
  2. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  4. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  5. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  6. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  7. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  8. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  9. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  11. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  12. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan