Wednesday

23rd May 2018

Independent Scotland would face £500 million EU bill

  • Scotland would face a £500 million EU bill if it left the UK - Gordon Brown (c) told MEPs on Thursday (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

An independent Scotland would pay an extra £500 million a year to stay in the European Union, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has told MEPs.

“As part of the UK, the contribution made by Scottish taxpayers to the EU budget over 2014-20 would be around £8.5 billion [€10.6bn],” said Brown, who was speaking at a public meeting in the European Parliament on Thursday (26 June).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“But it is estimated that an independent Scottish state would contribute a total of around £11 billion to the EU budget over the same seven-year period."

He added that reduced subsidies for Scottish farmers under the EU’s common agricultural policy and lower structural funds would amount to another £1 billion.

The figures amount to a total shortfall to £500 million per year.

Brown also urged politicians to take the fight to rising nationalist and eurosceptic movements which took record numbers of seats at May’s European elections.

“The answer to nationalism is internationalism,” he said, adding that “better internationalism and EU global vision are the best way to combat extremism.”

“Nation states cannot solve the problems they face on their own.”

He told a packed audience, largely made up of MEPs and parliament officials, that the governments who had presided over the financial crisis were “guilty of failing to manage globalisation better”.

The former UK leader, himself a Scot, has largely withdrawn from front-line politics since his Labour government was defeated in 2010, but has emerged as an unlikely player in the referendum campaign.

The anti-independence No campaign brings together the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties in an unlikely coalition called "Better Together".

Scotland’s 4 million voters will decide on 18 September on whether to leave the UK, with recent opinion polls indicating that the No campaign is marginally ahead but with a crucial 15 to 20 percent of voters undecided.

A spokesman for Scottish first minister Alex Salmond told the BBC also on Thursday that an independent Scotland would “make sure we get a far better deal - a better deal which Gordon Brown comprehensively failed to achieve for Scotland when he had the power to do so.”

“Our farmers have lost out on €1 billion as a result of Westminster's decisions on CAP funding”.

Salmond’s nationalist government is anxious to remain part of the European Union and says it would re-write and agree the country's new EU membership terms in the 18 months after Scotland becomes independent in 2016.

It believes it can secure their own EU budget rebate, larger in proportional terms than the UK’s.

It would also bid to gain opt-outs from the euro and the Schengen agreement on border-free travel.

Focus

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?
  2. EU pessimistic on permanent US trade exemption
  3. US asks EU to go after Russian and African villains
  4. Facebook threatened with removal from EU-US data pact
  5. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of their advice to EU
  6. Athens mayor wants direct access to EU migration fund
  7. Nordics could be first carbon-negative region in world
  8. Zuckerberg and Trump top the EU's agenda This WEEK