SCOTLAND’S EU membership
could be decided in court if there is a Yes vote in the referendum,
according to a former European Court judge.
But Professor Sir David Edward believes Scotland would not be left
outside Europe if voters back independence, and could negotiate its
membership from inside.
Leaders such as European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and
European Council head Herman Van Rompuy have indicated that Scotland
would be left outside the EU and forced to re-apply.
However, Sir David insisted negotiations could get under way after a Yes
vote to “agree amendments to existing treaties to accommodate the new
situation and not, as Barroso and Van Rompuy suggest, one or more
Sir David, who indicated he will be voting No in the referendum, said
the issue could come before the European Court of Justice, where he used
to sit, in a submission to Holyrood’s Europe committee.
An “individual or company” could raise an action to clarify their rights
and obligations after independence, which could be referred to
Comment by Dr James Wilkie
Professor Edward Has never been a member of any European court, in the
sense of one exercising an all-European jurisdiction. There is no such
institution as a European Court of Justice. He of all people should know
that, and also that the one and only such all-European court is the
European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which has nothing whatever
to do with the European Union. The ECHR comes under the auspices of the
47-member Council of Europe (CoE).
The one in which he served is the Court of Justice of the European
Union, which despite its euphonious title is no more than an internal
administrative tribunal of two houses for adjudicating on regulations,
directives and similar routine matters relating to the EU acquis
communautaire This tribunal acts only within the 28-member EU. Nowhere
in the legislation setting it up does the word "European" appear, aside
from the court's title.
The EU court has no jurisdiction whatsoever over genuine European law
emanating from the major all-European institutions like the CoE, OSCE or
UNECE. The internal administrative regulations of one single
organisation are not European law, not least when that organisation is
half the size of all the others.
Deliberate misrepresentations that would land the directors of a private
sector organisation in court on charges of fraud are the stock in trade
of the EU, not least the abuse of the expression "European" in a sense
deliberately intended to mislead.
It is standard diplomatic practice to identify prospective national
leaders of countries the policies of which one wishes to influence, and
get them under control. The SNP has evidently been so identified, and in
its naivety and ignorance of the broader aspects of independence is
unable to see how it is being manipulated, not least by vested interests
behind Euromove. Blundering from one false move to another, it falls
into the same error as student agitators by putting up an artificial
Aunt Sally with no substance in order to have something to throw bricks
Nobody will block EU membership for Scotland if that is what the Scots
want - and it is precisely here that the SNP is putting up a
particularly unconvincing case, because this above all is an issue on
which it has no idea what it is talking about.