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Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future
Ed Means Column
A bad mistake in ‘Scotland’s Future’

The long-anticipated ‘Scotland’s Future’ was published to much fanfare on 26 November. I have downloaded all 670 pages and will eventually read them all, but first I wanted to see what it said about independent Scotland’s relationship to the European Union, so I started with Chapter 6, ‘Scotland in the European Union’.

I was disgusted. If you saw my 11.13.22 column, you will know why. For new readers, the principal reason is that the Scottish National Party (SNP) supports ‘independent’ Scotland becoming a member of the European Union. In Chapter 6 they tried hard to make it look like a “done deal”, but it really subject to all sorts of lengthy and time-consuming negotiations.

The SNP’s strong position that independent Scotland should be a member of the European Union came about because it was heavily influenced by a large EU-funded vested interest called the ‘European Movement’. The UK branch of this heavily politicised organisation now coyly refers to itself as ‘euromove’. The Scottish branch of the UK branch is at   

The SNP still refuse to recognise that ‘Independent Scotland in the EU’ is an oxymoron: Independent Scotland cannot be independent in the EU. It will merely have exchanged its masters in the UK for new masters in Brussels.

Let’s look at three of the many reasons Scotland should not become a member of the EU.

1.      Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

The CFP is the worst disaster to afflict Scotland since the Treaty of Union in 1707. The CFP virtually destroyed the Scottish fisheries industry. This policy alone is costing Scotland considerably more than £1,500 million in lost wealth creation every year. The EU destroyed tens of thousands of jobs through the CFP. And the egregious incompetence of the EU’s management of the CFP continues to this day. euromove claims the CFP will be revised, but that won’t restore any of the lost wealth, the bankruptcies, the uprooting of individuals and families, and the destruction of thriving communities with centuries-old cultural traditions communal lives or major fishing harbours like Lossiemouth that were the focus of social and economic life twelve months in the year, and are now marinas for a handful of yachts.

One can imagine the reaction if the EU had reduced the Spanish or French fishing fleets by two thirds simply to make way for incomers. And fishing is by no means as important to those countries as it is to Scotland.

2.      Lisbon Treaty

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the EU controls all “marine biological resources” (i.e. from whales and basking sharks down to the last frond of seaweed) in Scotland's Exclusive Economic Zone seas. Under EU legislation, all Scottish national waters right up to the beaches are under exclusive EU fisheries “competence” and are regulated under EU law and not Scots law. Since the Lisbon Treaty also transferred powers over energy to the EU, fishing is obviously only the thin end of a wedge that will eventually see ALL marine resources coming under EU control. So much for Scotland’s oil if independent Scotland becomes a member of the EU.

3.      Outrageous costs and so-called ‘grants’

Scotland’s share of the UK’s annual EU “dues” was £875 million in 2011, up from £845 million in 2010 because of Scotland’s proportion of the IMF and direct aid to the Eurozone. £875 million is more than £165 for every man, woman and bairn in Scotland – after all EU "grants" have been accounted for.

The EU takes Scotland’s money, deducts its own huge overheads, and returns only a minute portion of the remainder to Scotland in "grants”, which are only a tiny fraction of the Scots’ own money being returned.

* * * * *

As one famous American baseball player (whose name I can’t remember at the moment) said, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’. I have suggested to my colleagues that we should continue making the point wherever we can that the best laid  EU plans o’ Salmond & Company could still be made to gang agley by an informed citizenry.

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