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Monday, February 24, 2014

Having their cake and eating it

The Times contains a report on what they term a new bombshell for the SNP, namely that Brussels is likely to enforce higher VAT levels on an independent Scotland.

This comes on top of the UK Government's insistence that an independent Scotland will not be allowed to retain the pound and doubts cast by the EU President that Scotland may not even be allowed to join the European Union.

The paper quotes the European Commission in asserting that any new member of the EU would have to impose VAT on all consumer goods. They say that new member states might be able to set a reduced rate of 5 per cent on a couple of items, but would have to levy a minimum rate of 15 per cent on almost everything else.

The Scottish Conservatives say that this will mean that an independent Scotland would lose the VAT waiver that the UK enjoys on items including maps, cycle helmets and equipment for the disabled, affecting both consumers and businesses and making Scotland less competitive than its UK neighbours.

However, a spokesman for John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, has dismissed what he called “preposterous scaremongering” and claimed that Scotland would retain its current zero VAT rate because it was already in the EU and would not be an accession state.

Well, yes, whilst Scotland is part of the United Kingdom it is already in the EU. If it votes for independence then it will no longer have that status and will have to apply to join. Surely, even the SNP understand that concept or are they genuinely in denial of the fact that they cannot have their cake and eat it?
Well its not entirely certain if Scotland would have to reapply for membership and if it did would not this also apply to the rump.

Scotland and England voted to unite in 1707 being passed by the parliaments of England and Scotland to ratify the 1706 Treaty of Union and so unite the two kingdoms.

Now one wants to leave but if they do. Doesn't that mean that both are in the same positions?

Or is this just another example of "Project Fear" from you Unionists again?

I am not an Unionist but globalisation and today's interdependence of nations undermines the 19th century view of nationhood and independence. It took over 10 years of frustrating negotiations for the UK to join the EEC. Independent Ireland joined at the same time not because it wanted to or felt like it but because it would have been economic suicide not to join.The referendum is in Scotland for the residents of Scotland to determine secession from the United Kingdom of great Britain and Northern Ireland. For Glyn Morris' point to be relevant there would have to be a referendum in the whole of the UK to set up two new countries.
It a question of whether the rest of the United Kingdom can claim to be the sole successor state.
After the split up of Czechoslovakia Neither the Czech Republic nor Slovakia sought recognition as the sole successor state to Czechoslovakia.

This is in contrasted to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, where the Russian Federation was recognized as successor state to not only the RSFSR but the USSR itself.

But recognition by the UN was a formality for the Czech republic and Slovakia by the UN. There's no reason that this should not apply to EU membership.

So will the RUK be like the Russians?

Not a good example to follow.

There are no firm proposals to strip EU citizenship of those persons currently domiciled in Scotland if they vote Yes in a referendum. Applying EU membership to an independent Scotland will be a clerical nicety and the paperwork will be signed in the period between the referendum and independence day. The idea that the EU is about to expel millions of it's citizens for voting against the views of Cameron and Clegg is preposterous.
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