Watch: EC President Barroso on Scotland: A new state “has to apply for membership”


European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today reiterated the position that an independent Scotland would have to reaplly for membership of the European Union – delivering another hammer blow to SNP leader Alex Salmond’s claims Scotland would remain in the EU if it seceded from the United Kingdom.

Here is a transcript of his interview this afternoon with the BBC’s Hard Talk:

Interviewer: The Commission has made it clear that any country, a country like Scotland, that would choose to be independent, would need to reapply for EU membership. When you think about how that would work, would it just be nodded through, do you think?

Jose Manuel Barroso: “Look, I did not comment on specific situations of member states because I very much respect that it is their right, their sovereign right to decide about their organisation. Now, what I said, and it is our doctrine and it is clear since 2004 in legal terms, if one part of a country – I am not referring now to any specific one – wants to become an independent state, of course as an independent state it has to apply to the European membership according to the rules – that is obvious.”

BBC: “So, it has to renegotiate its terms?”

JMB: “Yes.”

BBC: “And is it renegotiating those terms from inside, as a member of the EU, or is it effectively reapplying from outside the EU?”

JMB: “We are a union of states, so if there is a new state, of course, that state has to apply for membership and negotiate the conditions with other member states.”

BBC: “So if, and I am using the example of Scotland, and I appreciate you are not talking about specifics, but say a country like Scotland, it, say, chooses independence, it is then like a new state applying to the EU?”

JMB: “For European Union purposes, from a legal point of view, it is certainly a new state. If a country becomes independent it is a new state and has to negotiate with the EU.”

BBC: “What about the rest of the UK that is effectively left behind by Scotland’s independence?”

JMB: “That is the principle of the continuity of the state, in that case if a…”

BBC: “Would it have to renegotiate its terms?”

JMB: “No, no in principle no.”

Watch it:

Another day, another slap down for the SNP… how many more interventions will it take for Salmond to come clean and admit he’s wrong?

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  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://twitter.com/jhallwood James Hallwood

    Just wait for the cybernats to deploy and try and talk this one down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer than Scotland won’t automatically be in the EU – so won’t get rebate etc.. also might not get back in if some countries veto for fear of the precedent set.

    This shouldn’t matter to diehards on either side. Unionism and nationalism should be about principles, but we also need informed debate for those in the middle – people need to know that Scotland leaving the UK might very well mean leaving the EU for good as well. Not fear-mongering, fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    It’s weird that you don’t choose to highlight phrases like “if one part of a country – I am not referring now to any specific one”.

    Try to get this through your skulls – Scotland will NOT be “leaving” the UK. The UK is an entity created of two parts, not four. If Scotland votes for independence, the UK will no longer exist. There will be two states created, with absolutely equal rights to claim successor status. Either both will get it, or neither will.

  • Robert Thomas

    If I were anything to do with running the pro-independence campaign, I would be talking about giving the Scottish people a referendum on applying to join the EU if they vote for independence. I know Salmond is pro-EU, like the political classes throughout Europe, but surely the people of Scotland should have a say. After all, they’ll be the ones paying for Scotland’s politicians if they leave the ‘United’ Kingdom. Besides, has the SNP thought that people like democracy from time to time?

  • Selohesra

    If I were running it I’d forge close links with UKIP – if EU sense England with its big cheque book might escape if the EU play hardball with Scots I expect you will find Scottish membership just gets nodded through.

  • Matthew Happold

    I think Mr Barroso is wrong in one respect. If Scotland were become independent, there would be a push to reduce the rump UK’s voting weight in the Council of Ministers and number of MEPS to take account of shrinkage. But that would be a political imperative, not a legal requirement. Apart from that, he’s absolutely right (and not saying anything Commission representatives haven’t said on a number of previous occasions). The real issue is when negotiations for accession would take place (prior or subsequent to independence) and what conditions might be imposed on Scotland in return for the Member States’ (including the UK) consent to its accession to EU membership.

    http://www.ejiltalk.org/scottish-independence-and-the-european-union/#more-5880

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.robertson.186 Lisa Robertson

    Seems you stereotype Scots in favour of Independence. We aren’t all SNP supporters, up til last year I was Labour and unionist so get your facts right! There are a diversity of people in Scotland who aren’t SNP yet you spit out Cybernats like its a dirty word! Unionist scaremongering especially anything from the BBC have folk with brains actually take anything they say with a pinch of salt. Its laughable that folk like you make such a big deal about whether we Scots will be able to stay in EU or have to re-apply..we aren’t some 3rd world country with no resources that would make the like of Barraso and his EU cronies veto Scotland getting a membership again. They’d have to be absolutely crazy with what Scotland has to stop us getting a membership so face it! Whether we have to apply or not and as much as you’d love for Scots to be left in the wilderness its not going to happen! Anyway who’s to say the UK are going to stay in it! Scotland would just follow the other Independent countries that are in the EEU but not the EU! Now off you go back to your blackboard and see what other crap you can come up with!

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Your denial of the basic facts continues, You’re desperate at all costs to avoid an honest discussion, it’s disgusting. You want to *leave*, it’s that simple.

  • Newsbot9

    Of course you’re all for boosting your far right.

  • Newsbot9

    Ah yes, facts are crap in your world. The constant abusive trolling of anyone who dares speak the truth about any fact regarding Scottish independence is pathetic.

    Not a big deal? That’s plain and simple denial. You’re attacking people posting factual comments by accusing them if abuse which isn’t there, so you can excuse acting like a ned.

  • Selohesra

    Nationalism is found in right and left – Scots/Welsh nats are hardly right wing – and dont forget those pesky National Socialists

  • Newsbot9

    Ah right, you’re an anti-Semite and historical revisionist, since you’re now taking the far right fanatic’s position of the NSDAP being left wing. (For everyone else: The word socialist in there came from their anti-communist stance, and Hitler regretted the term being used in the party name (it was named by their previous leader))

    As I said, you’re desperate to boost the UKIP for your Jihad against Britain.

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