Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon’s plot to join EU weakened by Theresa May | UK | New
Sturgeon ‘behaves like a dictator’, says expert
If Britain had joined the EEA, Scotland could have left the UK and joined the EU, without requiring a hard border with England. However, due to Ms May’s decision and Boris Johnson’s new Brexit trade deal, this is no longer possible.
If Scotland trades the UK for EU borders, EU border controls will be needed for trade and travel with England, risking serious economic disruption.
Members of the EEA are part of the European single market and continue to apply the rules of the EU’s internal market, including on free movement.
Some remaining alumni pushed Britain to join the EEA after Brexit, which would have meant a very close relationship with the EU.
According to analyzes by the Institute for Government (IFG), if the United Kingdom joined the EEA, “an independent Scotland could still have joined the EU without customs controls and without major risks of economic dislocation at the border”.
Theresa May’s refusal to join the EEA could strike the SNP’s candidacy for independence
The SNP failed to achieve a majority in the Scottish parliament last week
The IFG found that Scotland trades three times more across the English border than across the EU.
Although not members of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein are part of the EEA.
This means that they keep very close relations with Brussels which is able to make some of their laws.
Ms Sturgeon is calling for a second independence referendum after the Scottish parliamentary elections last week.
READ MORE: England-based Scots could get vote in new independence referendum
Theresa May with Sturgeon when she was Prime Minister
The SNP did not secure a majority of a seat, but can expect to secure another referendum bill through Holyrood with backing from the Greens.
Mr Johnson urged Ms Sturgeon to focus on recovering from the coronavirus in Scotland rather than constitutional issues.
The Scottish Tories argue Ms Sturgeon does not have a referendum mandate, as pro-UK parties in total got more constituency votes than Nationalists.
Katy Hayward, from Queen’s University Belfast, admitted that a hard border with England would be a major challenge for an independent Scotland.
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Britain officially left the EU in January 2020
The next Scottish parliament was elected last week
Writing for the Scottish Center for European Relations, she said: “As was the case with the Irish border for much of the 20th century, controls along the Scottish land border would be a challenge to design and administer.
“They would require new systems of cooperation and communication (including to facilitate and process customs declarations), new infrastructure (for example facilities for veterinary inspections), new recruits for border management (including Customs inspectors are just the tip of the iceberg), and new rules that traders must follow if they wish to transport goods across the borders of Scotland. “
Earlier this year, Ms Sturgeon suggested that Scotland would apply for EU membership if it votes to leave the UK without holding a separate referendum.
However, Scotland’s budget deficit is currently eight times the limit required to join the EU.
Scotland voted to stay in the UK in 2014
This means that spending cuts or strict tax increases may be needed before Scotland qualifies.
Scotland should commit to adopting the euro as its currency if it is to become a member of the EU.
It should also return to the EU’s common fisheries policy, transferring control of its fishing waters to Brussels.
Any existing EU member state could veto Scotland’s bid and some, like Spain, have their own separatist movements.
Scottish Tories argue there is no mandate for indyref2
However, SNP MP Alyn Smith argued that Spain is unlikely to use its veto.
Speaking to RTE, he said: “As long as it is an agreed constitutional path, which is also our preference, I do not see any significant difficulties with Spain.
“They also recognize European solidarity, the way we have treated Spanish nationals in Scotland, as opposed to the way they are treated in the UK.”