I only have a moment to write this post, but I really do have respond to Barroso’s comments about how an independent Scotland couldn’t join the EU and, perhaps more significantly, the utter nonsense that pro-union folk have been following on with.
A simple and significant point to remember is that no-one can be stripped of citizenship. Not even, at the moment at least, people who were naturalised as UK citizens but have subsequently been convicted of terrorist offences. People living at Scotland at a point of putative independence wouldn’t cease to be UK, and therefore EU, citizens unless they chose to give it up. That’s international law – it stops states getting rid of ‘difficult’ citizens.
Leaving the law aside, how in practical terms could the UK government force out citizens in Scotland? There are many folk working and living in Scotland who in no way regard themselves as Scottish (the referendum franchise is simply the local government one – who actually has an address there on the day?). Would the UK strip the citizenship from thousands of ‘English’ folk on, say, a bank posting in Edinburgh, or working in oil in Aberdeen? Of course not – no more than they would or could to folk who happened to be living or working in France or the US. Moreover, the new Scottish government would be happy to let people retain UK citizenship and have Scottish citizenship if they wanted. If Scots living in England wanted both then it really wouldn’t be up to the residual UK government to decide – it’d be up to the new Scottish government. Unless the UK refused to allow joint UK/Scottish citizenship, I guess. By why would they refuse that when they accept it with every other nation state in the world?
So, Barroso’s basically saying that millions of EU citizens living in Scotland would somehow be stripped of their EU (and therefore human) rights and not allowed appeal? Or that they’d stay EU citizens – a nation full of EU citizens – but that would have no bearing on that nation’s application to the EU?
Manifest nonsense. I want Scotland to remain part of the UK, but not on the basis of an argument deploying blatant threats and lies. Surely to God.