January 20, 2013
Scotland will stay in EU says top lawyer
Experts are divided over an independent Scotland's potential future in the EU.
Some believe Scotland will have to apply as a new state, with the remainder of the UK continuing as before, while others believe both parts of the former UK will be admitted or ejected on equal terms.
But Professor David Scheffer, a former US ambassador for war crimes and special adviser to then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, said Scotland should enjoy joint-successor status with the UK.
Scheffer said despite a strong argument for Scotland being ejected and asked to reapply, the more logical course would be to treat Scotland and the UK as joint-successor states, with the rights and opt-outs from EU treaties they currently enjoy.
"My argument, quite frankly, is that we have two co-equal successor states. We don't have a situation where I'm going to call the British Government the predecessor state that retains all of the rights - and then Scotland is a successor state somehow cast adrift, told to start from a clean slate as some kind of new state."
He added: "I think, with the more logical argument, that the most appropriate way to handle the situation is to refer to each entity as successor states."
Blair Jenkins, chief executive of pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland, said: "Professor Scheffer - completely demolishes misleading claims that somehow Scotland would be expelled from the EU on independence."