How Scotland can rejoin the EU

I’m surprised with all the sturm und drang of the brexit vote reaction in Scotland, it seems like everybody has missed entirely the easiest way for Scotland to rejoin the EU without a messy period of independence. It could apply for admission to the nation of Ireland based on their common historical roots.

The likelihood of this actually happening given the political stars of today is approximately zero. What I find interesting is the reason why the idea is so far out there that it wouldn’t even be brought up. If an independent Scotland has difficulty making a go of it, why is a Scotland tied to the English and out of the EU superior than a Scotland tied to the Irish and inside the EU?

30 thoughts on “How Scotland can rejoin the EU”

  1. They could unite with Northern Ireland, which was largely populated by Scots, then the combination could apply for unification.

    I doubt the Irish state would go for it but that might be a way.

  2. That would have the same problem as Scotland would have applying separately: they have to start the process from the beginning and neither Scotland nor Scotland+Northern Ireland would likely qualify.

    Their only practical way is to join a country that’s already a member (and isn’t considering exiting already).

  3. It would be interesting, and could be directly drawn as a reincarnated Dál Riata [one of the original Celtic states covering roughly Scottish Argyll and County Antrim in Ulster]. I’ve long believed that it was one of Celtia’s historical cusps, but they could not maintain a sovereign control over the Irish Sea, which is not a millpond. BUT, if Ulster leaves the UK, it will go to the Irish Republic, which solves its problem. But the last thing Eire is going to want is to take in Scottish Protestants.

    I think what is going to happen is either the UK government will find a way to ignore the Referendum completely, which may get kinetic as the UK is absorbed into the Vierte Reich or separation will happen and Scotland will end up independent and bankrupt and Ulster will end up in Eire [and the fight will be on again].

  4. I’m not so sure the EU will last long enough for the bureaucracy to process the paperwork for either a Scottish application or an English exit.

    It may well be that this is one of those small incidents that sets great and important events in motion, even without any such intent.

    I’m sure a great portion of the government of the UK would like to ignore the vote- but it appears that the many of the captive nations imprisoned in the EU have decided that now is the time for them to have their own referendum about their fate.

    It is possible that the UK government might at some point decide that they can ignore this referendum- but it won’t even matter, because some other large country will have also voted to leave, wrecking the EU beyond any possibility of repair.


  5. While everyone is so worried about tip-toeing around the Scots’ hurt feelings or Londonistan’s shock at seeing democracy, if Parliament doesn’t act other regions that did vote to leave are left in the lurch. They’re apparently just supposed to stand idly by and have their voices disregarded.

    Cornwall has already had the stirrings of an independence movement. What happens when it spreads up into Wales? When a Scot’s vote is decreed to be worth twice as much as a vote from the Midlands, don’t be surprised if you start hearing about an independent Mercia finally throwing off the Norman Yoke and carving out a homeland.

  6. The return of the Heptarchy. Replace all that Norman pomp and circumstance in Londonistan with a real world Game of Thrones. Special guest appearance by Grendel, courtesy Vlad Putin.

  7. I agree with Xennady. Scotland can’t “remain” in the EU when Britain leaves. Scotland must first become independent of Britain, which will make it an economic basket case right there with loss of all the British subsidies, and then APPLY for EU membership per the EU’s long-standing, and very slow, procedures. Which will be strictly enforced to discourage the many separatist areas in other EU members from trying.

    Only now we have a new wrinkle in that the viability of the EU, as opposed to its duty-free customs market, is very much in question. The time period required for Scotland to become independent, stabilize its economy after loss of British subsidies, and go through the EU’s long, slow & complicated application process way overlaps the time period the EU likely has left in its present form.

    This means it is about 50/50 whether an independent Scotland would get into the EU, or simply go back into the UK.

  8. Jaed – I really doubt that the Republic of Ireland has a process set up for territories to apply for admission to Ireland. If it does, could you provide an url? I’m coming at this after following the Moldova/Romania situation. Moldova could join Romania within a week. It just has to ask and everybody knows it. So far as I know, nobody from the EU has ever spoken out in opposition to this prospect.

    Subotai Bahadur – We’re pretty much on the same page here as to the politics of it. But wouldn’t it be a wonderful apple of discord to toss into the debate if somebody were to do a small media buy to promote the recreation of Dál Riata. I’m not rich enough to do that sort of a joke but I guess 4chan might go for it.

    Dearieme – All the religious problems with increased language, ethnic, and cultural difficulties added on. It would be a perfect EU solution. It’s genius!

    Xannady – That’s the beauty of this. There would be no EU accession process, only an Irish accession process. Nations can still accept new territories into their polity under EU rules so far as I know so long as nobody else contests them. If Ireland wants to invest in new lands and opportunities, they might do pretty well with the acquisition of Scotland no matter how long the EU lasts. The price would be less than Alaska. In Ireland, an interesting form of the question might be, if the price of uniting Ireland would be also admitting Scotland, would you be in favor of unification?

    Tom Holsinger – Could you please explain the *legal* (not political, I know those) problems with the following scenario. Monday 9 AM, Scotland secedes from the UK. Monday 9:10 AM, Scotland applies for union with Ireland. Monday 9:20 AM Ireland convenes parliament to consider the question. Monday 11:00 AM Ireland votes to accept Scotland into Ireland. So, does all of Ireland remain in the EU?

  9. Why would 4.8 million Irish want to turn their country and sovereignty over to 5.4 million Scots?

    Makes no sense for them, especially given how their ancestors fought for independence, to repudiate all that.

  10. >>Could you please explain the *legal* problems with the following scenario

    The Scots are fools.

    Fools and their money are soon parted.

  11. Marty – Thanks for one more political reason why this won’t work. In another thread, that would be a really good observation. In one where I say the “likelihood of this actually happening given the political stars of today is approximately zero” it’s a bit piling on. In any case, thanks for agreeing on the politics.

    Trent Telenko – That is not a legal argument. I agree that their leadership do seem to be great fools though.

  12. Ireland doesn’t want Scotland. The Scottish economy is now experiencing zero to negative GDP growth, and the Scottish government is running a large and widening fiscal deficit. The UK government was forced to take control of 3/4 of the Royal Bank of Scotland in a £45bn bailout during the recession, and it looks likely the bank will require some more help after Brexit. Do the Irish want to take over this basket case, and, more importantly, can they?

    Ireland, on the other hand, is one of the strongest economies in the EU, growing by 8% last year and running a surplus that they planned to turn into a rainy day fund. Ireland has a low corporate tax rate that encourages companies to relocate there. If they take on a welfare state like Scotland the Irish fiscal policies will have to change. In fact, it already looks like Brexit will put their tax policies under pressure from the EU bureaucrats freed from the obstructions of English Capitalism.

  13. >>That is not a legal argument.

    Fools giving money to lawyers is -always- a legal argument.

  14. I appreciate that this is a sort of modest proposal, not meant to be a taken too seriously- but at the risk of piling on or perhaps being redundant I have another observation.

    As everyone has noticed Scotland is a land filled with fools and ruled by wastrels who expect other people to pay their bills.

    My impression is that the Scottish National Party is threatening another independence vote as a means to force England to remain in the EU, lest their great northern precious depart them.

    However, I have to wonder if the people of England- who vote Tory overwhelmingly- would in fact be quite to happy to see their Scottish welfare charges depart, taking their Labor MPs with them.

    It seems to me that if you work and strive to make King and Country meaningless, as the left has done, eventually you will succeed. This can bring problems, especially if you expect your former countrymen to keep sending you money.

    Someday, noticing that you really don’t like them or their choices, they may just stop.

    This is also perfectly applicable to the United States.

  15. I suspect that if they were not caught up in the EU withdrawal and dealing with the possibility of consent of the governed not being part of UK governance anymore; that if Scotland has another independence vote, that instead of begging them to stay that the English will be voluntarily voting a tax to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall, with modern implements of destruction as enhancements.

    Just in passing, if a Scottish vote to separate from the UK is moral and valid, how come a UK vote to tell the EU to get stuffed is immoral and invalid?

  16. Grurray – While, alas, there being insufficient irishmen to carry off this proposal (a fatal lack), I don’t see why it is the Irish that must bend to Scottish desire for more transfer payments instead of the other way around. North Sea oil, more space, more people a well run Scotland run from Ireland with good rules would be a major improvement.

    Trent Telenko – We’re going to have to disagree. Fools giving money to lawyers is a guarantee that a legal argument will be forthcoming. It is not, in itself, such an argument. I’ll admit that’s a subtle distinction but I feel it an important one.

    Xennady – That’s an interesting observation and probably true.

    Subotai Bahadur – Were I a brit, I would be taking up the collection. I wonder how much money would shake loose at the prospect…

  17. Or, we could break all the EU states up in to their parts: Scotland+N. Ireland, Ireland, Wales, England, Catalonia, Galicia,Saxony, Bavaria, Flanders, etc.

    Won’t that be fun.

  18. “England”, Sgt Mom? As long as you don’t mean it to include Cornwall! And Cumbria should presumably be restored to the Scots crown.

    Scotland + Norn Iron would probably have to wave bye-bye to Orkney and Shetland.

    Maybe our Heptarchist was onto something.

  19. Latest news: Boris Johnson is not standing for the Tory leadership; his fellow Brexiter Michael Gove is. That means we could have a Scot as UK PM in a couple of months time.

  20. Tom Holsinger – No, nobody’s asked the Irish. It turned out that I got the population balance all wrong, thinking there were more irish and fewer scots than actually was the case. Instead of a resurrected Dál Riata, I should have suggested a consummation of the Auld Alliance, with Scotland applying to join France. The point of the thought exercise is how much of this is Scotland looking for its own identity and how much is it Scotland looking for a richer teat to leech off of than a non-EU UK is going to provide? Would Scotland be willing to go back into the EU under someone else’s wing?

  21. The Mirror is always anti-Tory, and Maguire is a journalistic thug. But his picture of Boris isn’t invention. In particular, I can’t imagine his fellow Conservative MPs being keen on him as leader. Gove is cut from finer cloth, but whether he can win the leadership remains to be seen. I’d vote for him but I’m not a member.

    By the by, the way it works is as follows. The parliamentary party votes in a series of rounds, the bottom-placed dropping out each time until only two candidates are left; the party membership then votes for its choice from the two. So you need to be popular enough at Westminster to get into the top two.

    It will be quicker if the two leading contenders are firmly established in the first round; then the other three might anyway drop out and the decision could be passed straight to the party membership.

  22. Churchill was justly unpopular, and not only with Conservatives. It was a wonderful fluke that he turned out to be the man of the hour for a few years.

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