Independence will not remove EU citizens' rights
Scaremongering over an independent Scotland’s status as part of the EU has been critically undermined following confirmation from European Commission Vice-President that European Union citizens cannot be stripped of their rights following independence.
Joaquín Almunia stated that “you cannot give a categorical answer that somebody who splits off would remain outside and we wouldn't know anything about them for centuries. It's not like that. If you are a European citizen you have certain rights."
Earlier this month fellow Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding stated that there was no law stating that Catalonia should leave the EU if it became independent, further undermining the baseless claims of the anti-independence parties over Scotland’s status.
Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie who convenes the Europe and External Relations Committee said:
“In the space of a few weeks we have now seen two Commission Vice-Presidents independently blow some of the more outlandish scaremongering surrounding Scotland’s EU membership out of the water.
“As Joaquín Almunia correctly states, the simple fact is that if you are a European citizen - as people in Scotland have been for 20 years now - you have rights and there are simply no mechanisms to remove these on independence.
“There is no provision in EU treaties that would allow Scotland to be expelled or for people in Scotland to be stripped of their European citizenship, so an independent Scotland would negotiate the details of our member state status from a position of already being within the European Union.
“Similarly, there are no provisions to compel Scotland to join the Euro, so we can quite easily continue to use Sterling with the rest of the UK, to our mutual benefit.
“I would challenge anyone who claims that EU citizenship can be involuntarily withdrawn to point to a single EU treaty article backing up their point.
“The only real threat to Scotland’s EU membership is the ideological determination of the Tories to drive a wedge between the UK and the rest of the EU. That would be disastrous for businesses and individuals in Scotland, and is something that can only be protected against with a Yes vote in 2014.”