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Parliamentary questions
29 October 2012
P-009862-12
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Gerard Batten (EFD)

 Subject:  Status of the United Kingdom if Scotland leaves
 Answer(s) 

Commission President José Manuel Barroso recently commented on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme regarding the referendum on Scottish independence planned for 2014. President Barroso said that if Scotland were to leave the United Kingdom, then it would have to reapply for membership of the European Union.

If the Scottish electorate does indeed vote in 2014 to leave the United Kingdom and Scotland subsequently becomes an independent country, then that will change the nature of the United Kingdom itself.

When Britain joined the European Economic Community on 1 January 1973 it did so as the United Kingdom, comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom, then there is a question as to the legal status of the membership of both Scotland and the remainder of the UK.

The Commission is asked to answer the questions set out below.

Following the possible exit of Scotland from the United Kingdom as from 2014:
1. what would be the status of Scotland and of the remainder of the UK following their separation, and before any renegotiation with the EU had taken place? Would both countries cease to be members of the European Union until new terms had been agreed and new accession treaties signed?
2. would Scotland have to reapply for membership of the European Union?
3. would the remainder of the United Kingdom have to reapply for membership of the European Union?
4. would Scotland and the UK be obliged to join the European single currency (the euro), as new accession countries and under the terms laid down in the Treaty of Lisbon?
 OJ C 310 E, 25/10/2013
Last updated: 30 November 2012Legal notice