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SNP must set out EU red lines after latest independence warning

February 19, 2014 3:41 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon has urged SNP Ministers toGeorge LyonGeorge Lyon set out their red lines for negotiations on EU membership in the event of a vote for Scottish independence.

Mr Lyon's calls come amidst increasing pressure on the nationalists as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said he agreed with Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso that it would be difficult for an independent Scotland to negotiate EU membership.

Mr Lyon said:

"So far the SNP's only response to anyone who disagrees with them on EU membership has been to attack the messenger. This is a significant intervention from one of the most serious EU players around. President Van Rompuy's comments cannot simply be dismissed as bluff or bluster.

"As part of the UK, Scotland benefits from hard-fought opt outs on things like the Euro and a big rebate on the money we pay into the EU. These would all be up for negotiation if we chose to leave the UK. The only that is certain on independence and the EU is that it is the 28 other member states who would hold the whip hand during talks in Brussels, not Alex Salmond.

"SNP ministers must now set out their red lines for any negotiations that would have to take place with each of the 28 EU member states in order to secure an independent Scotland's membership of the EU.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats want Scotland to remain in Britain, in Europe and in work. The best way to keep Scotland in Europe and protect jobs is to stick with the UK family."