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Best way to keep EU special treatment is to remain in UK family

April 21, 2014 3:33 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today said the best way toGeorge LyonGeorge Lyon protect the special treatment Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family.

Mr Lyon was speaking following reports that a new paper from the European Movement group suggested the SNP government should consider delaying the date of Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote because of potential difficulties during talks at the EU.

The report warns that the 18 month period set out by the SNP would be vulnerable to delaying tactics from other member states. The EU membership terms for an independent Scotland would have to be signed off by every one of the other EU member states.

Recent accession negotiations for new EU states have taken between 8 and 14 years.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

"As part of the UK, Scotland benefits at the EU from things like a share of the big UK budget rebate, key opt-outs on the Euro and control over our borders. People would not want to see this special treatment frittered away as the cost of securing a quick settlement in Brussels in the event of a yes vote.

"The best way to protect the positive benefits Scotland gets at the EU because of the UK is to remain part of the UK family. The fact is that in the event of a yes vote Scotland would face the prospect of rejoining the EU on worse terms than we enjoy at present.

"The European Movement have no particular referendum axe to grind and they are simply restating what many experts have already told us: that the SNP's independence timetable in the event of a vote to leave the UK is not realistic."