Expelling Scotland from the EU

I’ve just read an illuminating paper in an academic journal, considering the position of Scotland in the European Union in the event of a vote for independence.  Daniel Kenealy’s paper, How do you solve a problem like Scotland?, is in the Journal of European Integration (doi 10.1080/07036337.2014.902942), which unfortunately means it’s not freely available on the internet.    The Commission’s current position is that in the event of a vote for independence, Scotland would be expelled automatically from the EU and would then have to apply for membership as a new state.  Kenealy argues that this position is entirely based in international law rather than European law, and that it is not consistent with the treaties, which require any departure from the EU to be negotiated and agreed, and transitional arrangements to be put in place. As I understand it, the EU would have to undergo a negotiation before it could expel a country that does not want to be expelled – a position that is sustainable neither politically nor in EU law.  Kenealy argues that expulsion ‘would be entirely inconsistent with the general principles of the EU.’

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