Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

An independent Scotland is not in Ireland’s national interest.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 19, 2012 in British Politics, Irish Politics |

Most Irish people I meet automatically support Scottish independence, as if sticking two fingers up to the English is hard wired into our political DNA. Yet, if they actually think about it, a Scotland outside the UK but presumably within the European Single Market is not in our interest. Just consider that country’s core appeal to Foriegn Direct Investment. A free Scotland would almost certainly cut its corporate taxes. It speaks English. It has good universities. And it has land access to the 55m people of the English and Welsh market as well as the Channel Tunnel. A low tax Scotland could survive on that proximity to market alone, and that would take a big chunk out of the Irish FDI argument.
Nope, despite what our hearts and love of Mel Gibson tell us, a Free Scotland would not suit us at all. In fact, we should pray for a No vote in the 2014 referendum because if they do vote to leave the UK, we will find ourselves in the position of knowing that vetoing Scotland’s application to join the EU is in our national interest, even though that would be an act of the highest political two-faced prickery since De Gaulle said “Non!” it’s not that we mind being a nation of pricks. But we sure as hell don’t like foriegners calling us out on it, and making a show of us. Imagine how mortified we’d be at demos outside Irish embassies over this.

3 Comments

Pidge
Aug 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

That said, Scotland would be a useful (somewhat similar) voice within the EU institutions, particularly as the UK/England seem on something of an exit trajectory from full EU participation.

At the very least, having another country with similar outlook and objectives within the EU would strengthen Ireland’s position hugely.


 
John McGuirk
Aug 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

Your assumption that Scotland would either want to enter, or suffer from not entering, the EU is a big one and mistaken. Scotland outside the EU would retain all of the advantages you outline above – access to the UK, the Channel Tunnel, and EU markets – and immediately boost it’s fishing industry dramatically.

Unless your assumption is that the EU would re-institute protectionism, I see no reason that Scotland would need to sign up. Of course, it will, because it’s political class would consider it unthinkable not to.


 
Jason O
Aug 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

John: they would be bound by EU rules but have no commissioner or ministers at council deciding those rules. Of course, maybe having a commissioner is no big deal. Although I remember some crowd of fellas going around the country once telling us it was a huge deal!


 

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