by a Newsnet reporter

The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, yesterday characterised as "absolutely false" reports in the British media that Spain would veto Scottish membership of the EU.  The report had been originally published in the London based Independent, and repeated by a number of other news outlets.

Citing unnamed British officials, the Independent reported that Spanish officials had expressed their disquiet over the possibility of Scottish independence to their British counterparts, and suggested that if Scotland voted for independence then Spain would veto Scots membership of the EU.  

The report claimed that Spain would exercise its veto in case Scottish independence set a precedent for Catalunya and the Basque Country, where there are strong nationalist movements seeking independence from Spain.  

However in a statement at a press conference in Brussels yesterday Mr García-Margallo said that there was no truth at all in the Independent's report.  

The Spanish Foreign Minister gave an assurance that "in no instance" had the Spanish government expressed "any disquiet" to the British government over the question of Scottish independence.  He stated that the referendum in Scotland is an internal matter for the United Kingdom which would be resolved "in accordance with British constitutional norms, which have nothing to do with Spanish constitutional norms".

The Spanish constitution specifies that Spanish territory is indivisible, and that Spain is a single nation.  Centralists in the Madrid government make use of these provisions to deny that Catalunya or the Basque Country are nations with the right to self-determination.  Mr García-Margallo is a member of the centre right Partido Popular, which is fiercely opposed to Basque or Catalan self-determination.  However Mr García-Margallo acknowledged that the provisions of the Spanish constitution are unrelated to the constitutional status of Scotland within the UK.

Mr García-Margallo said:  "They are completely different processes between which parallels cannot be established and it would be inappropriate for us to express disquiet because a country decided to resolve a purely internal question in accordance with internal procedures."

Mr García-Margallo's denial that Spain will seek EU veto on an independent Scotland is just the latest in a series revelations that undermine Unionist scare stories.  Other scare stories include claims that the Edinburgh Zoo panda's will be removed from Scotland and threats to Scottish whisky.


# The_Duke 2012-01-25 07:20
Another myth dispelled... will we see this in the mainstream media...... No?..... thought not.
# fynesider 2012-01-25 11:07
There's always Facebook - more chance of more people seeing it on there...
# cirsium 2012-01-25 11:43
Quoting The_Duke:
Another myth dispelled...

not a myth. This is disinformation. Expect more of this in the future.
# deepwater 2012-01-25 13:22
A myth dispelled perhaps, but he specifically re-enforces the Westminster position that it's an "internal constitutional matter".

It is not such as the nations exist under treaty law.

Sadly there's not much that can be done about the perception, other than refute it.
# colin8652 2012-01-25 07:40
Seems there are liars damned liars and unionists.
# clootie 2012-01-25 07:41
It is good to see that the wider world is correcting the spin. They probably did in the past but it was never reported.
It is another example of how the old forms of propaganda no longer work. In the past we would never have seen this story (correction).
Forward it on - if the MSM do not report it we must use the open network forums.
# Macart 2012-01-25 07:43
Bdum, bum, bum, another one bites the dust!
And another one bites and another one bites,
Another one bites the dust!

# clootie 2012-01-25 08:54
# mealer 2012-01-25 08:03
Dont believe everything you read in the anti-independence press.
# clootie 2012-01-25 08:56
Don't believe ANYTHING!
# mealer 2012-01-25 08:06
Just to add,it would be silly for any foreign country to pick sides in this debate unless they are absolutely sure of the outcome.
# RaboRuglen 2012-01-25 08:26
Hi there,

Yet again common sense prevails. Even if Spain were to attempt to block Scotland's accession to the EU on that basis, it would be a move so patently transparent in its hypocrisy that it would be risible and an international embarrassment to them, with unfortunate consequences. (Remember, Spain is dependent on international goodwill within the EU to remain afloat economically.)

Their blocking of Scottish membership simply will not happen, despite the Unionists' wishes.

# Marga B 2012-01-25 09:16
RaboRuglen - just to say that Spain is not known for common sense, internally or externally. Apparently the Gibraltar situation is due to flare up again (with the same Spanish Foreign Minister quoted here taking the lead).
# RaboRuglen 2012-01-25 13:14
Hi Marga,

Point taken. Just wait though 'till the Spanish get wind of the rUK's intention of berthing their homeless nuclear submarines in Gibralter after Scottish Independence.

On the other hand, maybe we should keep quiet about that 'till after Independence is achieved?

# davidferguson1 2012-01-25 08:29
The whole EU thing has been a nonsense since the Hootsdross kicked it off with an article in which it offered what was supposedly a verbatim quote from the EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg, apparently stating categorically that Scotland would have to reapply for membership:
"...legally speaking, the continuation of the membership would remain with the rest of the UK ... therefore Scotland... would have to apply for membership."

A little baffled as to why the the Commission and the Council of the EU would have delegated definitive responsibility for such a sensitive legal and political matter - one for which there is no precedent - to the Fisheries Commissioner from Malta, I wrote to Borg's office, sent him a full copy of the 'quote' from the Hootsdross article, and asked him if he had made the statement, if he stood by it, and if so on what basis.

As I had expected, his office wrote back to me confirming that he had never said any such thing.

The article was written by Hamish McDonnell, and it used to be attributed to him. That attribution has now disappeared from the website. So he's a coward as well as a liar.
# RandomScot 2012-01-25 11:11
Hamish MacDonell was the one who was with Lorraine Davidson to assure us there was nothing untoward in Purcell's resignation when it was announced

He also seemed to be the only one writing for the CalMer, which put me right off it, no plurality of opinion
# Ken500 2012-01-25 08:35
Just like Spanush fisherman wanting access to Scottish waters.

Sail that distance for four days of fishing, is totally uneconomical. It is cheaper to do what they do now buy it. Spain and France are the two nearest and best customers.

China are becoming big customers for Scottish salmon.
# davidferguson1 2012-01-25 08:44
The legal situation with regard to the EU is clear.

Let's assume that England (and it would be England) is not actually insane enough to force Scotland into some kind of 'UDI' (result: goodbye to the idea of 'sharing out' any of the national debt, for example).

In that case, whatever the impetus behind the breakup of the Union, and whosever 'idea' it was, the actual legal mechanism for the ending of the Union would be some kind of an Act dissolving the Act of Union, to which all parties to the Act of Union would be joint and voluntary signatories.

So in legal terms all parties to the Union would have acted jointly and voluntarily to end the Union.

That being the case, there is not a shred of legal logic for treating one of the former parties differently from any of the other former parties.

So either all of the former parties would retain membership of the EU, or all of the former parties would have to reapply for membership.
# cardrossian 2012-01-25 10:22
Quoting davidferguson1:
The legal situation with regard to the EU is clear.

An independent Kingdom of Scotland would not be a member of the EU. (Probably neither would England) To avoid all the extravagances, mismanagement, and downright stupidy of the EU, we simply do not have to apply for membership. We can apply for membership of EFTA and get all the trading benefits of dealing with the 57 nations in Europe leaving Sarkoy and Merkel to stew in their own juice.

For further details consult the SDA website
# Aplinal 2012-01-25 10:54
I have sympathy with your sentiment here regarding the EU, but AFAIK in all probability Scotland would remain as a 'member' due to its position as a "new" state coming out of an existing member (as of course would be the rUK), but there would be a process of re-negotiating its position.

These re-negotiations may or may not be satisfactory to the Scottish government and peoples, and the SNP may well offer alternatives to all Scots on the same basis as a future referendum on joining the Euro - should such a position come about.

There is a HUGE amount of known-unknowns, and probably many unknown-unknowns!! This really is new territory for the EU and nothing is clear-cut.

EFTA is an interesting option, but I believe that Norway pays as much as if it was a full EU member just to incorporate all the necessary legislation and other requirements for trading with the EU, but of course, without ANY role to play in determining what these regulations should be.

We certainly need more objective opinion and FACTS (woefully missing from the BBC / MSM) in order to make proper decisions on these vital issues.

EDIT: Scotland's strength in any future negotiations of course relies on its energy (Oil and renewable) potential. Something the EU would not wish to casually discard. rUK has a weaker position.
# pmcrek 2012-01-25 11:02
The AFP did report that EU legal experts have stated Scotland's continued membership would likely be put to a simple majority vote. No Veto's.

The same report stated the remainder of the UK is in the same boat, while the remainder would likely be considered a successor state, their EU membership is negotiated based on Scotland being part of the UK. So they would need to renegotiate their membership as well because the terms have changed their grants and their expenses. The EU would love for example to quash the rebate negotiated by Thatcher.

In the big scheme of things, many EU states with fishing fleets such as Spain. simply cannot afford Scotland to leave the EU, as we would also withdraw from the common fishery policy.
# fynesider 2012-01-25 11:09
EFTA sounds like a good idea
# hiorta 2012-01-25 08:50
The Unionists are rapidly getting their wee country a very unwholesome reputation
for miserable sour grapes.
# Mac 2012-01-25 09:25
Who would have thought that the Independent, like the Daily Mail, is festering hole of liars and xenophobes.

Are there no standards in journalism, does it all emanate from the gutter?
# RandomScot 2012-01-25 11:17
It never was great on Scotland, but it has been merged with the Evening Standard, who always made the Mail look sane
# The_Duke 2012-01-25 13:03
I just comeback from Tescos and realised that I had forgotten half my shopping list as upon walking in through the front door I came across the "Scottish" Daily Mail's headline. I know its the Mail, and I know I should have ignored it..... but it put me in such a rage. Aghhhh! Where's that dark room that everyone seems to go to?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-25 09:29
Here's a couple of free letters for their dinky compact "i" paper

l a r s
# Jim1320 2012-01-25 09:57
The notion that Spain would vote to exclude their fishing fleet from Scottish waters was always rather incredible. I can imagine the Spanish Government reading that report and going WTF? (in Spanish obviously)
# pmcrek 2012-01-25 11:05
Certainly, its surprising how naive unamed "British officials" think we are. Leaving the EU would financially cripple nearly 1/4 of the EU's fishing fleet.
# Glasvegas 2012-01-25 10:23
Sorry to pop your balloons, guys, but it seems the Spanish Foreign Minister said nothing of the kind.

All he said was that Spain had not expressed concern about an internal British affair.

As this Spanish news site makes clear: he specifically did NOT rule out a Spanish veto of Scottish EU membership.
# InfrequentAllele 2012-01-25 16:20
That Spanish news site is a dyed in the wool "Unionist" publication which is vehemently opposed to Basque or Catalan self-determination - so it would say that, wouldn't it.

Sr García-Margallo said quite clearly that the report in the Independent claiming that Spain had threatened to use its veto was "rigorosamente falso". Neither Spain nor any other EU state has expressed a view on Scottish EU membership, and none will do so until such time Scotland is an independent state.

Incidentally, there is no censorship of anti-independence views on this site. NNS has only a small team of moderators and it can take a while for them to review the posts made by newly registered commentators such as yourself. Try not to read conspiracy theories into everything dear, conspiracies are Westminster's dept.
# Glasvegas 2012-01-25 10:42
Sorry, this is wrong. The Spanish Foreign Minister said nothing about the veto, at all, according to the Spanish.

He just denied that Spain had an opinion on an internal British affair. As this Spanish paper says: he specifically did NOT rule out a veto of Scottish membership of the EU.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-25 11:16
And of course we all remember this from last week.

"But lawyers for the EU said an independent Scotland could be treated as one of two successor states, and that a separate seat for Edinburgh would require only a majority vote among member states."
# Chateaulait 57 2012-01-25 11:20
What the unionists forget when they make up scare stories like this is, that if they are true, then Spain, or whatever the scare story country was that day, would also veto an independent England's membership.

I haven't forgotten that Wales and Northern Ireland would be part of the English membership, which begs the question, what would they call themselves?

It can't be the UK, as there is only one Kingdom.

Bowler hats off, Thinking caps on chaps.
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-01-25 12:40

That goood enough for you?
# Chateaulait 57 2012-01-25 14:28
Almost, but you left the letters, C,E and S out.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-25 11:24
And of course, this is a little closer to the truth.

"Scotland and the United Kingdom would together have more European Union votes and greater influence in the bloc if the former becomes independent, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said."
# Old Smokey 2012-01-25 12:23
Do wish they would stop refering to post union England as the 'United Kingdom'
# Glasvegas 2012-01-25 11:30
So you don't actually allow comments that prove your articles are incorrect?

This is the third time I have tried to post a link to a Spanish paper which proves that the Spanish Foreign Minister made no such comment at all, as regards a possible Veto.

If this is the state of Nationalist debate - simply blocking dissenting voices - then you are going to lose your referendum.
# InfrequentAllele 2012-01-25 15:50
The report here is correct. Spain has not said that it would veto Scots membership of the EU. The stories you link to in the Spanish media are based solely upon the report in the Independent, and were published BEFORE Sr. García-Margallo issued his statement saying that the report in the Independent was "rigorosamente falso"

Do try to keep up dear.

The Spanish government has made no statement about the status of an independent Scotland, and regards it as an internal matter for the UK which has no parallels with the Spanish situation.
# Mac 2012-01-25 11:47
So if the "Spanish officials" is a lie then so must be the reference to "British officials". There have never been doubts expressed and communicated. The doubts are fictious, the communication is fictious, the officials are fictious.

So who made up the lie "Spain would veto Scots membership of the EU"?

This piece in the Independent was written up by a Brian Brady who is the Whitehall Editor for The Independent on Sunday.

It transpires that Brian Brady used to work for Scotland On Sunday - that well known pro-independence newspaper NOT!

As to where Mr Brady's allegiances lie here is what Mr Brady thinks of the SNP and Scots in general, "The party has also benefited from increasingly nationalistic – and anti-English – sentiments."

Maybe Jeremy Paxman is right to compare Scotland to Zimbadwe, a small minded, vicious and bankrupt nation. This might indicate the prevailing view held by journalists in London.

So it would appear that we have a pro-union journalist indulging in concocting scare stories about an independent Scotland, and who is getting paid handsomely for stirring up hatred by the Independent
# rhymer 2012-01-25 17:49
Drop back a few decades - make it Rhodesia - compare A.S. to Ian Smith
- and let us declare UDI.
# Legerwood 2012-01-25 19:37
And look how well that turned out!!!

Not a good example to follow.
# balbeggie 2012-01-25 12:27
The UK Ambassador to Spain I believe is the brother of Jeremy Paxman , what has his involvement been in this scare story?
# Mac 2012-01-25 12:47
Crikey! The Paxman family have certainly got it in for Scotland. Is it because they are embarrassed to have a Scottish granny?
# Mac 2012-01-25 12:57
So the only connection between the journalist Brian Brady and Giles Paxman would be the Foreign Office.

Is the Foreign Office the real culprit in all this? Where does this lie begin and end? Where UK embassy officials in Spain, Foreign Office officials in Whitehall and Fleet Street journalists complicit in placing a false story in the mainstream media?

We maybe witnessing the beginning of a 'dirty tricks' campaign with the British state in cahoots with a compliant fourth estate.
# Marga B 2012-01-25 13:11
Malvern, New College Oxford, initially served in the Environment Ministry in 1974 (Labour government) then transferred to the Diplomatic Service.
# Mac 2012-01-25 13:49
Giles Paxman has a brother in Jeremy who regularily offends Scots on TV.

We have Foreign Office headed by William Hague who has made great play on the Megrahi affair for purely political effect.

We have a journalist Brian Brady, ex Scotland on Sunday, who has a low opinion of the SNP and who thinks Scots are increasingly anti-English.

It would appear we have a perfect fusion of common grievence.

Under those circumstances how difficult would it be to take a grain of truth, Spanish concerns over Catalonia and the Basque country, and turn it into one big lie about Scottish independence.

It can't be that difficult!
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-01-25 16:57
I've got to laugh at arguments over whether Spain would veto Scotlands entry back into the EU.

Is that all the opposition have got???

Alex Salmond was just asked the same question by a Spanish journalist and answered quoting the Spanish Foriegn Ministers direct statement saying no they wouldn't veto Scotlands re-entry back into the EU.

I think we've got far bigger fish to fry just at the moment.

I appreciate that the unionist parties noses may be out of joint but they have chosen to avoid or belittle the issue as far as possible in the past. The status quo isn't a valid or wanted option anymore. I think that they now realise this and are in a bit of desperation over current events and have deep questions to ask themselves about how they move forward from here.

I did notice that Ruth whatshername of the tories was speaking as if she was in control of the whole thing in the Scottish Parliament.
# bigbuachaille 2012-01-25 17:33
Craig Murray, campaigning journalist and now an SNP member, has a very interesting article on this kind of propaganda. Read it here:
# weegie38 2012-01-25 18:47
There is one aspect of the "Spanish veto" which is rarely mentioned, one which IMO is much more significant than fishing:

Spanish business interests.

Iberdrola, the Spanish power company and owner of Scottish Power, is currently investing BILLIONS in Scotland, according to this BBC article:
Similarly, Spanish banks have big interests in Scotland - Santander is all over Scottish high streets:

Are we to believe these companies, and others, will happily let the Spanish government maroon their financial investments outside the EU? I think not.

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