By G.A.Ponsonby

The Netherlands government has said it believes that Scotland is currently a “highly valued and integral part” of the European Union and that EU members would “discuss” the consequences of a yes vote after the referendum.

Responding to questions posed by Newsnet Scotland, Christophe Kamp who is a spokesperson for the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Netherlands government would take no specific position on Scottish membership of the EU and would first need to await the result of the referendum.

However, Mr Kamp said that in the view of the Dutch government, a yes vote in the 2014 referendum would mean dicussions between EU member states on the consequences of independence.

In a communication to Newsnet Scotland, Mr Kamp said: "The Netherlands believes Scotland today is a highly valued and integral part of the Union.  If Scottish people opt for independence, EU and the member states will need to discuss specific consequences of this choice for Scottish / UK relations with EU."

The inclusion of the UK in post independence ‘discussions’ will be viewed by some as confirmation that the remainder of the United Kingdom will not automatically inherit all of the current obligations and benefits of the current United Kingdom.  Last week the Latvian Foreign Minister told the BBC that a formal application from the United Kingdom if Scotland voted yes, could not be ruled out.

The Netherland government’s description of Scotland as currently an "integral part" of the European Union will bolster nationalist arguments that Scotland is already an EU member and that a newly independent Scotland can negotiate a renewed membership from within.

However, Mr Kamp was keen to point out that the Netherland government would take no position on the timing or nature of post independence discussions saying: "we’ll first need to await the result of the referendum."

The Dutch spokesman also pointed to a letter from EC President José Manuel Barroso, sent to the House of Commons in December last year that confirmed the EC would not express a specific view on Scottish independence, pointing out that "...the separation of one part of a Member State or the creation of a new state would not be neutral as regards the EU Treaties."

In his letter, Mr Barroso added: "...a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the EU and the Treaties would no longer apply on its territory."

Last year one of Mr Barroso’s Vice Presidents suggested that countries who opt for independence could not be forced to leave the EU.

Speaking to a Spanish newspaper, Viviane Reding rubbished suggestions that international law meant a newly independent Catalonia would be expelled from the European Union.

Responding to the suggestion, she said: "Oh come on, it [international law] doesn't say anything like that."

The Scottish government has insisted that a newly independent Scotland would be able to negotiate a renewed EU membership from within the European Union.  It claims that there is no mechanism in place for ejecting existing members and points out that Scotland has already been a member for forty years.

However Unionists have argued that independence would mean Scotland being forced out of the EU and having to re-apply for membership.  Better Together head Alistair Darling has said that a newly independent Scotland could find itself out of the EU for nine years.

The comments from the Dutch government follow statements and interviews from several other European Union members, which has resulted in a mixed bag of views.

However concerns have been raised over the veracity of claims by BBC reporters after two Ministers, one from Ireland and one from Luxembourg, complained that their views had been misrepresented in order to give the impression that they were not in agreement with the Scottish government or were against independence.


[Newsnet Appeal Update - Our appeal for funds to help pay for a full time editor has today reached its target of £12,000. We achieved this in less than ten days and would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who donated and for the very many messages of support we received.

The appeal for donations will continue, not least due to the events of yesterday which have brought home the scale of the task faced by Scots who yearn for an honest and mature debate.

This weekend a number of the Newsnet team will meet in order to start the process of installing a full time editor.  We will also be discussing our strategy for the year ahead and are now in a position where previous ideas and plans, thought beyond our financial resources, are now possible.]


# LadWiThePhilabeg 2013-03-07 17:47
Congratulations on raising the money!

Newsnet Scotland's role in the referendum is absolutely massive. Whilst we all rightly complain about the MSM, we need to also thank Newsnet Scotland and everyone else who is working tirelessly to balance the debate and give the Yes Campaign a fair shake of the stick.
# pinkrose 2013-03-07 18:07
Very pleased to hear the news, congratulations , and keep up the good work, you are very much appreciated.
# CapnAndy 2013-03-07 18:10
Will these comments by Christophe Kamp be reported on tonight's Scottish news, I'll not hold my breath. If we do hear anything, the truth will be well and truly spun out of it.
Well done NNS on reaching your target, We all know it'll be well spent.
# fynesider 2013-03-07 22:53
Have to admit that my first thought was "How'll the MSM spin this so that it turns out to be another EU state saying we'll be kicked out"

Totally agree with your last sentence CapnAndy.

# jinglyjangly 2013-03-07 18:15
great news that you have reached the target in under a week, now you need to
get subscribers to pay a weekly or monthly donation in order that you can
keep doing your good work next year as well
# WRH2 2013-03-07 18:31
It's nice to see a reply from a minister of an EU country being published honestly. And it's pretty much what anyone would expect from any other governments' ministers. Scotland is generally well thought of in Europe. The BBC's misrepresentati ons are disgraceful. That a small, donation dependent online newspaper can do this should make their journalists feel deeply ashamed of themselves.
Great news about the appeal and I look forward to the difference a full time editor will make. You have done a brilliant job to date, so big pats on the back to all at NNS.
# mountain man 2013-03-07 19:23
Well done troops,scotland will not forget your endevour for our national liberation.
# bringiton 2013-03-07 19:36
I believe that what really petrifies the London establishment is when we walk away,they will be seen by Europe and the rest of the world as simply England and will have to make many more concessions than in the past.
Scotland will emerge stronger but Little England is definitely going to suffer since it will no longer be able to pretend as being "Great anything" or "United anything".
Being a state called England just doesn't carry the same weight internationally and many will say thank goodness (especially in the EU).
# NkosiEcosse 2013-03-07 20:41
I have to agree with this, I spent from 1972 to 1999 in South Africa (from 16 to 44 ears old), the South Africans, especially the Afrikaans speaking ones were no fans of the English, they still remember the atrocities of concentration camps where the English put the Boer women and children to try and bring the "rebellious Boers" to heel. On the other hand they were nothing short of courteous and full of admiration for us Scots.
# RTP 2013-03-08 08:59
Quoting NkosiEcosse:
I have to agree with this, I spent from 1972 to 1999 in South Africa (from 16 to 44 ears old), the South Africans, especially the Afrikaans speaking ones were no fans of the English, they still remember the atrocities of concentration camps where the English put the Boer women and children to try and bring the "rebellious Boers" to heel. On the other hand they were nothing short of courteous and full of admiration for us Scots.

I have travelled a lot of the world and always been made very welcome just for the fact of being a Scot,only one country have I been mocked and slighted that country being,"leave that for you to work out".
At 75 2014 will be my last chance to see Scotland get its right place in the world so come on all lets do it.
Congratulations NNS not many news outlets could raise that sort of money in a week,glad my small donation helped.
# pamspets 2013-03-08 09:39
pamspets, I AM 69 AND HOPE TO SEE indy for me, the youth of Scotland and for all my friends who are no longer with us but, done their bit over their years to ensure one day, it will happen.
# Dcanmore 2013-03-07 19:55
Congratulations NNS, keep up the great work, and thank you! I will of course continue to donate to keep this important news website running.

A good piece from the Dutch minister and no doubt many others in the EU have the same sympathies.
# Angus 2013-03-07 20:27
Congratulations NNS!
How do we get the word out when the BBC plays such a crooked game! All we hear from them is negative spin.
# jjmac 2013-03-07 20:48
Baroness Johann Lamont, Lord Ian Davidson, Baroness Ruth Davidson, Lord Michael Moore, Lord William Rennie.
If you want to avoid the above scenario please vote YES
# fairliered 2013-03-07 23:08
Quoting jjmac:
Baroness Johann Lamont, Lord Ian Davidson, Baroness Ruth Davidson, Lord Michael Moore, Lord William Rennie.
If you want to avoid the above scenario please vote YES

It seems entirely appropriate that the above persons wish to wear weasel skin.
# Robabody 2013-03-08 15:45
Cripes JJMac - you know how to put a man of his tea!
# Tappietourrie 2013-03-07 21:02
I always liked the Dutch a very inovative and industrious people with confidence. People whom we could learn from as fellow Europeans. Prior to 1707 Scotland did a roaring trade with the continent and when we get independence we, the people of Scotland can once again choose whom we do and do not conduct business with on a world basis. It would be a good idea for NNS to sound out other european foreign ministers to add gusto to our campaign.
Congratulations on reaching your target. I feel that we will win independence from work within our communities and from information on the internet e.g. NNS and others. If 'YES' I promise to do a clog dance come 2014.
# ubinworryinmasheep 2013-03-07 21:04
A wee poll.

Obviously the only poll that counts is on the day but lets just keep them unionists at bay after their little day o fun yesterday.
# jjmac 2013-03-07 22:21
Congratulations on reaching the target but let us not stop at that.
Another contribution on the way and thanks very much for such balanced and informative journalism.
# arch50 2013-03-08 00:52
great fresh air and some light in the tunnel
great work
# merrymacs 2013-03-08 01:15
Congrats on making the target, thank you for providing balanced information and articles - now, please get to work on an NNS 30 minute evening news show;-)))
# Onwards 2013-03-08 04:29
>please get to work on an NNS 30 minute evening news show;-)

Or maybe another fundraiser for a free NNS weekly newspaper to read on trains. Anything to address the overwhelming media bias..
# clootie 2013-03-08 06:41

We would have a significantly lower chance of winning this referendum without the efforts of your team - thank you for the good work.

Our job is to promote the website and get others to start visiting - how are the daily hits doing for visitors?
# Macart 2013-03-08 07:03
Well done NNS, good to hear.

You keep producing the articles and we'll keep punting your site to any who'll listen.

On topic, good scoop. The quotes from the Dutch minister, Mr Kampe seem very much in line with the majority of responses from Europe so far. Basically, no decisions till there's a result and that some form of negotiations will be required. The new twist of recent times being that rUK would be doing some renegotiation themselves. Interesting times for rUK. :)
# Balefire 2013-03-08 08:41
Well done NNS for reaching the target. Phew, I feel we are back in safe hands now.
OT...Think of my shock when I read this little snippet from Brian Taylors BBC Blog regardsing Scotlands and Uk's deficit percentage.

"Remember, too, that the UK calculation upon which that comparison is based continues to include a 100% allocation of oil. Strip that out, post independence, and the figures would be more challenging still.

In short, on these calculations, it could be argued that if Scotland is in the red, the UK is in crimson".

Nice surprise from Brian.
# creag an tuirc 2013-03-08 09:47
Here's something to think about Newsnet got a comment from the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs yet the BBC got 'No Comment' from them. It was only Latvia and Luxembourg that had commented and it was something spun to a negative. So have other nations commented but it was A)Not what the BBC wanted to hear and B)Fear spinning a bigger EU countries words.
# Welsh Sion 2013-03-08 10:03
Regarding your old friend Glenn Campbell, you may have noted that he has by now updated his table of EU Foreign Ministers' views of Scottish Independence with regard to Luxembourg:

7 March 2013 Last updated at 19:24


Reply received after the deadline: Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said: "As we are all facing serious economic and social challenges, this is a time for solidarity between Member States of the EU and within Member States, rather than for going separate ways. This being said, Scotland's constitutional future is a matter to be decided by the people of Scotland. But its future within the EU is a matter for the whole EU and can thus only be determined with the agreement of all Member States."

However, his original piece:

is still in place.

I'm happy to share. :)
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-08 11:34
A good rebuttal of the BBC's take on leaked cabinet paper by George Kerevan in The Scotsman

And apparently Bitter Together have admitted that we would be £46 a year better off with independence.
# proudscot 2013-03-08 12:32
Re the heavily redacted and negatively spun consultative document, produced and waved about at yesterday's FMQs. The First Minister effectively rubbished the combined attacks of the three opposition leaders, pointing out firstly the document was out of date and secondly had been overtaken by events, such as new oil fields which are being developed and coming on stream as we speak.

The Three Unionist Stooges, having nothing else in their arsenal of spin and assertions, were reduced to pulling faces, pointing at their childishly titled "TOP SECRET" false documents and trying to shout the FM down.

The punchline when it came was brilliant, when the First Minister told the baying unionists that they had had their turn of 40 years of benefiting from the oil revenues, but the next 40 years will be Scotland's turn!
# RTP 2013-03-08 17:22
UK Parliament Disclaimer:
This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it
in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any
unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been
checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any
virus transmitted by this e-mail.

Does this mean I am not supposed to post the answer to an email I received from a certain Lab MP????
Answers please.
# ButeHouse 2013-03-08 18:33
Well played the Dutch. Thank you. Let's see the BBC unionists spin there way out of this one.

VOTE YES in 2014
# Welsh Sion 2013-03-09 11:34
Glenn Don't-call-me-a-proper-journalist Campbell has updated his table to accommodate HIS spin on the Dutch response.


No full article of his interview with the NL Foreign Minister, though - what a surprise!

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