By a Newsnet reporter
Concerns have been raised after comments from a Latvian Minister claiming the rest of the UK might not inherit full EU rights following Scottish independence, were removed from a BBC Scotland evening news bulletin.
A broadcast on Reporting Scotland saw reporter Glenn Campbell (pictured) claim that a newly independent Scotland would have to formally apply for European membership.   The claim followed an interview with Latvian European Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

However not included in the report were comments from the same interview in which the Latvian Official said that the remainder of the UK would not be guaranteed to inherit the old EU membership.

Mr Rinkevics was taking part in an online interview with the BBC reporter when he said he believed that a newly independent Scotland would have to negotiate its EU membership.  Insisting that there was no precedent, the Minister said:

"The procedure of admitting a new member to the EU would have to be followed.  So in that case we would consider that there is a state, there is a nation that wants to become an EU member and basically all the chapters of negotiations have to be opened, duly negotiated and then closed and then Scotland as an independent state would have to be admitted as a member of the European Union."

Asked to confirm if this meant a formal application from either Scotland or the remainder of the UK, Mr Rinkevics refused to be drawn and said: "That’s exactly one of the most interesting parts, I refer to the legal services currently.  I understand the commission and also colleagues from the EU legal services are also currently considering that so I do not want to make any comment vis-à-vis that part of the question, I think we need solid legal opinion."

When pressed again on the position of an independent Scotland and whether a formal application would be required, Mr Rinkevics replied “Yes, from a theoretical point of view”.

However, despite the full interview featuring on early morning radio where the UK claim was clearly heard, the controversial comment was missing when the interview was covered on the prime time evening news.  Also missing from Reporting Scotland was a suggestion by the Latvian Minister that in his opinion the process that would face Scotland would be different and quicker than normal applications.

Mr Rinkevics went on to say Scotland would “naturally” become a member of the UN, the EU and other organisations and negotiations following a yes vote would be “much quicker” than countries who are applying from scratch, giving as an example his own country of Latvia.

Describing Scotland as satisfying, “practically all key issues in almost every field” the official said that the process would also be quicker than new member applicants like Iceland or Croatia, which are scheduled to join the EU later this year.

The removal of the UK comment and other clarification statements from the evening news show which is watched by half a million people, and has the largest audience of all BBC Scotland news programmes, comes weeks after a controversial interview with an Irish Minister led to the official complaining that her comments had been misrepresented and taken out of context.

The BBC, which had claimed the Irish European Minister Lucinda Creighton agreed with a UK government minister that Scotland would be outside the EU, defended its decision not to give Ms Creighton’s complaint high profile coverage saying it was not newsworthy.

Ms Creighton had denied saying that Scotland would be thrown out of the European Union on independence and complained that her words had been "spun" and "misconstued".

This latest news report follows an official statement from the BBC in which the corporation said it does not have to provide balance in its coverage of the referendum debate because the campaign has not yet officially started.

Contacted by Newsnet Scotland, a spokesman for the BARD2014 campaign, which is calling for a balanced referendum debate from broadcasters, said: “There is growing concern amongst many Scots that the independence debate is not being covered in a fair and balanced manner.

“This not only includes debates and discussions, but also those news reports that can impact on the public’s understanding of referendum issues.

“Whilst we don’t wish to comment on this specific broadcast, we nevertheless would express concern if any broadcaster was deliberately manipulating news reports in order to benefit one side over the other.”

With Mr Campbell himself claiming that what Latvia thinks is "particularly important", there is certain to be genuine puzzlement that a claim suggesting the rest of the UK will not automatically inherit EU membership was cut from Scotland's national news programme.


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# clootie 2013-03-01 00:17
I had already put a formal complaint to the BBC straight after the programme.

No bias at the BBC.........give me a break!
# alanski 2013-03-01 22:22
Clootie, what is the correct email address to complain to the BBC please?
# clootie 2013-03-02 13:56

If you do internet search "BBC complaint"
you will go to their main page. select option "make a complaint" and you go through an online questionaire - programme name / channel / time of day etc. It's a click and submit. One option is "do you want a reply" - always select this and keep a record on file.
# alanski 2013-03-02 15:48
Thanks Clootie, much appreciated!
# mountain man 2013-03-01 00:24
I think now is the time to coomplain to the eu about the bbc,enough is enough.
# Jo Bloggs 2013-03-01 13:00
mountain man

I've been thnkning this for several years. The organisation that should be contacted is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). They have a section devoted to this sort of thing. The thing is it may need a fromal appeal for help from the Scottish Government, which unfortunately seems rather unlikely. But perhaps BARD2014 could take it up instead (with the OSCE, I mean).
# McDuff 2013-03-01 14:22
I agree 100%. This isn`t some light hearted
bias this is a state broadcaster interfering with democracy.
# tartanpigsy 2013-03-01 00:31
It seems clear that Saturdays highly visible and successful rally in central Glasgow, calling for a Balanced, All-inclusive Referendum Debate, has not been listened to by the overlords at Pacific Quay!

Without further delay, I can announce that there will be a second march and rally on Saturday 18th May.
More details will be available soon.

Can I also add that some of us have discussed supporting the NUJ's day of action against the cuts and redundancies at the BBC.
More information will be posted on

after a revamp of the page.
You can also keep up to date at
# govanite 2013-03-01 00:43
Quite right, we just need to ensure the BBC is looked at critically rather than reverentially.
# Dougie Douglas 2013-03-02 00:30
I hate to be the bearer of bad news TP - you are wasting your time asking for a balanced debate - it is simply not going to happen.

We are faced with a state sponsored propaganda machine at the pinnacle of the MSM that shapes the 'conversation' and skews it against us. This all that they have - their arguments are weaker than ours so they will point-blank refuse to debate.

There is only one answer:


We will only win next year if we counter the lies one leaflet by one leaflet.
# tartanpigsy 2013-03-03 00:45
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news TP - you are wasting your time asking for a balanced debate - it is simply not going to happen."

Dougie, thanks for the heads up, but none of us involved in this campaign think for a minute that the BBC are going to take a blind bit of notice of this campaign, on the surface at least.
Truth is it will be being monitored, and if all we do is the odd wee protest/rally and a facebook campaign , it will be ignored.
So, what we need is something much bigger. Other posters have alluded to what needs done, leaflets, by their thousands, public interaction via street stalls, visible protests at all BBC studios throughout Scotland, and possibly beyond.
The referendum may be still quite far off, but the BBC needs challenged now ! We need everybody in Scotland to have their perception of the BBC questioned.
We agree with your final sentence 100%, but we need a lot of leaflets!!!
# tartanpigsy 2013-03-03 01:00
And a lot of man/womanpower!

If you're volunteering contact us at
# Am Fògarrach 2013-03-01 00:47
Bad headline. It was never a claim. The Latvian FM was careful to hedge.
# cjmasta 2013-03-01 01:04
At every turn they twist whatever story they can to damage the SCottish Government or protect the unionist cause. Misreporting, non reporting and just plain old reporting Labour accusations in the place of good news are their tactics.
I honestly fear that if the BBC and wider media are not tackled on their behavior then the debate will be so one sided that the referendum will be lost.
The next demo outside the BBC must be as high profile as possible. Can I suggest that in the run up to it we get folk on the clyde ark bridge letting drivers know with signs that their will be a demo and exactly what for too. Both sides too.
# ButeHouse 2013-03-01 01:35
The smug Mr Campbell is currently scouring Europe to find quotes or information to damage the YES Campaign.

But barking on about the High Taxes in Denmark without spelling out the pluses in that system was rank dishonesty and he knows it.

It's only a step up from the High Price of a Pint argument.

(And let's not forget his expenses are paid by us, the Scottish license payers)

VOTE YES in 2014
# Diabloandco 2013-03-01 18:51
Well lets face it , he rushed accross to the States in search of those who would boycott Scotland because of Mr Megrahis release.He found an embittered woman who would happily have had him executed despite doubtful conviction.
He also cut short some senators interview which removed the "nice " bit and left the " nasty" bit.Thank goodness for those relatives and friends of Scotland who could give the full statement.
I do believe the wretch won some sort of in-house accolade for the report.
# gayle 2013-03-01 05:08
Disgusting! Are there no reporters let at the BBC who have journalistic integrity? They state they don't need to cover the referendum fairly,well as a state broadcaster who receives taxpayers money yes they blooming well do. Either they represent all taxpayers or they should refund our money for not providing the service our money is meant to be spent on. The sooner we are shot of this corrupt broadcasting service the better.
# Zed 2013-03-01 06:53
Can't stress it enough people. Get onto Twitter and confront then directly!!!

Ask them questions and let them know about bias.
No use preaching to the converted on the comments section of NewsNet Scotland without getting the word out in the Social Media of Twitter & Facebook also.
# mealer 2013-03-01 06:56
But lets remember.....the current BBC campaign to talk down Denmark offers us an opportunity to discuss the situation with our friends and colleagues.And at the same time raising questions over BBC bias.
# Silverytay 2013-03-01 07:45
The biased bbc are telling porkies when they state that they dont have to be neutral because we are not in the official referendum campaign . The bbc,s own charter states that they have to be politically neutral and give a balance when reporting . I now post all stories like this onto my facebook .
# Dowanhill 2013-03-01 09:06
We all know a complaint gets consigned to the usual BBC bin however , I wonder when making any complaints from now on every body cc'd in the 3rd party in involved, be it the Danish Ambassador to Britain, Danish minister for Europe and, likewise the Irish minister for Europe.

It would bring to the attention that such esteemed representatives are being selectively quoted and misquoted for purposes of deliberately influencing a referendum by an unaccountable state broadcaster.

At the moment any complaints stop at the BBC. What is required is the concerns raised about biased reporting and selective quotes identified almost everyday on this website being brought to the attention of the very people that are attributed to these quotes.

If you thro enough 'keek' around some of it will stick!
# Ready to Start 2013-03-01 09:08
On BBC Radio Scotland 9 a.m news, just heard some Labour (?) apologist saying that support for UKIP in Eastleigh was example of voting for protest candidates "like Alex Salmond and George Galloway".

Usual disrespect for democratically elected leader of the majority party in the Scottish Parliament.
# alexb 2013-03-01 09:21
Quoting Ready to Start:
On BBC Radio Scotland 9 a.m news, just heard some Labour (?) apologist saying that support for UKIP in Eastleigh was example of voting for protest candidates "like Alex Salmond and George Galloway".

Usual disrespect for democratically elected leader of the majority party in the Scottish Parliament.

Just a slight correction, Ready to Start. It was Tim Farron, M,P, the President of the LibDems. But then, as we all know, to some South of the border we are just a nuisance.
# call me dave 2013-03-01 09:24
Just heard that and it shows how out of touch some politicians are regarding the situation in Scotland.

On GMS a bit earlier we got Douglas Alexander who is giving a speech tonight trying to convince us all that there is something in it for Scotland if only we will vote no in 2014. Not sanctioned by Johann then I suspect.

The wonderful pig in a poke will be dangled temptingly and can be revealed in all its glory if only. . it's probably dated 1979 and needs to be accompanied by a particular jam.

Good news that Henry Mc is teetering towards a YES vote.

Roll on 2014.
# Pictavia 2013-03-01 11:29
It was Tim Farron Libdem president and England's answer to Mickey Moore
# westender 2013-03-01 12:13
As a matter of interest does anyone know why the BBC and other state broadcasters are not refered to the European Commision's competition authorities? If you compel citizens by law to take out a licence/subscription you are clearly distorting the market.
# Baldy 2013-03-01 12:17
Seems the wrong bank of the clyde collapsed.
# Inverisla 2013-03-01 13:25
Check out how the Hootsmon is further declining and check out the position of NNS!

via BBC Scotlandshire, btw.
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-02 06:21
If you Google 'News' and 'Scotland' - Newsnet Scotland are ranked third.
# Intransigent 2013-03-01 13:26
Incidently - how many are aware that Gordon Brewer is a former Militant Labour supporter, a member of the Trotskyist groups Workers Liberty and Socialist Organiser? More mature now, of course, but......some have remarked on his willingness to allow unionists to make claims and accusations without challenging them on their substance.....
# jafurn 2013-03-01 19:21
Do you have a link/links to where there is evidence of that.
# maisiedotts 2013-03-01 19:30
Quoting jafurn:
Do you have a link/links to where there is evidence of that.

On wiki he is listed as a Notable former member
# jafurn 2013-03-01 20:43
Thank you....
# Intransigent 2013-03-02 17:21

Simon Pia's diary in Scotsman archive:

Also mentioned at Workers Liberty meeting:
# Arraniki 2013-03-01 14:38
# Baldy 2013-03-01 12:17
Seems the wrong bank of the clyde collapsed.

That comment just made my day.
# call me dave 2013-03-02 00:12
Another bank gone ! Oh well
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-01 14:57
Don't waste time complaining to the BBC, there's nothing to be gained from it.

Instead let the Latvian's know what the BBC did with Minister Edgars Rinkevics comments.
# peter,aberdeenshire 2013-03-01 15:52
I have complained to the EU before and got a long winded waffle in reply, pointless.
# Scandascot 2013-03-01 19:40
They're just following the Unionist rulebook -available here
# Scandascot 2013-03-01 21:20
I'll try that link again
# scottishwatersnotforsale 2013-03-02 00:01
Scandascot is that genuine or where did it come from ?
# Scandascot 2013-03-02 08:04
Quoting scottishwatersn otforsale:
Scandascot is that genuine or where did it come from ?

I don't know if it's genuine or not. I found a link to it here:

Left columnist under 1st March
# Breeks 2013-03-02 09:31
That document is a rare thing Scandascot.

If it's real I'd rather it didn't exist, but if it's fake, I'm glad that it does, but I can't tell the difference.

For myself, I think it's satire, but it's good satire when both a Unionist and a Nationalist can see the worth of the document in their respective campaigns.
# taimoshan 2013-03-02 09:40
Can't make my mind up if it's genuine- to find it google "The British Unionist's Handbook" then select "preserve the union - a guide for unionists" - You Tube. It's foul but par for the course for unionism!
# taimoshan 2013-03-02 10:28
The more times I read it becomes clear it is spoof. The attitudes represented however are ones we have all heard!
# Blanco 2013-03-02 13:13
It might be worth writing to the remaining EU foreign ministries to warn them BBC Scotland is coming to interview them and planning to misrepresent their views...
# ramstam 2013-03-02 20:27
It is clear that the BBC are following not a British but an England UK angle when choosing how to present a "Story".
I too heard the Latvian minister's comments and am angered and amazed at the later distortion of his comments on TV.How long till Radio Scotland are "Advised" of what is expected of them?
# John Souter 2013-03-04 12:29
ramstan -I think we should be very circumspect on this issue. To my mind the BBC is not following an England agenda but an Establishment one - as are the politicians and institutions who advocate for the Union.

The problem faced by the Establishment is one where they are no longer in control having been reduced to human recourse controllers by the global financial and corporate oligarchs.

The job of the BBC is to keep supplying the mood music in order for the human herd to keep chewing the toxic cud of apathy.
# Doontaeus 2013-03-05 14:42
It beggars belief that we the licence payers are paying for messrs Campbell and Buchanan to trawl across Europe looking for stories to try and embarrass the SG. When they do find someone to voice an 'opinion', they make sure they only broadcast the part of the interview which suits their biased agenda.

I find it strange that the countries who have voiced opinions are small countries who, rather than having to pay money to the EU, receive quite a lot i.e. Luxemberg receives approx. 26 million and Latvia about 1 million PER DAY. Scotland, as an independent country, would be comparable to Denmark who presently pay about 2 million per day, in stark contrast to UK's net pay-in of 15 million per day. I think the small countries who benefit from membership may be worried that Scotland may not even be a net contributor and the UK is more likely to leave, therefore reducing the size of the 'cake'.

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