As we all know, a potentially decisive factor in the outcome of the first independence referendum was the message from the No campaign that "a Yes vote puts Scotland's EU membership at risk, while a No vote guarantees EU membership". I wonder how the voters who were swayed by that cynical deception would have reacted if they'd been given a glimpse into the future and realised that, five years down the line, the prospective Prime Minister of the UK would be boasting about how he was going to take Scotland out of the EU against its will and make it so difficult for Scotland to rejoin that nobody would regard independence as a solution. Basically, Boris Johnson is claiming that the prospect of adopting the Euro, joining the Schengen passport-free zone, and giving up "Scottish control of fisheries" means that Scottish voters will have little choice but to stick with the dubious delights of Brexit Britain, rather than trying to get back into the EU via independence. There are, of course, just a few enormous snags with that line of argument...
An independent Scotland would not be forced to join the euro. The Channel 4 "Fact Check" (sic) notoriously claimed a few weeks ago that it would be, which led to the comical spectacle of other Fact Check services demonstrating conclusively that the Channel 4 "Fact Check" was riddled with factual inaccuracies. The theoretical requirement for new EU states to move to adopt the Euro in the long-term is a legal fiction and everyone in Brussels knows it. No state can be forced to take the steps that would be necessary to switch currencies, as Sweden has been helpfully demonstrating in the sixteen years since it rejected Eurozone membership in a referendum.
An independent Scotland would not be required to join the Schengen Zone. The UK and the Republic of Ireland are both current EU member states, but neither are members of Schengen and instead have their own Common Travel Area. Whether or not there is a hard border after Brexit, Ireland is highly unlikely to be joining Schengen, and it's blindingly obvious that the EU would agree that any arrangement that is appropriate for Ireland as an EU state would also be appropriate for Scotland as an EU state.
Scotland will not "control fisheries" after Brexit. Fisheries was one of the key devolved powers that was subject to the Westminster power-grab last year, so control will in fact lie in London or more likely in Brussels - because we know that Scottish fishing communities have always been regarded by London as expendable in any horse-trading with the EU. Although it's true that many Scottish independence supporters do regard the Common Fisheries Policy as the worst thing about the EU, the reality is that we won't be "taking back control" of fisheries under Brexit, and that we'd therefore be sacrificing little by rejoining the EU as an independent state.
You see, that's the thing, Boris - if you want to blackmail a nation into submission, the threat actually has to be credible.
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2019 Scot Goes Pop Fundraiser: This is Day 31 of the fundraiser, and so far £8370 has been raised. That's 98% of the way towards the target figure of £8500. A million thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and I'm also extremely grateful to all the people who have left a kind comment with their donation. You can visit the fundraising page HERE.