Monday, 17 February 2014


This in the Guardian!
The European Commission has clarified today (Monday) that its president, Jose Manuel Barroso, "did not want to interfere in the democratic process in place" in Scotland and Catalonia. Barroso warned on Sunday in an interview with the BBC to be "extremely difficult, if not impossible" that a country obtains the endorsement of 28 independent member states to stay in the EU.

He gave the example of Kosovo and the refusal to recognize the secession by Spain.

EU spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde, clarified that Barroso "would not suggest" that the Serbian exprovíncia "was a perfect analogy" for Scotland or Catalonia, only that the case "illustrates the possible difficulties and uncertainties".

Scotland and Catalonia have again focused much of Monday's press conference day of the European Commission. The spokesman had to respond to six questions about the BBC interview in which Barroso said that Kosovo "is a somewhat similar case."

Ahrenkilde said that Barroso "repeatedly said he did not want to interfere in the democratic process in place."
Some old Lord called Jay, the daughter of Jim
Callaghan tells us that Yes may mean No.
"We cannot know in advance what the outcome and this is what the president meant," he insisted Ahrenkilde, trying to downplay the statements. According to his spokesman, Barroso under no circumstances "did he imply" Kosovo "was a perfect analogy."

"It was used only to illustrate the difficulties and uncertainties which could arise" in the process Scottish or Catalan. "But he did not want to interfere in the democratic process in place, it was just an illustrative example," argued Ahrenkilde.

The Danish spokesman reiterated that the EU executive "only expressed its opinion on the legal consequences for the EU" independence of Scotland or Catalonia "if a member state asks a scenario." Ahrenkilde denied that the European Commission is preparing to report and stated that despite the controversial statements Barroso, "there is no detailed analysis or opinion." "These are matters of internal constitutional order of member states," he added. (We all know that the UK has refused to ask for an opinion, despite the FM writing to Cameron to ask him to do so, because it reckons it would be favourable to us... and that would never do!)
Francie and Jose, without Francie
Meanwhile an article in the staunchly unionist Guardian written by their ex-European editor, describes about Barroso's vision of Scotland being ejected from the EU as politically maladroit, and goes on to say that his comments are "as ludicrous as his record in office".

To add to the rattling down, Professor David Edward, an ex-judge of the European Court, and now a Professor Emeritus of the University of Edinburgh, where he was Salvesen Professor of European Institutions and Director of the Europa Institute from 1985 to 1989, has rejected Barroso's view. Amazingly this has been covered by the BBC!

One of the best commentaries on this Barroso's pronouncements has been Iain MacWhirter's.

I know Andrew Marr is ailing and perhaps not as energetic as he used to be in his questioning since his stroke, but did none of the comments of these people pop into his, or his researchers' heads when they were preparing for this interview?

I love it when a series of Cameron's plans rattle they inevitably do... as the truth starts to emerge.


  1. Tris

    Must admit most of it passed me by to be honest. The constant negativity is getting annoying from the nay Sayers but strengthens my resolve to keep at it. Will we be thrown out of Europe, I doubt it. Spain etc need the fishing rights although I wouldn't be depressed if we were.


    1. I agree, Bruce. The negativity is debilitating. Yesterday Stuart took to pieces, line by line, a letter from Alistair Darling and there were 14 lies in it. So obvious lies too!

      You being to think how bright the future must be for us independent. If they are prepared to issue a tissue of lies in a fundraising letter, what is it that they are trying to keep?

      Or does Alistair just desperately want his lord hood.

      I'm getting to the stage where nothing could persuade me that I was wrong. They are such a vile lot that, as a friend of mine says of the situation; if I had to eat gruel and live in a cave I'd vote yes to be rid of them.

  2. I agree with Bruce. All this negativity is increasing my dislike of the Better Together people. I would vote Yes even if the EU officially announced that Scotland will be expelled from the EU and the UK found some way to prevent us using sterling.

    I would like to see a statement by the Scottish Government that, if an independent Scotland were to be expelled from the EU, a referendum would be needed before Scotland could rejoin, and that there would be no guarantee that this would back EU membership. I am moderately in favour of EU membership, but would probably vote against it in that situation. No doubt there are others who would feel the same way.

    1. I'm instinctively a supported of the EU, albeit that it, like every other government, has myriad faults.

      But membership is not a prerequisite for independence for me.

      I'd be happy to be a member of EFTA with free trade and movement of people. The disadvantages of that are that we would have to pay the same as EU countries and have no Veto over their policies, and we would get no payments from the common agricultural funds (but as RUK steals that from us at the moment it wouldn't make much difference); the advantages that we would not have to share our fishing waters.

      I don't know this, but I'm guessing that whilst the UK would not be welcome in EFTA (because it is 8 times the size of the nearest sized country, and has a record of being awkward and wanting everything its own way), Scotland, being the same size as Norway and about half the size of Switzerland, would likely be welcomed, especially if we had been treated badly by RUK and Spain...

      So we could enjoy most of the benefits of the free market without losing some very experienced and valuable workers, and our older people who have retires to Spain, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria, etc would not be forced to sell their houses and return to the cold.

      If we were chucked out, I'd personally not be in favour of rejoining. If ERUK was going to block everything we ever wanted to do, out of spite, it's not an organisation I'd want to be in, but a referendum would be the proper way to sort that out.

      The thing is that we have to stand up to bullies.

      I'm all for a fair argument, but the constant negative bulling from uKOK is driving people into a corner.

      They really seem to hate us.

  3. EU spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde, clarified that Barroso "would not suggest" that the Serbian exprovíncia "was a perfect analogy" for Scotland or Catalonia, only that the case "illustrates the possible difficulties and uncertainties".

    Not a perfect analogy?

    In the same way that Alistair Darling and Jimmy Reid are/were part of Labour in Scotland.


    1. LOL yes, something like that!!!

      Hard to imagine that Alistair was a bit of a trot in his earlier days... Must have been a student reaction to his privileged upbringing, independent school and life in London.

      He must feel very much at home with Osborne and the other toffs... He is, after all, one of them.


    Another excellent piece here.

    My favourite line is: "George Osborne may lack any sense of history, but surely the Liberal Democrats – who used to stand for Irish home rule – are aware of the historical resonances."

    One wonders how George managed, with his "lack of sense of history" to be awarded a modern history degree from England's finest university.

    And of course the second part of the sentence presupposes that the Liberals, in the form of Danny Alexander, are anything other than Tories with slightly less posh accents and fewer titles in the family.

    I used to read Iain and think he was against independence; then for a while I thought he was one of the fairest and most reasonable commentators, criticising both sides equally.

    Recently he seems to me to have been a little more pro independence, but Gideon and his interventions of last week have made him see red.

  5. Cameron loves it when a plan comes together, but he gets so little love in his life because they never do!!

    1. I'm wondering what is the point of his expensive education, if he manages to get almost every single thing wrong... He might as well have gone to the comprehensive down the road.

      What did he announce his legacy would be...?

      Big Society?

      More like Big Issue!