I READ R P Lambeth’s advice to the Scots shortly after returning from a meeting with European businessmen who were still asking me how the British were unable to see the damage leaving the EU would cause them economically and how they could possibly believe that the EU will cut them a special deal on leaving?
Mr Lambeth – a well-known supporter of Brexit – seems to be making the exact same points to the Scots on leaving the UK.
As someone born and raised north of Hadrian’s Wall – which is NOT the Anglo-Scottish border as many mistakenly suppose – I hope the Scots do not break this union, for many of the same reasons as I believe UK should not leave the EU.
However, as usual, Mr Lambeth’s facts and logic sadly let him down.
He displays a total lack of understanding of how the EU works.
Scotland would get seats in the European Parliament commensurate to its population – so probably 12 or 13. They only get six at the moment as part of the UK allocation.
The actual number would be decided after the redistribution of the present UK seats.
Germany, the biggest country, has only about 15 per cent of the seats.
Those members will form alliances with like-minded political groupings in the EU Parliament in order to maximise their influence on decisions, as do the current Scottish MEPs.
These groupings are based on political views, not nationalistic ones.
In any case, what influence do 50 SNP MPs have in the current UK Parliament?
They would be members of the various specialist committees, such as the Fisheries Committee.
I am pretty sure that a Scottish member of that committee would represent their interests far more successfully than the current UK representative – one Nigel Farage, who managed to tear himself away from his tours of self-promotion to attend one meeting out of 37, not even bothering to attend crucial meetings on quotas.
I am also quite sure that a Scottish government would not be so quick to sell off 80 per cent of their allocated fishing quota to foreign fleets in order to raise a bit of cash and to hell with the local fishermen, as did the UK Government.
They would have by right a member of the EU Council and a commissioner.
The right of veto over much legislation and qualified majority voting over the rest.
There are none of these protections open to Scotland in the UK Parliament.
Let’s hope the Scots stay with us but who could blame them leaving behind a nation which has seen fit to set itself on such a calamitous course?
Derek Roe, Exeter Street, Brighton