Misleading Scotland

The Guardian reports:

Alex Salmond has been accused of misleading voters about the legal advice given to his government about the right of an independent Scotland to join the European Union.

The first minister has repeatedly said that would be an automatic member of the EU, be free to adopt sterling as its currency and would inherit all the UK’s opt-outs on EU immigration and border controls. He has asserted that this position was supported by his government’s legal advice.

But Salmond was forced to make a statement to the Scottish parliament late on Tuesday after opposition leaders accused him of “lying” and “covering-up” following an admission from his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, that no specific legal advice had been given by Scottish law officers on EU membership.

You can’t have your independence and eat it also. If Scotland wants to be an independent country, they need to independently join the EU, negotiate its own opt outs, and have its own currency.

Even if Salmond had not lied, and had got a legal opinion from Scottish law officers, they don’t decide. The EU does.

 The Scottish government was due to appear at a two-day hearing in Scotland’s highest civil court in December in an attempt to overturn a historic ruling by Rosemary Agnew, the Scottish information commissioner, that this legal advice should be published in the public interest. However, this court action – which has so far cost nearly £12,000 in legal expenses –will now be dropped, Sturgeon said. “I can confirm that the government has now commissioned specific legal advice from our law officers on the position of Scotland within the EU if independence is achieved,” she said. “[The] Scottish government had previously cited opinions from a number of eminent legal authorities, past and present [but] has not sought specific legal advice.”

What this means is that the SNP Government had tried desperately to prevent the truth coming out, but the Freedom of Information Act won out.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

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