Nicola Sturgeon slammed by Neil Oliver over calls for Indyref2
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There has long been talk that Spain would veto an independent Scotland’s accession to the EU over fears it could spur on Catalonia to attempt the same thing. The SNP are expected to ramp up their plans for a second independence referendum, with the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set to publish her legislative agenda for the upcoming year at the end of the month. A cooperation deal between the SNP and the Scottish Greens is imminent, according to Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie.
In an interview this weekend he said: “Everybody is very keen to know the outcome, I don’t think you have very long to wait.
“If we do agree something with the SNP it won’t be put into practice until our party members have had a vote … we’re trying to finish off those last bits of discussion.
“I hope very soon we’ll be able to publish something.
“If we can do that in a more coherent way over the long term of this five-year parliament, we absolutely should be looking at how we can maximise that opportunity.”
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According to Ms Sturgeon and the Greens, the deal would see cooperation between the two parties on specific issues including Scottish Independence, without striking a formal coalition deal.
The Greens will however insist climate change policy sits high up on the agenda, ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow in November.
Indeed, Scottish Independence was given another boost after unearthed accounts showed that Spain would not block Scottish membership to the EU if independence was achieved.
It had previously been theorised that Spain would exercise their veto right if an independent Scotland attempted to join the EU, as the Spanish did not want to offer encouragement to pro-independence Catalonian and Basque activists.
Yet in February 2012 Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said: “If the two parts of the United Kingdom are in agreement that is in accord with their constitutional arrangement, written or unwritten, Spain would have nothing to say.
“We would simply maintain that it does not affect us.
“The constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom are one thing, those of Spain another, and it is their own business if they decide to separate from one another.”
Two years later, in February 2014, the Spanish minister reiterated that an independent Scotland’s admission to the EU “can be considered” as long as the move is “ in accordance with the legal and institutional procedures.”
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This may be a barbed reference to the referendum in Catalonia to secede from Spain, which was ruled as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Spain.
During the first Scottish independence referendum, Scotland’s Better Together campaigners, such as Ruairi Quinn and then-shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, suggested that Spain would veto Scotland’s EU entry.
However, a letter published in The National from Miguel Angel Vecino Quintana, then the Spanish Consul General in Edinburgh, suggested otherwise.
Mr Quintana was writing in response to a report which contained comments from a Spanish MEP.
The Partido Popular member, who is Mr Quintana’s opposition, claimed Scotland would have to “get in line, behind Turkey and behind Serbia, to end up as an EU state”.
In response the diplomat said: “The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Joseph Borrell has recently declared that Spain will not block Scotland’s entry into the European Union if independence is legally achieved and such has always been the intention of the Spanish Government.
“The Spanish Government has not and never will intervene in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom or any other state and expects the same reciprocal attitude.
“I would like to make it very clear that Mr Gonzalez Pons’ statement is his and his party’s exclusive responsibility and not the Spanish Government’s at all.”
The news will be a boost to Ms Sturgeon who is expected to move ahead with independent plans as Scotland emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
The imminent deal with the Greens will be the first time the SNP will have officially worked with another party in their 12 years in power.
Ms Sturgeon announced talks had been launched on the creation of the co-operation after May’s Holyrood election, where the SNP fell a seat short of an overall majority.
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