Letter: Scots out in the cold

Sir: In arguing the economic case for Scottish independence, Hamish McRae appears to assume Scottish membership of the European Union ("Scotland can pay its own way", 1 December), with all the access to the huge EU markets that this includes.

But a newly independent Scotland would have to apply to join and be accepted by the Council of Ministers. Would Spain, conscious of separatist voices among Basques and Catalans, vote to reward separatist Scots in this way? Would France consider that to do so was sending the right message to Corsica? Germany now includes the Kingdom of Bavaria, but what nationalist ideas might take root if secession was shown to be an easy matter of separate membership of the club? Italy is already struggling to keep hold of Tuscany. Belgians might reasonably fear what such an example would show to Walloons and Flemings.

Has any Scottish nationalist asked the present British Prime Minister, or other Cabinet members, whether they would be minded to vote for the inclusion of a newly seceded Scotland in the EU?

It could be awfully cold out there.


London, W14