If he was Scottish Anthony Sargeant would vote for Independence. He would not however then vote to throw that Independence away by joining the EU and adopting the Euro. It seems that this is what the SNP is in effect proposing to do.
It seems to Tony that to become a ‘bit player‘, a ‘minor province‘ slightly larger than Lithuania (and probably with as much genuine influence) in the great European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany via Brussels and the European Central Bank would make a nonsense of Independence. It would make Scotland a Vassal state in a new German Empire.
Before anybody protests that Scotland would not have to adopt the Euro it is as well to point out that NEW members are being required to adopt the Euro following a number of policy decisions post 1992 Maastricht, and Copenhagen. Following Independence from the rest of the UK and even in the interim, while negotiating EU membership, Scotland could surely not continue to use the £ sterling. That would be impossibly complicated. So what are they to do?
Furthermore it would not just be a case of the proportion of EU control over day to day life in Scotland remaining the same as it is now because the stated aim is for greater and greater integration of political, economic and social structures. So Scotland will find itself losing its independence year by year as Germany through the Brussels politburo extends it control.
In addition if the EU is to survive it has to take greater direct control of the financial affairs of member states through the Eurozone (and in the transition period Exchange Rate Mechanism II as with Denmark). To do this the European Central Bank will need to govern and ‘harmonise’ taxation and other financial instruments across the EU. ‘Harmonise’ sounds such a pleasant and harmless European buzz-word until one unpicks its true meaning which is to take away government from national, in this case Scottish, level and replace it with centralised decisions taken by the European Commission and European Central Bank.
In the context of EU finances it would be interesting to know to what extent Scotland would become a net contributor to the EU budget supporting Greece and a number of other failing economies with massive youth unemployment. If the oil and gas revenues turn out to be much larger than previously thought Scotland will surely have to make a very large net contribution thereby decreasing the revenue available to the Scottish Government to use for the direct benefit of Scottish infrastructure and services. Although in reality of course Holyrood’s power to allocate its own resources will diminish year on year as control seeps away to Brussels. Eventually leaving Holyrood as a sort of Parish Council along with other small provincial governments (of other previously and similarly proud nation states) within the European Superstate.
Furthermore and in relation to financial matters Scotland will not, as a member of the EU, be able to control its very valuable asset, the fisheries. Spanish Super-Trawlers will continue to cause devastation to this valuable resource, landing their above quota catches in Spanish ports with impunity, and with no benefit to the Scottish people.
Finally, and one knows the Basil Fawlty instruction, “Whatever you do don’t mention the war”. Nonetheless, Scottish people died in huge numbers in two world wars fighting against an aggressive Germany. The last war against The Third Reich was in the lifetime of Tony Sargeant and he does wonder what those who fought and died would think of a Scotland that voluntarily voted to abandon any new won independence and become part of a new German Empire in the guise of the EU, in effect a Fourth Reich?