Today’s 300th anniversary of The Union is being marked with a special £2 coin but very little else. A poll for BBC Newsnight found that 61% in England, 51% in Scotland and 48% in Wales agreed with the idea of an English Parliament. Tory MEP Roger Helmer has used his January newsletter to explore the implications for EU membership of ending the Union between Scotland the other UK nations:
"The SNP, which campaigns for Scottish independence, makes the implicit assumption that an independent Scotland would automatically retain its EU membership, and become the 28th member-state. "Independent in Europe", as though that were not a contradiction in terms. According to a recent report in The Scotsman, however, the European Commission has suggested that if Scotland became independent from the UK, it would not automatically become a new EU member-state, but would have to apply all over again. After all, it would have to renegotiate its number of MEPs, its separate voting weight in Council, and so on. But if that applies to Scotland, surely in logic it ought to apply to England too? In both cases, the former member state (the UK) has ceased to exist, and two new entities — Scotland; and England+Wales+NI — will exist. If one part has to re-apply, so should the other. If we were once out of the EU, I don’t think for a moment that the political will would exist in England to re-join. I am a life-long Unionist and opposed to the break-up of the UK. But if it would get us out of the EU, maybe I should have to think again!"