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Friday, July 1, 2016

Will 'Brexit' lead to Scotout too.. !!

Nothing of that would cut the ice – the only news that is being flashed everywhere is the withdrawal of British from the European Union, often shortened to Brexit (a portmanteau of "British" or "Britain" and "exit”).  United Kingdom (UK) joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973. Withdrawal from the European Union has been a right of EU member states since 2007 under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.  On 23rd  June 2016, in a referendum on the country's membership, 51.9% voted in support of an exit (17,410,742 votes) and 48.1% (16,141,241 votes) to remain with a turnout of 72.2% and 26,033 rejected ballots.

Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. Scotland’s mainland shares a border with England to the south. It is home to almost 800 small islands, including the northern isles of Shetland and Orkney, the Hebrides, Arran and Skye.Scotland’s location is to the mid-west of Europe and is surrounded by several different seas - North Sea, Atlantic Ocean. Edinburgh, the country's capital and second-largest city, was the hub of the Scottish enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union that gives Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe's oil capital.

Scotland's legal system has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and private law. Following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, this time as a devolved legislature with authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is currently represented in the European Union and the European Parliament by six MEPs. Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon is the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party, in office since 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would travel to Brussels on Wednesday for talks to defend Scotland's place in the EU following a vote by Britain to leave the bloc. Sturgeon told an emergency session of Scotland's parliament on Tuesday.  She claimed that she is utterly determined to preserve Scotland's relationship and place within the EU.  She said she was asking the regional parliament to give her a formal mandate to conduct direct talks with the European Union institutions in Brussels.Sturgeon also said that she was drawing up legislation for a new independence referendum to ensure it could be held within the timeframe of Britain's expected negotiations on departing from the European Union.

Scotland voted against independence in a 2014 referendum but Sturgeon on Tuesday said there had been "a very real and material change to Scotland's circumstances" since then.As she spoke, hundreds of pro-EU campaigners rallied outside the parliament building, wanting to give a message to Brussels that they want to stay.  Nicola Sturgeon will now meet Jean-Claude Juncker during her visit to Brussels today to discuss Scotland keeping its EU status but she suffered another major blow after receiving short shrift from Germany.The pair were not originally expected to meet thanks to MrJuncker's full diary but talks have been scheduled for this evening.She is also meeting Martin Shulz, president of the European Parliament but Donald Tusk, the president of the powerful European Council comprising the heads of member states, has refused an invitation for talks.It also emerged today that a series of member state governments have indicated they will not hold direct talks with the SNP about protecting Scotland's status in the EU.

The German government told the Glasgow Herald this was an "internal" British issue and declined to comment further when asked if it would engage directly with the Scottish Government.Denmark said its minister for foreign affairs "will not intervene in the internal UK discussions following the referendum last week". The Czech government said it was "premature to address the question of an independent Scotland and its relation to the EU."The Estonian Foreign Affairs Ministry did not wish to engage in "speculation" but its Slovakian counterpart opened the door to bilateral talks, saying its appreciated Scotland's pro-EU attitude.Her Brussels visit marks the start of a public relations blitz on the European stage in which Ms Sturgeon will attempt to carve out her own foreign policy based on Scotland having made a “different choice” from the UK in last week’s referendum.But the refusal by member states, especially Germany, to stage bilateral talks is significant as all member states would have to unanimously agree to any special deal for Scotland, whether it was independent or not.

As it emerges,  Northern Ireland and Scotland are the UK’s most pro-EU regions with almost 62% of people in Scotland and 55% in Northern Ireland voting to remain. The decision Brexit has raised new questions about independence in Scotland and could force Scots to consider whether they want to be in the British union or the European union.Nicola Sturgeon has thrown the future of the United Kingdom into doubt by saying a second independence referendum is “highly likely” in the next two-and-a-half years following UK’s vote to leave the EU.She claimed in a press conference at Bute House, her official residence in Edinburgh, where she was flanked by the Saltire and the EU flag, that it was "democratically unacceptable" for Scotland to be taken out of the EU against its will.

Brexit has brought in more complexities .. .. …

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th June 2016.

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