Blog Analysisgovernments

A fictional separation association scenario for Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland

(BRUSSELS2) Is there a (narrow) path between the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, maintaining Scotland (or Northern Ireland) in the European Union while avoiding their independence (and their re-adherence)? We can ask ourselves this question which undoubtedly seems more realistic than that consisting in having the British vote a second time (an idea which arises in a few rows of idealistic Europeans).

The Greenland Way

This would consist of following the path traced by Greenland, which separated from the European Union while continuing to be part of Denmark. The idea would then be that England and Wales would leave while Scotland would remain a member of the Union, taking over the seat of the United Kingdom within the Union in a way: European commissioner, place on the Council ministers and the European Parliament. In legal terms, it is a narrow but not impossible path. It would be necessary to define the conditions of this “succession of States” (which is provided for by international law): the financial contribution, the number of MEPs (pro rata), etc.

The difficulty at the British level

But the main consequences and difficulties of this solution are at the level of British territory. The Greenlandic solution is valid because it is a territory physically separated from Denmark. A border – the European border – would have to be reestablished in some way between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).