PM Rajoy rules out Scotland/Catalonia automatically joining EU
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made it clear that any part of a country that decides to break away from a state of the European Union, such as the case in Scotland, would not be eligible to retain EU privileges.
The Prime Minister was speaking prior to a vote in the Catalan parliament which approved a referendum on independence from Spain for 9th November. Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, has indicated that the Spanish government is contemplating suspending Catalonia’s regional government. If it does then the action taken could be as early as next week.
The press article published on La Moncloa website is as follows:
“Europe was designed to unite States, not divide them”, says Mariano Rajoy
Lower House of Parliament, Madrid, Wednesday 17 September 2014
In response to the speech made by the Member of Parliament for the PNV [Basque Nationalist Party], Aitor Esteban, on the referendum called in Scotland, the President of the Government pointed out, as the European leaders have also done, that the EU Treaties provide that “should one part of a State break away, it becomes a third party vis-à-vis the European Union, and, from then on, no European treaty shall apply, not the free movement of people, capital, goods or services, the currency, the European Central Bank, or agricultural aid, etc”.
Mariano Rajoy described these processes as “torpedoes on the waterline of the European spirit, because Europe was designed to unite States not to divide them, and integration is a sign of the times”. Furthermore, he stressed that this separation does not arouse any “enthusiasm” on the part of the Member States of the Union, “because it is understood, and I also understand this, that it is bad for the region affected, for the State affected and also for the EU as a whole, affecting its wealth, employment and the well-being of all citizens and indeed the very essence of the Union”.
These regions may subsequently request membership of the EU, but these processes may last years and require the “unanimous agreement of all 28 Member States”, he added.
Finally, he stressed that “there are many differences between the process taking place in Scotland and other events that are taking place here”, starting with the fact that “Scotland has virtually no devolved powers compared with the Basque Country, Catalonia or many other Spanish regional governments”.”