Aside from listening and watching the ravings of Alex Samond and Nicola Sturgeon talk rubbish, we should also remember that there are other voices doing the rounds.
One such person is Dr Daniel Kenealy, adviser to Holyrood's European and External Relations Committee.
So, what is his take, presumably it isn't babbling nonsense in the style of Ms. Sturgeon.
He says the European Commission "may have set itself on a collision course" with the courts with its "schizophrenic" stance on Scottish independence.
I have a lot of respect for the European Court; they have done a real service for the EU during their existence and produced some really good sound judgments.
As Dr Daniel Kenealy is a Scottish Parliament adviser, one may ask how neutral his opinion actually is.
So, let's get into what he appears to be saying, he opines that EC president Jose Manuel Barroso and others are wrong that a seceding country would be a "new state" and wouldn't have to reapply for membership as being "is entirely inconsistent with the general principles of the EU".
So, let's look at this logically, who holds the contract?
The contract for membership of the EU rests with the UK Government, that contract isn't transferable and can't be partially broken off and reformed by a third party as a new contract or in this case 'continued membership'.
We already know that the Scottish Government doesn't have a contract because it isn't a member as defined by Treaty. That being the case, his point of "entirely inconsistent with the general principles of the EU" is meaningless.
You can't get round the Treaty, any new member must apply and the existing member states have a legal right to exercise veto if they so chose.
Dr Kenealy is off at a tangent in my opinion when he says said the process of expelling a country is equally problematic.
Comparing the situation with the six years it took for the departure of
Greenland is equally meaningless.
The Scottish Government wouldn't be negotiating because they aren't members, the task would fall to
who may have to adjust certain logistical matters relating to EU contracts and
Kenealy says he has "a practical solution" to
continuing membership in line with the Scottish Government's White Paper on
Firstly, it is not a 'continuing' membership by Scotland; the membership is a UK membership.
Repeating that mantra isn't going to get anyone very far.
He also says he would advise the SNP to abandon its proposals to keep the
budget rebate, and to drop its opt-out of the euro.
Both of those things aren't within the province of the Scottish Government, the SNP don't have any claim to the rebate because again, no contract. As to the Euro, I still believe that the SNP despite its 'keep the pound' routine plan to take
into the Euro at the earliest opportunity. Westminster wouldn't do a deal on currency
and the SNP need a lender of last resort.
Writing in the Journal of European Integration, Dr Kenealy said:
"The EU would border on the schizophrenic were it to expel a part of its territory for exercising a democratic right to self-determination".
Again, he is wrong,
wouldn't be 'expelled' it would have left the UK and couldn't claim the contract.
"If followed to the letter, the commission's position would create a sudden and sharp dislocation within the EU's single market, thus making it impractical. In offering a black and white statement on a matter better defined by shades of grey, the commission may have set itself on a collision course with the European Court of Justice at some future date. It is entirely inconsistent with the general principles of the EU to seek to expel the
, and potentially to strip
millions of their EU citizenship, as a result of the exercise of a democratic
right. The commission has thus come up with an immediate mechanism of
withdrawal from the EU. That mechanism stands in contrast to the formal
withdrawal mechanism (which) speaks to the impracticalities of suddenly cutting
loose an existing part of the EU's territory. The delay and agreement strategy
is there precisely to avoid sudden and sharp dislocations in the single market.
The principle is that of no immediate or automatic withdrawal or expulsion. territory of Scotland Greenland's withdrawal is illustrative insofar as it took
six years for agreement to be reached on the terms of its departure. Implicit
in the logic is recognition that the nature of the rights and obligations that
flow from the treaties, the interdependencies that it fosters, and the movement
of people and capital that is facilities, cannot simply be turned off or
The EU would not have stripped Scotland of its membership; the people would have done that if they vote yes.
If a Scot holds a
UK passport, they are a British
citizen, thus it could be argued successfully that they are an EU citizen.
If the same Scot takes a Scottish Passport, they automatically wouldn't have a claim, that being said, an independent
Scotland would not be a member or recognised as
a member no matter how many EU/British passport holders stay within Scotland's
borders. People should not confuse a citizen's membership with that of a member
state, they are entirely different things.
As to his point that the Scottish Government could negotiate continuing membership under article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty, turn it up, there is no way to pass the right of veto, article 49 must be used by anyone applying to be a new member state.
Article 48 change won't happen, firstly, he is wrong to say 'continuing membership' and secondly, no way round the veto of members because that is an infringement of membership rights.
If anything is going to get into the
European Court, attempting to deny member
states their right of veto certainly is, the EU cannot afford to open that can
of worms, because it can only end one way.
Court must come down on the side of existing
recognised members, not people who say Scotland
is still a legal entity within Europe after
voting to leave.
One thing, Kenealy is right about is when he said:
"It is almost impossible to imagine the member states agreeing to allow
to inherit a version of the UK
"The one special provision that would be most important for
Scotland to retain would
be the UK
opt-out on various Schengen (passport-free travel) provisions."
Legally the rest of the
would have to stick up border posts, so as the old saying goes, they are onto
plums on that one if the SNP think they can have passport-free travel provisions
with the rest of the UK.
SNP MSP Clare Adamson, said:
"Dr Kenealy's comments add to the considerable range of experts who have rightly dismissed the scare stories over
place in the EU. Those experts include honorary director-general of the
Commission Graeme Avery, who said 'It's obvious that the common sense solution
would be for Scotland's
membership of the European Union to be effective on the same day as its
independence'. Scotland has
been a part of the EU for over 40 years and it is in absolutely nobody's
interest for Scotland
to be excluded - which is why it will not happen. Indeed the only threat to Scotland's continued place in Europe is the
anti-EU agenda dominating Westminster, which
could see Scotland
dragged out against our will if there is a No vote in September."
Rhetoric but to address some points, Avery said 'It's obvious that the common sense solution would be for
Scotland's membership of the
European Union to be effective on the same day as its independence'.
Hardly a legal argument to hang your hat on or bet the farm, that requires 28 members states to all say yes, and that doesn't look like that will happen.
has been a part of the EU for over 40 years and it is in absolutely nobody's
interest for Scotland
to be excluded".
Does that include the EU member states that have internal domestic issues to address such as
Spain? Why would Spain allow Scotland
membership and boost the unrest in Catalonia?
Yet again assumptions presented as facts by the SNP.
Membership is a matter of contract law,
Scotland has no contract, it really
is that black and white.
Finally, I see Ms. Adamson is repeating the SNP line of "experts", as if that somehow by magic that will remove all legal argument in favour of the SNP's position.
The Campaign for Human Rights at