Frequently Asked Questions - Would an independent Scotland’s voice in Europe be weaker or stronger?
Stronger. Scotland currently has a limited voice in Europe. The Scottish Government is permitted to make an input to Westminster discussions about EU proposals that impact on devolved matters, but Westminster is under no obligation to take account of the views of the Scottish Government when determining its position at EU-level negotiations.
Independence will give Scotland our own voice in Europe, participating at every level in the EU policy process and ensuring that Scottish governments are able to promote and protect Scotland’s national interests in EU affairs.
As an independent member state the Scottish Government will be able directly to promote our economic and social interests and protect our citizens by participating on equal terms with all other member states in EU affairs. Scottish Ministers would participate fully in meetings of the Council of the European Union and Scotland would have increased representation in the European Parliament, thereby increasing Scotland’s voice in the two legislative bodies of the EU.
Where Scotland’s interests coincide with the interests of the rest of the UK, together we will form a more powerful voice for action. When Scotland has a distinct view, we will have a new ability to build alliances and make our case, ensuring that what is right for the people of Scotland is heard.
The current Scottish Government firmly believes the only government capable of properly representing Scotland’s interests in the EU decision-making process is a government elected by, and directly accountable to, the people of Scotland.
Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.