NO TO NATO, YES TO THE REFERENDUM

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

The government has published analysis of the responses to its consultation on the independence referendum.

This is welcome, as is the deputy first minister’s confirmation that her government is seeking legal opinion on the impact on EU membership of a Yes vote. However, it is concerning that she talks of the Edinburgh Agreement providing the context of the process of obtaining independence; it does not.

The deal between the Scottish and UK governments provides the context for the referendum and nothing more. I would urge the Scottish Government to ensure the legal advice it is seeking comes back with clear guidance on how an independent Scotland would either inherit or negotiate membership of a range of bodies such the UN, WTO and NATO, and not just the EU.

In the meantime the Scottish Greens look forward to putting the case for Scotland to vote Yes in 2014. Scots deserve full control over their society and their nation’s place on the world stage.

As for the news that John Finnie and Jean Urquhart are leaving the SNP in protest at their party’s U-turn on NATO, they are to be congratulated on their principled decision. The Scottish Greens have always been opposed to NATO, and it is heartening that Alison Johnstone and I won’t be left as the only MSPs expressing that view.

Many people across Scotland share our stance and it is sad that all four main parties now ignore this viewpoint. Alison and I look forward to continuing to work with others who believe Scotland should vote Yes to independence but No to NATO.

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