Since last night’s post in which I brought you news that SNP MEP Alyn Smith had said at a Law Society hustings that the SNP leadership should admit it made a mistake (against his advice) by saying that an independent Scotland would automatically be a part of the EU, the SNP has done its best to pretend it didn’t happen.
Apparently both the party and Smith say it didn’t happen. But you don’t need to take my word for it, or George Lyon’s. Look what the Law Society’s own Twitter feed said:
— Law Society Scotland (@Lawscot) April 29, 2014
You can’t really argue with the evidence from the neutral host of the event. Or other attendees. While John Morgan didn’t recall that Smith said that SNP had gone against his advice, he certainly tweeted that Smith said they were wrong to assume automatic membership:
— John Morgan (@jorgmorg) April 30, 2014
And, further from David Gardiner:
I can’t imagine all three would have misheard. And David Gardiner also reported a comment which was at best rude about EU Commission President Barrosso.
Can’t say I liked Alyn Smith saying Barosso has been nobbled by the UK Govt with aim to become SecGen of NATO. Bizarre accusation. #EP2014
— David Gardiner (@davidjhgardiner) April 29, 2014
Anyway, George Lyon had this to say today:
It is rare for any senior SNP figure to take on the First Minister so the comments we heard from Alyn Smith on the consequences of independence for our place in the EU were welcome. But the bravery he showed last night seems to have vanished in the cold light of day. We know that the SNP will say anything to anyone to increase support for independence. They would happily tell us the sky was green if they thought that would give them the referendum result they want.
I wonder if anyone will ask Alex Salmond about this at First Minister’s Questions tomorrow. It’s been obvious for some time that the SNP’s position on EU membership doesn’t stack up. Nobody’s saying that we wouldn’t get in – although getting 27 members rates to agree on anything isn’t the most trouble-free process you could embark on. The idea that it could all be done in 18 months seems a tad fanciful. And there will inevitably be a price of sorts, whether it’s in rebate, or what else we have to sign up to. I have no problem with Schengen in principle, but it could cause problems for us if the rUK continues its opposition to Schengen. I’m just not sure how that would work. Those in favour of independence would no doubt argue that whatever price we pay worth it. But why go through all that bother to get something that most likely won’t be as good as what we have now. It’s like knocking Humpty Dumpty off the wall and pretending that when he’s patched up, he’ll be just as strong as he was before.