At the same time as the Scottish Government were revealed to have plans to set up a special body to run a future referendum on independence (thus bypassing the Electoral Commission), an interesting legal opinion has been released on an independent Scotland’s place in the European Union.
According to the Barcelona Reporter, the unnamed professor from Stanford University opines that as the EU Treaties do not explicitly provide for “internal expansion” caused by the cecession of territories within Member States, “the rules of customary international law” would apply.
Therefore, the report indicates, such new States (e.g. Catalunya; or Scotland) would not require to apply for membership of the EU, but simply to ask for recognition of their new status.
The report even lays out ways in which the fledging States could make straight a highway to internal expansion: i.e. preparing the “founding documents” that is, a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution; and submission to the European Court of Arbitration.