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Report: If Scotland becomes independent, Britain should support it

May 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 1 (UPI) -- Scottish nationalists should not assume an independent Scotland will be welcomed into NATO and the European Union, a British parliamentary report said.

The report released Tuesday by the foreign affairs committee said if Scotland does become independent the rest of Britain should support its membership in international alliances, The Scotsman reported. It suggested First Minister Alex Salmond and other leaders of the Scottish National Party have not put enough thought into how independence would affect Scotland's international relations, instead assuming "goodwill can overcome difficulties."

"There is a pressing need for official legal advice on a wide range of international legal issues, including EU accession, EU opt-outs and membership of international organizations," the report said.

Richard Ottway, the committee's Conservative chairman, said Scottish independence is not just for the Scots to discuss.

"The implications of Scottish independence are rightly being discussed by people of all political persuasions and the loss of Scotland would be keenly felt by the U.K.," he said. "At the moment, there are some quite worrying gaps in the Scottish Government's foreign policy vision and certain assumptions are being made which don't seem to be based on concrete evidence."

Scotland has been part of the British monarchy since James VI of Scotland succeeded Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. The countries were formally joined more than 300 years ago.

Recent polls have suggested a majority of Scottish voters oppose complete independence, although many believe the Scottish government should have more power than it does now.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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