If "independence" means that Scotland withdraws from the United Kingdom, then some interesting questions are raised and one of them is whether Scotland would be able to remain a member of the European Union. This question is discussed in posts in Firm Magazine 9th May 2011 "Independence: the legal questions" and 26th October 2011 - "UK government lawyers declare an independent Scotland would automatically secede from the EU." In this context, it is important to see just what the European Treaties have to say about States joining and leaving the EU.
There is no doubt that Scotland is only a member of the EU by virtue of being part of the United Kingdom. Thus, if Scotland secedes from the U.K. then, it may be, that it would have to apply under Article 49 to accede to the EU. The precise position is not clear since there is no clear precedent for it and the Treaties are silent as to the situation where part of a State achieves its own independence.
|Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh|