Messenger Newspapers'Balkanisation' warning on Yes vote (From Messenger Newspapers)

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'Balkanisation' warning on Yes vote

Messenger Newspapers: Prime Minister David Cameron proposes holding a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by 2017 Prime Minister David Cameron proposes holding a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by 2017

Scottish independence will lead to the "Balkanisation" of the British Isles with serious knock-on consequences for the European Union, according to Sweden's foreign affairs minister.

A "Yes" vote on September 18 would spark a painful process raising questions about relationships with Ireland and the UK's role in European politics, Carl Bildt told the Financial Times newspaper.

As well as raising his concern about the Scottish referendum, he warned that taking the UK out of the EU would be a "disaster".

Prime Minister David Cameron proposes holding a referendum on the UK's membership by 2017.

He predicts unforeseen chain reactions if Scots first vote to leave the rest of the UK.

"The Balkanisation of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to," he told the FT.

"It opens up a lot, primarily in Scotland but also in the UK. What are the implications for the Irish question? What happens in Ulster?"

The UK may lose votes in EU decision-making, he claimed.

Losing the UK after a second referendum would be a significant setback.

"The EU would lose a significant element of global clout. It would be an even bigger disaster for the UK," he added.

A spokesman for pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland said: "The Nordic states set a fine example of how neighbouring countries can cooperate and share a social union without a political one. A Yes vote in September provides the UK with an opportunity to emulate that.

"Scotland has been a member of the European Union for more than 40 years and we can look forward to our continued membership with independence. The only foreseeable future disruption to the EU from these islands comes from Westminster's proposed in/out referendum."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "These comments do not reflect the reality of Scotland's referendum process, which is a model of democracy and of how such processes should be conducted, and which has been cited as such internationally, including by the US Secretary of State.

"An independent Scotland will play our full part in the international community, bringing a peaceful, progressive and constructive voice to global affairs."

Comments (1)

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2:36pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Viva Trowvegas says...

Not sure this chap is right. The Balkans has always been a hotbed of nationalist conflict fired in the main by religion. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are unlikely to be divided on that front. Sure, the Troubles were fuelled to a degree in that way and the area still remains a tinderbox.

Logically though, if Scotland became a republic and Wales and Northern Ireland were given more autonomy, maybe we could go the other way and become even stronger with a mutual respect of each others' history and a recognition of what bonds us as well as what makes us different.

I would see that happening rather than a Balkanisation because we aren't divided nationally as a whole by religion, plus the one religious conflict may well move forward as a result. Simplistic? Possibly, but no more simplistic than suggesting the UK would become a Balkans if Scotland took the plunge.

As for the EU, we won't ever get out. It is not in US, EU, UK or allied intelligence interests. There are too many powerful forces involved for that to happen. Took a bit of delving for me but I got there. Voted UKIP but now know their main policy is flawed unless they get a massive general election victory, which they won't...
Not sure this chap is right. The Balkans has always been a hotbed of nationalist conflict fired in the main by religion. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are unlikely to be divided on that front. Sure, the Troubles were fuelled to a degree in that way and the area still remains a tinderbox. Logically though, if Scotland became a republic and Wales and Northern Ireland were given more autonomy, maybe we could go the other way and become even stronger with a mutual respect of each others' history and a recognition of what bonds us as well as what makes us different. I would see that happening rather than a Balkanisation because we aren't divided nationally as a whole by religion, plus the one religious conflict may well move forward as a result. Simplistic? Possibly, but no more simplistic than suggesting the UK would become a Balkans if Scotland took the plunge. As for the EU, we won't ever get out. It is not in US, EU, UK or allied intelligence interests. There are too many powerful forces involved for that to happen. Took a bit of delving for me but I got there. Voted UKIP but now know their main policy is flawed unless they get a massive general election victory, which they won't... Viva Trowvegas
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