Scotland will elect a new parliament in May and the Scottish National Party SNP is currently in the lead in the polls. This wants to go back to the EU. With an independent Scotland, without the United Kingdom – but in close partnership with Bavaria.
This was confirmed by the SNP politician Joan McAlpine, who was a guest on the Parliament’s European Committee. There the MEPs were open to Scotland’s return to the EU, including committee chairman Tobias Gotthardt from the Free Voters: “If the Scots want that, the Scots should also have the chance to come back to the EU.”
Rinderspacher: Return depends on many conditionalities
For the European policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Markus Rinderspacher, the return of Scotland to the EU is still fraught with question marks: “When the Scots declare that they want to become an EU member after they have held an independence referendum and, in the end, London agrees , then we would of course welcome it if the Scots were very close to Europe or even a member of the EU. “
Böhm: See the United Kingdom as a community
The AfD MP Martin Böhm, on the other hand, is critical of an independent Scotland: “We see the United Kingdom as a community and I have concerns as to whether it will be so good for the future of this federation if the United Kingdom splits apart.”
Regional parliaments share a common history
In the next few years, Bavaria will therefore initially rely on close cooperation and also refer to the common history.
In 1998 the Scottish Regional Parliament was established. At that time, the Bavarian State Parliament made its rules of procedure available as a blueprint – and has since been regarded as something like the godfather of Parliament in Edinburgh.
Historical connections that have become even more important since Brexit. This was emphasized by the committee chairman Gotthardt. The Scots have made their European orientation clear in recent years, and now they want to tackle future topics such as artificial intelligence or innovations in agriculture together, says Gotthardt.
“Every upheaval is also a new beginning. And now that we are a strong partner, it is indeed an opportunity to build something new on the ruins that Brexit left behind.” (Tobias Gotthardt, Free Voters)
The Scottish MP McAlpine is also counting on a fresh start after Great Britain has withdrawn from the European exchange program for students Erasmus Plus.
The Greens and the SPD want to strengthen student exchanges
Scotland back to Erasmus – Bavaria would also benefit from that, explained SPD politician Rinderspacher: “There are over 150,000 students from the EU in Great Britain who are currently faced with the question: Hmm, studying over on the island will be more expensive and it will be more difficult and it is good if we advocate in the immediate sphere of influence. “
Support also comes from the Greens. When it comes to Erasmus, the cooperation with European partners is directly visible to the citizens of Bavaria, said Florian Siekmann: “Great Britain and Scotland are among the most popular destinations for schoolchildren, students and trainees here in Bavaria. There is a whole we want to maintain close contact. “
The European Committee underlined the close ties in the state parliament in a motion. For the committee chairman Gotthardt, the foundation stone for a long-term partnership has been renewed – despite or perhaps because of Brexit.