The Commonwealth of Nations, usually known simply as The Commonwealth, is a global association of 54 member states, all but two of which were parts of the former British Empire.
The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation in which countries with diverse social, political and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status, with decision making by consensus. Membership by independent Scotland would be as good as automatic.
The many practical advantages of participation with the Commonwealth include membership, educational, youth, sport and other programmes, and for small nations like Scotland consular representation in non-Commonwealth countries.
Scotland’s centuries-old economic links with the Commonwealth countries were severely damaged by the UK’s entry into the European Economic Community in 1973, but membership still offers substantial economic opportunities in a market with considerable scope for expansion as development proceeds.
In this connection, the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), set up in 1997, aims to utilise the global network of the Commonwealth more effectively for the promotion of trade and investment for shared prosperity. In short, the Commonwealth offers Scotland more opportunities for enterprise today than it ever did in imperial times.
As the major Commonwealth Games events in Glasgow (2014) demonstrate, Scotland has no difficulty in identifying with the Commonwealth as a community as an equal member.
As our nation reverts inexorably to its former status of equality within the interdependent global community at large, active participation in the Commonwealth of Nations will be only one of the goals Scotland will be pursuing.
Scotland's national borders comprise one terrestrial border with England and sea borders, two with England and several with other countries. The western sea border with England extends seaward from the Solway Firth. The eastern border extends into the North Sea from the mouth of the River Tweed.
The government of the United Kingdom has attempted to make unwarranted changes to the east end of the terrestrial border and to the entire North Sea border. The purpose of this paper is to expose these cynical "stealth" manoeuvres and to provide the Scottish people with additional information on Scotland's borders.
It is SDA policy that the mediaeval anachronism of foreign government of Scottish territory should be brought to an end with the restoration of Scottish administration of the Berwick enclave.
The unit of political organisation is now the world. And this global political system has a name: it is called Interdependence. It rests on a foundation of around 200 constitutionally sovereign states, members of the United Nations Organisation, the central institution of what is already an increasingly complex system of world government.
Scotland, as a natural and quite distinct geographical, social, economic, cultural and hence political entity, fits comfortably into the new world order.
The Scottish Democratic Alliance (SDA) is fully committed to Scotland's membership of the United Nations, which is rightly seen as the hallmark of an independent state. Scotland, as a developed and cultured member of the world community, will provide both moral and practical support for the ideals and ongoing work of the UN within the means of a nation of 5 million people, acting in concert with the other members of the global family.
The SDA is fully committed to Scotland's membership of the Commonwealth and thereby to continued support for the concept of a shared heritage and values on which Scotland has historically exerted a major influence.
The above will require the establishment of a Scottish Foreign Ministry and Diplomatic Service on the lines of those maintained by developed countries of a similiar size. The Scottish diplomatic representatives abroad must ensure that their country is adequately represented on a political, economic and cultural basis.
"Scotland in Europe" is not an empty phrase. Scotland is in Europe whether we like it or not. That does not mean that we have to be a part of the undemocratic 27-member European Union (EU) representing just over half of the total number of european states.
It is SDA Policy that Scotland should apply for membership of the Nordic Council and enhance its links with its Nordic neighbours. We consider it imperative that the administration of the north-east Atlantic waters should be vested in a partnership of Scotland, the Faeroes, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Greenland. The SDA also considers that Scotland should apply for associate membership, or at least observer status within the Arctic Council, on the gounds that Scotland's territorial waters are the only ones of a non-member that borders on that Council's sea area.
Co-operation on an all-European basis: The principal ones with which Scotland has to concern itself currently are the 47-member Council of Europe (CoE), the 56-member United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the 57-member Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the 27-member European Union (EU), the 30-member European Economic Area (EEA), the 4-member European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the 28-member + 22-partner North AtlanticTreaty Organisation (NATO).
Active Cooperation at Continental Level: The SDA advocates Scottish membership of all of the existing European regional institutions with the obvious exception of the so-called European Union. None of this is intended to deny the undoubted benefits that the EU has brought to continental countries in some fields, and especially the good work it has carried out in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, but the balance of considerations for Scotland’s purposes is that membership is, and in the EU’s present transient form will remain, contrary to Scotland’s interests in the longer term.
The 27-member European Union (EU) is half the size of the major European regional organisations and, with the ongoing withdrawal of the UK from membership, now represents just under half of the total number
of European states, and of the overall European population. The sub-regional EU is not “Europe” in any sense and should never be described as such. Such a false usage is a clear indication of an underlying political intention to develop the EU into a centralised western European state, which is underlined by current proposals to establish an EU army and other armed forces.
The centrally organised and flagrantly dictatorial destruction of two thirds of the Scottish fishing industry for the benefit of richer EU members, (with half of the remaining third now in foreign ownership), as well as
gross mismanagement in Brussels, has reduced Scotland’s wealth-creation capacity by considerably more than £2,500 million every single year as well as destroying tens of thousands of jobs, killing an entire way
of life, and destroying centuries-old fishing communities and cultural traditions.
EU membership has been, and continues to be, Scotland’s worst economic disaster for centuries. In fact, the notorious highland clearances have now been repeated in fishing towns and villages all round the coast through EU vandalism.
The SDA insists that this economic haemorrhage has to stop, and that all consideration of future Scottish membership of the political EU be dropped forthwith.
It is right and proper to prepare plans for action along different lines of possible future developments, but always bearing in mind the reality of the moment, which is that Scotland can take no practical steps on its own behalf until a more definite picture emerges of what the rest of the present United Kingdom is going to achieve through the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
The full range of SDA policy proposals with regard to "Scotland in Europe" can be read by downloading the PDF file entitled "Scotland in Europe", seen in the attachment sections below:
|Devolution and the Labour Myth|
|EFTA - EEA|
|SDA Memorandum to the Council Of Europe & the OSCE|
The Scots have a long and proud military tradition. Today, the danger to Scotland of involvement in a major global war has receded, but it has been replaced by other threats to security like terrorism, cyber-warfare, organised international crime, the illicit drug trade, uncontrolled migration, trafficking in persons, and other threats that are not susceptible to military solutions. The current situation is continuously evolving and requires constant review.
National and international security and defence are closely inter-related and can only be effectively countered by an interactive combination of law enforcement agencies, intelligence services and military forces.
Neutrality is not a realistic option and sovereign Scotland will requires allies, achievable by engaging in bi-lateral treaties with our North Atlantic neighbours, for mutual protection. Sovereign Scotland will be well able to afford and provide capable security and defence assets.
The Scottish Defence Force (SDF) the SDA envisages would be an interactive combined arms force of a comparable capability to those employed by Scandinavian countries, which are similar to Scotland in respect of population, topography and sea areas. The SDF would operate primarily as a land force and a naval force, with both forces supported by suitable air assets and civilian services.
The Naval and Coastguard vessels for the SDF can be built in Scotland, and the equipment for the army, air defence, naval and coastguard units of the SDF can all be serviced and maintained in Scotland, providing job opportunities and creating wealth within our local communities.
The SDA is totally opposed to weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear). The obsolete Trident nuclear system at Faslane and Coulport must be removed when we regain our sovereignty.
|Strategic Threat Analysis - Scotland|