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Scottish 1st MInister Summons Cameron to Explain UK's EU Policy

The Scottish Nationalists are seeking to exploit David Cameron's rift with Brussels. They are summoning him to provide explanations.
By Aryeh ben Hayim
First Publish: 12/13/2011, 9:10 PM

When small countries manage to become independent of a larger neighbor, they tend to be very zealous about their sovereignty. Paradoxically, they can also simultaneously seek further protection under the umbrella of an international organization.

The Republic of Ireland is a devoted member of the European Union in the expectation that this will reduce British influence. Similarly, after the First World War, Latin American countries viewed the League of Nations as a haven from American dominance, as at least in the assembly they could play an equal role.

The Scottish Nationalist government, pledged to achieve independence from Britain, appears to be following that pattern by lining up as a partisan of the European Union - against British policy.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has summoned British Prime Minister David Cameron to a meeting with the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to explain why he vetoed the proposed European treaty changes. Alex Salmond accuses the British PM of single-handedly changing the UK's relationship with Brussels for the worse - without consulting his coalition partners and the other regions of the United Kingdom.

Had the British Prime Minister consulted, said Salmond, he would have learned that his decision had jeopardized European investment in Scotland and negotiations affecting key Scottish industries.

Salmond claimed that the success that he had achieved during his weeklong visit to China could be replicated in the European Union and elsewhere to the benefit of Scotland's economic recovery provided it was not undermined.

"We have not put in all that good work just to see it undone on the whim of a Tory Prime Minister with no mandate in Scotland - who is seeking only to placate his own Little Englander backbenches."

Alex Salmond attempted to exploit the issue in Scotland, claiming that if Scotland achieved independence, it could join the top table in Brussels, given the United Kingdom's increasing isolation.

The opposition in Scotland accused the First Minister of grandstanding and refusing to be specific about his support for the European policies that the British Prime Minister had vetoed.

Supporters of the British government sought to remind the Scottish First Minister that one of David Cameron 's principal motives for vetoing the treaty was to protect British financial services. As financial services account for 150,000 jobs in Scotland, Alex Salmond should have been more appreciative.

Judging by public opinion polls, Salmond seems out of tune. Two thirds of Scottish respondents back David Cameron's decision..