BIC Meeting Overshadowed By Scottish Independence Debate
It is expected that at today's (13/01/12) British Irish Council (BIC) meeting in Dublin the potential impact an independence Scotland will have on relations across the constituent nations of the British Isles and Ireland.
The BIC meeting is likely to discuss the Scottish referendum and potential independence, even though the formal agenda for the the meeting is youth unemployment and cooperation on drug users ability to overcome their addiction. The meeting will be attended by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in addition to representatives from the other Celtic nations within the British Isles. It is thought that the big three will no doubt further discuss the how a Scottish referendum will look and the possibility of Scottish independence, following the heated clashes between Scotland and England earlier in the week.
The BIC meeting was due to take place before Christmas, but was postponed due to the death of the mother of the Taoiseach and would pretty much have stuck to the agenda. The development of the Scottish debate however in recent days will mean that the other countries who are members of the BIC, like Ireland, Isle of Man and Wales, will also want to know what an independent Scotland is likely to mean for them. The Welsh (Labour Party led) Senedd (Government) said this week that it is scrutinising the Scotland independence debate and said that even though it opposes independence, if Scotland changed its constitutional relationship with the UK a radical reconsideration would be needed in its own relationship with England.
It is expected that Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will sign a Memorandum of Understanding for closer cooperation on consular support and international crises.
The Celtic League opposes the BIC, because of its exclusion of Breizh (Brittany) and inclusion of England, and favours a solely Celtic formal association instead.
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Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
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gensec [at] celticleague.net
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