Reverse Greenland simply doesn’t work for Scotland

The problem with smart people is that they often land in solutions which are far more complicated than they need to be. That is the case with the so called ‘Reverse Greenland’ option that would, theoretically, keep Scotland in the UK and in the EU at the same time.

The Reverse Greenland means that Scotland would follow a model employed by Denmark where Greenland, a substate within the Danish Kingdom, is not a member of the European Union while Denmark itself is. Reverse Greenland then means that the main body of the nation is outside the EU, and the substate, Scotland, is a member.

The problem with the reverse Greenland option is that it overlooks one vital fact: a Scotland that is in the EU would inherit the UK’s seat at the council. And with Holyrood being a subservient parliament in the constitutional order of this country, it can be overruled.

Imagine a scenario where the EU wants to do a foreign policy initiative that the UK doesn’t want. London has reserved foreign policy, and Holyrood has no right to make foreign policy decision. Yet, Scotland sits on the council and has to vote some way in the council. Say, about sanctions against Russia, for instance. In theory, London could overrule Edinburgh, and force Scotland to vote for or against it. London would then have, indirectly, a veto in a club it didn’t belong to.

The EU would, of course, have none of that, and wouldn’t accept this situation — no matter how flexible it is with the rules in other cases. Talking about this option is just wasting valuable time on a scenario that’s impossible, and everyone should stop talking about it.

We have to employ Occam’s Razor here, and that razor already now say that Scotland will land in a simple binary choice: EU or UK. Choose. We’re just going through the motions until we arrive at that stark choice.