I write to congratulate you on your appointment as President of the European Commission.
I am nobody important, just a Scot, proud of Scotland and proud to be a citizen of the European Union.
I wish to dissociate myself from the behaviour of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who leads a party that has but one member from Scotland in the Parliament at Westminister, and another solitary member in the European Parliament.
I find it difficult to understand why he should have forced a vote on your appointment when the advice from his advisors and the UK diplomatic service was that he did not have a veto and he had no support from his fellow heads of government.
As the vote was decisive, that confers overwhelming approval for your appointment. I hope that gives you some personal satisfaction. You have a reputation for working towards consensus and being both conciliatory and pragmatic. I wish you well in your dealings with our difficult British Prime Minister in the months and years ahead.
David Cameron’s approach to international relations with our European partners I, and many others, find puzzling. That internal political difficulties may play a part is no excuse for failing to adopt a courteous and constructive role in attempting to achieve his aims. Just what those aims are, he has failed to set out with objective clarity. Perhaps you are equally uncertain regarding the objectives of his proposed renegotiation agenda.
I also wish to take issue with the ‘cowardice’ allegations directed at Mr Cameron’s fellow leaders by some of his senior ministers and reported in the UK media this weekend. This is also not helpful for future relations, but sadly is a pattern stemming from Mr Cameron’s isolationist approach at European summits since he became British Prime Minister in 2010.
On a personal matter, and one close to my heart, I would ask what my present status as a European citizen would be in the event of a Yes vote in the referendum on Scottish Independence on 18th September this year?
As you are no doubt aware the polls are closing with the increasing likelihood of an independent Scotland resuming its place in the community of nations and becoming a full and constructive member of the European Union.
I understand this would involve negotiations between the representatives of the Scottish Government and the European Union. It seems right, that as the people of Scotland have been citizens of the EU for almost 40 years, the approach would be one of continuing membership.
I do not ask this of you to be difficult or political, but as one European citizen to another.