Sometimes the word “spin” just isn’t enough to get the reality across.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: the Scottish media.
There’s only one small issue: what the “top EU official” actually said was the exact opposite of “you’ll have to join the euro and get to the back of the queue”.
As ever, once you get past the headlines and halfway through the story – by which time the majority of people have stopped reading – they grudgingly surrender the truth.
Jacqueline Minor in fact said that Scotland could JUMP the (non-existent) queue:
“There are a number of official candidate countries – Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, [but] they are still quite some way away from meeting the criteria for membership. And obviously were Scotland to become independent, they would join that list.
Now, it might be easier for an independent Scotland to meet those criteria. The fact that all your legislation has to be in alignment with existing European rules would presumably not be too difficult for Scotland, compared with, say, Montenegro. And that might enable them to move faster than others.”
(We suspect there might actually be some heavy sarcasm in there, given that as it’s currently in the EU, all of Scotland’s legislation is of course already fully compliant.)
And she said that in practice it WOULDN’T have to join the Euro:
“All member countries are committed to eventual membership of the euro with the exception of the opt-outs that exist for the UK and Denmark. But there is no stipulated timeline for joining the euro.“
Which is the position that the Yes side has been patiently explaining over and over and over for most of the past five years. While member nations have to commit to the THEORETICAL PRINCIPLE of joining the Euro, actually doing it is entirely voluntary, and involves criteria that Scotland doesn’t meet even if it wanted to.
None of that inconvenient detail troubles the Scottish press, of course. “You wouldn’t need to use the Euro and you wouldn’t have to join a queue” becomes “You’d have to join the Euro and get to the back of the queue” in the blink of an eye, because one poll showed a small rise in support for independence on the back of Theresa May’s plans for a hard Brexit, and the first casualty in a Scottish-media emergency is the truth.
(It hardly seems worth mentioning that all this is predicated on Scotland becoming independent AFTER Brexit rather than before, which would change everything.)
To be honest with you, readers, we’re thinking of having a rail put in that we can hold onto when we look in the Scottish press, lest we be suddenly dashed against the wall by the overpowering gravitational force of their dishonesty. We can only hope that someone pushes the red button before too long.