Public Affairs Networking
Schadenfreude – Will Scotland end up with the Greenland model of independence?

Greenland joined the European Economic Community as part of Denmark. It withdrew from the EU in 1985 following an in-out referendum. The driving force was EU fisheries policy, which Greenlanders did not want to live with, reports our secret columnist in Brussels Schadenfreude

There is a precedent for establishing a relationship between the European Union and a separatist country. But it is not the one that the Scottish nationalists confidently say they will have – full membership with opt-outs.

Greenland joined the European Economic Community as part of Denmark. It withdrew from the EU in 1985 following an in-out referendum. The driving force was EU fisheries policy, which Greenlanders did not want to live with.

Because of its continuing Danish connection, Greenlanders remained EU citizens and, as an Overseas Country or Territory, continued to receive the equivalent of European structural funds. This was an important contribution to the national budget. Greenland also receives a payment for access to Greenland’s fishing grounds from Brussels.

But all is in the process of change. Greenland is on the way to complete independence from Denmark. Brussels will have to think again about its links with the new separatist state. It will, above all, not want to jeopardise its access to Greenland’s fishery resources. The Greenlanders are canny negotiators and fish is their only currency when doing deals. What do you think about that Scotland?

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