Posts Tagged ‘Carl Bildt’

Swedish Foreign Minister warns of the “Balkanisation of Britain”

June 5, 2014

Carl Bildt was once Sweden’s Prime Minster and was the UN’s envoy to the Balkans and is now the Foreign Minister. Not uncontroversial since he has many business interests ranging from Russia to Africa but generally radiates confidence and competence with a not insignificant measure of arrogance.

For a Foreign Minister he can be quite undiplomatic at times (not that it is always wrong to be undiplomatic). He has now poked his nose into the Scottish referendum and warns of the Balkanisation of the UK if Scotland decides to vote for Independence. He has a point of course. It would only be a matter of time before Wales, Ulster, the Channel Islands –  but perhaps not the Falklands – would all choose to go their own separate  ways into insignificance:

The Scotsman: SWEDEN’S foreign minister has claimed that Scottish independence would lead to the ‘Balkanisation’ of Britain.

 Carl Bildt also warned that a Yes vote would have ‘far-reaching consequences’ for the rest of Europe, in comments that echoed those made by former UK Defence Secretary Lord Robertson, in which he claimed that Scottish independence would have ‘cataclysmic’ geopolitical consequences.

Mr Bildt told the Financial Times that there would be ‘unforeseen chain reactions’ in Europe and the United Kingdom if Scotland voted for independence on September 18th.

The former UN special envoy to the Balkans between 1999 and 2001 said: “I think it’s going to have far more profound implications than people think. The Balkanisation of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to.

“It opens up a lot, primarily in Scotland but also in the UK. What are the implications for the Irish question? What happens in Ulster?”

Mr Bildt also hinted that a victory for the Yes campaign could lead to the UK having to renegotiate some of its own EU membership terms. 

“The vote is one thing,” he added. “But there will then be a fairly painful period of separation and how is that going to affect the EU relationship? I assume there will have to be renegotiation of votes.” ……….. 

………… He likened the UK to ‘an island adrift in the Atlantic’ if it left the EU.

And the Swedish politician commented that both the EU and independence referendums showed that the debate in Europe was in the process of moving away from the Eurozone crisis to a more political phase.

“The main challenges in the past five years have been economic ones,” he explained. “Looking ahead for the next five years, it is political challenges in the east fairly obviously and also in the west fairly obviously.”

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