22/01/2013 Newsnight Scotland


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will be something none of us predicted. Thank you very much.


Tonight on Newsnight Scotland: An international lawyer and former


White House advisor gives us his verdict on how the United States


might see an independent Scotland. And a conservation society says we


should cut back on mackerel. Fishermen tell us to ignore them.


So who's right? Good evening. Amid all the claims and counter claims,


agreement over an independent Scotland's position on the


international stage seems as far off as ever. Earlier this evening,


a former adviser to the Clinton administration told an audience at


the University of Glasgow that while international law will play a


part, political negotiation and diplomacy will be key to deciding


Scotland's membership of the likes of NATO, the UN and of course the


European Union. For the First Minister this turned out to be


politically damaging. Have you sought advice from your own


Scottish block officers on this matter? We have. But the row over


EU membership shows that whatever Alex Salmond and his opponents


claim the year is no way to renegotiate membership from the


inside or outside. One part of the country, I am not speaking about


any specific one, if it wants to become an independent State it has


to apply for European membership. Even this intervention has proved


to be far from definitive. Less controversial would be membership


of the United Nations. An organisation that includes


Afghanistan and Zimbabwe to it surely find a place on the flagpole


for a suit -- Scotland. demonstrated against the Iraq war,


I am tired marching, I want a seat for our Government. Last year, the


SNP voted narrowly to change membership. It is now clear that


nuclear weapons would have to go, that is none of course you will.


Diplomacy and politics are more likely to decide Scotland's


position than international ditties and historic precedent. It is


surely wrong to think that somewhere in the bowels of the


State Department, Barack Obama does not have someone keeping an eye on


all of this. David Scheffer teaches International Human Rights Law and


International Criminal Law. Previously he served as a senior


adviser to Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration,


and has published extensively on international legal and political


issues. He joins me now. Before we get on to the legal stuff I am


interested in you having been an adviser to the Clinton


administration. Madeleine Albright was in Glasgow not that long ago


and made a critical speech on the dangers of fragmentation within the


European Union. Do you think that reflects the view the State


department would have? I think it is a natural point of view for them


to have because the world is at a lot simpler for the United States


is a United Kingdom were not to break up. It does not complicate


matters within any talk in terms of how a divided United Kingdom would


retain its role and membership in NATO. It complicates the picture


enormously for the United States. It does not surprise me that that


point of view is expressed. That is what I would expect. You would


expect the American Government to be against an independent Scotland


even if it is not jumping out and saying that in public? Absolutely.


It presents strategic complications and security issues for the United


States. That does not mean there will not be someone in the State


Department looking at the aspirations of the Scottish people


but they will be looking at it much more from a strategic and political


point of view. Presumably, as you said, breaking up the UK, there


also seems to be a broader perspective. One point is that the


Americans want the European Union to be as strong as possible.


would say with all due respect to Madeleine Albright, it does not


necessarily reach the conclusion that if Scotland breaks off from


the United Kingdom that somehow weakens the European Union. I was


thinking more of presidents such as Catalonia or other parts of the


European Union. The idea is that a European Union which is externally


fragmented is externally weaker. There is clearly a domino theory at


work here. If one were to go down clearly others could go down with


in Europe which would weaken the European Union. Each of these


situations is so unique that whether it be Spain, Belgium or


otherwise, we must look at how one can retained the overall unity of


the European Union, the overall unity of NATO, without necessarily


dictating that each existing member State has to retain its existing


political formulation for years on end, in the future. Life is going


to change. The European landscape will change. You seem to be saying


it would not necessarily be right to stick with the status quo.


at all. I do not necessarily align myself with that point of view. I


think the European Union needs to accommodate these kinds of


adjustment within sovereignty of the European Union and the NATO


alliance. You cannot look at either of those organisations with a


static notion of what their future looks like. If you're overall aim


is to retain the overall unity of these alliances and that structure,


you need to pay attention to what is happening within each member


State. If you were back in the State Department and people turned


around and said this is wrong, Britain is one of the most


important allies, a Britain without do not want that, there is no


conceivable way in which that would be good for America, of what would


you say? I would argue internally. There are different ways of looking


at the issue. At the end of the day it is predictable that the United


States would stand with the United Kingdom as a strong ally and


express itself with that respect. got the impression weeding your


speech that you might actually rather favour Scotland becoming


independent, am I being fair? -- a reading your speech. I am not


opposed to it. The expression of the Scottish people needs to be


confirmed in the referendum. If it is yes I think a path we should be


discovered for the independence of Scotland. I think it is entirely


natural as an expression of self determination in it 2013 for there


to be a referendum on this issue. That is am very natural evolution.


This part of the United Kingdom has been on a path to its sense at


least the 1970s. It is a logical trajectory. There is nothing


shocking about it. No one should be surprised at that a referendum is


being held. In the future, if a referendum is being held, there are


ways to move this situation towards what I considered to be at very


reasonable separation of the rest If Scotland were to become


independent, you think it is tenable that Britain is on the


Security Council given that there are countries like Germany and


Japan which already questioned, sometimes, whether it is


appropriate for Britain to be there. A undoubtedly, debate will arise as


to the future. Let me be more specific. Yes, there will be


questions raised. About the continuation of the permanent seat


of the United Kingdom, if this process moves forward, with


Scotland, but Scotland would play a stronger hand if it works closely


with London to sustain the permanent seat in the United


Nations Security Council by using its emerging relationships with


other nations to essentially lobby those other nations for the


continuation of the United Kingdom's seat. One of your former


State Department colleagues said, we're dealing with countries like


China, Japan and Brazil, here. United Kingdom still holds a pretty


strong hand in the Security Council in terms of the ultimate vote as to


its own fate within the Security Council. What I am saying is that,


whenever Russia retained the Security Council seat, and that was


to a friendly agreement within the council. The United Kingdom is


perfectly capable of retaining a similar, friendly agreement, but it


can only do so, in my view, if Scotland stands with it in seeking


that friendly agreement with and the council. -- within. Its health


benefits have made it a popular choice for our dinner plates, but


now mackerel has been downgraded from a list of fish suitable to eat.


The Marine Conservation Society says it is no longer a sustainable


choice, thanks largely to Iceland and the Faroe Islands increasing


the amount of the species that they catch. The move has angered


Scotland's fishermen, who are urging us to ignore the advice.


Here's Steven Godden. Attractive might not be the work that springs


to mind, but appearance, it seems, is no barrier for the upwardly


mobile mackerel. This Glasgow fishmonger boost its rice down to a


combination of factors, among them, celebrity chef endorsement under


push to encourage people to eat more oily fish. Today his customers


have something to ponder after the Marine Conservation Society took


mackerel off his list of suitable fish to eat. The leaves me with a


dilemma. I know that there is going to be mackerel available. Scottish


fishermen are going to be lending it. I have to consider what is


sustainable, what my customers are going to be happy with, and the


fish that I supply them with is actually going to be sustainable,


long into the future. sustainability is at the root of


their advice. Mackerel was traditionally found mainly in the


north-east Atlantic. In the last few years it has seen a shift


north-west towards Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. A decision by those


governments to refuse quota agreements with other North


Atlantic countries was at the same time significantly increasing how


much they catch infuriated fishing leaders, triggering the so called


mackerel wars. Is human nature. They want to capitalise on the


stock, but the stock is of a finite size, and the fishing pressure is


almost double what it should be, so the stock is in danger of


collapsing entirely. Scottish fishermen say that the charity has


a point about Iceland and the fear Roy Evans over-fishing but insist


they have been too hasty, warning people off mackerel. For latest


scientific advice, produced in October, shows that the sign that


it level is at 2.7 million tonnes, and the signs says the safe limit


is 2.2 million tonnes. The stock is well above these limits. We feel


they should have waited until there was some fresh information before


coming out with the statement. extra they will produce fresh date


on mackerel stocks, but as the increase in quotas continues, this


humble fish will remain a political animal. Joining me from our London


studio is Jim Masters, from the Marine Conservation Society, who


you saw on that film. And also in London is Bertie Armstrong of the


Scottish Fishermen's Federation. It is a bit confusing. You're not


saying that mackerel is in danger, but you're saying don't eat it.


We're not telling people not to eat it, we're telling people, advising


people, to exercise caution when thinking about sourcing mackerel


and eating it, which is an entirely different thing. It is not as if


people eat it every day, is it? is not in the list of fish to a boy


completely, they should think twice before producing it. If people


continue to eat mackerel, they should source that fish from the


lowest impact fisheries or fisheries previously set to fight


as sustainable before the recent advice. -- certified. You're saying


that this is nonsense? This advice is very much premature. The stock


is nowhere remotely near collapsing. It has changed its migration into


Icelandic waters because of the size of it. It is not near collapse.


We would like this thing to change to the source of the problem and


the source of the problem is gross over catching by Iceland and the


Faeroe Islands outside International Again is. What would


be helpful in the argument is a people focused on the reputation of


Iceland as a fisheries manager rather than concentrating on what


you pointed out was confusing advice from the Marine Conservation


Society. I noticed you nodding in agreement. Yes, there is a bigger


picture at stake, and that is the unilateral appropriation of stocks


by Icelandic and Faroese fisherman. After many advice -- years of


nurturing stocks were Scottish and poor regions please, from a very


low level in 2002... 0 but the fish just went up there, did they?


not sure why they might have been found up there, it could be because


they are chasing prey, it could be climate change, but they are


fuelling in greater numbers off the coast of Iceland. Why can't this be


sorted out? Your demanding sanctions against the Icelandic


fleet. They make the point that the EU and we all we are still


demanding 90% of the fishery when most of the fish are in Icelandic


waters. Most of the fish are assuredly not. 1% of spawning


happens in Icelandic waters. The migration starts near the Arctic


Circle and ends up by the IB the insular. There is not a body of


fish going exclusively into the Icelandic waters. This is


opportunism, buy them. The way that they are bridging this is basically


mugging. They are going to catch the fish in such prodigious


quantities that you are going to have to pay attention to the stock


were received the eventually, and they want a really big share. It is


like saying, you have a big house and the spare room, there is a


homeless person here, I am just win to have that spare room. Grimsby,


which are think is the biggest processing fish town in Britain


relies heavily on Icelandic fish. If you are worried about jobs in


Scotland, you could be put in hundreds of people out of a job,


there. What will actually happen is, the threat to Iceland by the EU,


saying to them, you going to have to be yourself or we will have to


take sanctions, so please come back to the negotiating table. Nobody


has said that Iceland and the Faeroe Islands are not entitled to


a share, but what we're looking at is the size of that share, and the


way they are advancing the argument is by taking the role of the


European quota. We will take you as a neutral in this one. What could


they do to sort this out? Platforms exist to resolve this dispute


between different fishing interests. We are not here to play politics


with the fish stock in any shape or form. We are here to raise an issue


about sustainable fishing. In the long term, sustainable fishing


makes economic and environmental sense for everybody. Thank you both


very much indeed. A quick look at tomorrow's newspapers. The Scotsman,


Cameron says UK support for the EU But the picture of the British


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