However, the tide of separatism and fragmentation may soon be brought home to a financially-collapsing Western Europe as the advent of an independent Scotland, Catalonia, and Flanders, born from the decaying carcasses of Western European nation-states, becomes a distinct possibility.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has long been known for its anti-NATO and anti-Trident nuclear submarine stance. The British Royal Navy maintains a Trident base in Scotland and the US Navy once based its Polaris and Poseidon nuclear submarines at Holy Loch, Scotland.
After SNP First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond signed an agreement with British Prime Minister David Cameron on holding an independent referendum for Scotland, the SNP’s recent party conference in Perth voted to reverse course and proclaim that an independent Scotland would join NATO. The SNP also said the British Queen would remain head of state of Scotland and Scotland would keep the British pound as its currency and reject the euro. Salmond’s stance on the Trident submarines has not changed; he wants them out of an independent Scotland.
However, the entire NATO issue has caused a split in the SNP, with many party faithful of the left-wing faction wanting Scotland to become neutral like Finland and Sweden. Some anti-NATO leaders of the SNP have expressed a willingness to join the anti-NATO Scottish Green Party.
The wrangling over NATO in Scotland has the colonels and captains on the NATO staff in Brussels worried about a situation not unlike that which exists between historical foes Greece and Turkey within NATO.
Although it tries to present a united front, NATO is wracked by old feuds, especially when it comes to Greeks and Turks serving together on NATO military staffs.
The leader of the New Flemish Alliance (NVA), which is more pragmatic than the far-right Flemish Interest, has indicated an independent Flanders would remain in NATO. NVA leader Bart DeWever, who is mayor of Antwerp and is intent on declaring Flemish independence, has, like Salmond, insisted that Flanders would maintain a common armed services structure with the remainder of Belgium.
Catalonian President Artur Mas is watching developments in Scotland closely. Spain’s austerity budgets under its neo-fascist Popular Party government has spurred Catalonian demands for independence from Madrid with Mas and his Catalonian independence supporters arguing that wealthy Catalonia should no longer carry the financial burden for Spain. Mas, like Salmond and DeWever, has indicated an independent Catalonia would remain in NATO.
Recently, Venetians have called for a restoration of the independent Republic of Venice that would no longer be responsible for shouldering the financial burden for the southern part of Italy.
This all spells the possible end of NATO, something that should have occurred when the Berlin wall collapsed and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact disintegrated.