For years, questions were asked about Scotland's EU status if a Yes vote transpired. The European Commission repeatedly refused to answer the 'accession versus succession' issue, not wanting to deal in 'what if' situations or influence anyone's democratic decision. So succession was always a possibility because everything is technically a possible if there is no definite confirmation of its impossibility. Confirmation or not, there were still warnings about the hurdles and potential EU-related costs accompanying Scotland's separation from the UK.
For the nations of Europe, the legacy of appeasing Russian behaviour makes a vigorous response to the current crisis absolutely vital. While there may be economic risk inherent in imposing sweeping sanctions, a broad package of 'level three' measures, targeting vulnerable sectors of the Russian economy, is essential.
The name raised a few eyebrows in Brussels when he was announced as the nominee for the UK's spot in the European Commission. Lord Jonathan Hill of Oareford, the leader of the House of Lords, is little known abroad and his appointment is far from guaranteed as he will be subjected to a careful vetting process over the coming months.
It is entirely true that many would have welcomed a big political figure such as William Hague to lead for Britain in Brussels but the Prime Minister decided on a different approach - one with an outstanding precedent. Lord Hill may be unknown but so was Lord Cockfield, possibly one of the most effective British Commissioners.