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Montevideo, October 17th 2018 - 20:35 UTC

Process for independent Scotland joining the EU could be “relatively speedy” and “no need to queue”

Thursday, April 6th 2017 - 06:52 UTC
Full article 13 comments
Mr Brok is the former chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, and a member of Angela Merkel's CDU party. Mr Brok is the former chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, and a member of Angela Merkel's CDU party.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may consider holding a “consultative” referendum, - similar to one in Catalonia after Madrid refused to grant permission for one. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may consider holding a “consultative” referendum, - similar to one in Catalonia after Madrid refused to grant permission for one.

The process of an independent Scotland rejoining the European Union could be “relatively speedy”, a senior German MEP has said. Elmar Brok said there would be few technical obstacles to overcome if the political will was there to allow it to happen.

 Mr. Brok also suggested Europe's opposition to independence had softened as a result of the Brexit vote. But he said much would depend on the attitude of countries such as Spain. Mr Brok is the former chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, and a member of Angela Merkel's CDU party.

Speaking in the House of Commons last month, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted Scotland would be leaving the EU regardless of whether or not it was independent. She added: “What we need now is to unite, to come together as a country and to ensure that we can get the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

But Mr. Brok said that “Scotland has our sympathy” after the country voted by 62% to 38% for the UK to remain part of the EU in last year's referendum, despite the UK as a whole voting to leave.

He told BBC Scotland: “If there is a possibility that the United Kingdom breaks - which we do not hope - then I think we should have a positive relationship with Scotland to find solutions. We would like to have Britain as a whole in the European Union. If parts would come, I would be the last one who would be against it.”

Brok stressed that any independence referendum would need to be approved by London - something that Mrs. May has already ruled out, repeatedly arguing that “now is not the time” for another vote on the issue. Instead, she has pledged to get the best possible deal for the UK as a whole, and has called on the Scottish government to focus on that rather than another independence referendum.

Her Scottish secretary, David Mundell, has said that Mrs. May's “now” could include “the Brexit process, the journey of leaving and people being able to understand what the UK's new relationship with the EU is, so they can make an informed choice if there was ever to be another referendum”.

That has led to speculation that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may consider holding a “consultative” referendum - similar to one held in Catalonia after the Spanish government refused to grant permission for one.

He also said there was no “queue” to join the EU, with each candidate country being judged on its own merits. Mr Brok said: “Scotland is a member of the European union and fulfils all of the conditions. There will be not many technical problems.”

He agreed that Brexit meant now there was more sympathy for the idea of Scottish independence among the other 27 EU member states than there had been ahead of the 2014 referendum.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • The Voice

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland should all be allowed to leave the UK if they wish to do so, it's their right. In every case England will end up with more to spend on England's public services and benefits, but
    worse off in respect of ease of movement and diversity.

    Apr 06th, 2017 - 12:43 pm +2
  • The Voice

    Please note the Germans are firmly in charge. They love counting all those Euros that enable them to remain so competitive at the expense of the sad Club Med countries suffering 50% youth unemployment, crippling debt ridden austerity and no future.. You vill all obey! The smallest 14 countries in the Eurozone don't add up to the population of the UK! And the President of the unelected Commission has wide diplomatic experience coming from the second smallest German tax haven as Mayor of Luxembourg City. Trumpton is in charge. Having voted to leave it pleases me every day to read the anti British utterances from various EU gangstas. It demonstrates perfectly why we should be getting out as quickly as possible. Only shame is it didn't happen immediately before Maastricht when the EEC turned itself from the Common Market into the EU superstate. In retrospect Maggie was correct!

    Apr 06th, 2017 - 11:03 am +1
  • DemonTree

    Scotland certainly could survive economically outside the UK, they'd just be poorer. And I'm not surprised the EU has changed their attitude now that we've decided to ditch them. The Voice, you seem to believe the countries in the EU should be friends. They are not, they are allies, and now the UK is leaving the club it is inevitable that we will be treated as outsiders instead. Also the major reason for the 'unelected commission' is exactly the difference in size and population between the various member states. If the EU was run by the parliament then the countries with the largest populations would always be able to get their way and the interests of the smaller ones could easily be ignored.

    As for having their cake and eating it, isn't that what the Brexiters promised? It certainly worked well for them, why shouldn't the SNP promise the same thing?

    Apr 06th, 2017 - 12:12 pm +1
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