Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Independent Scotland ‘would have to join queue for EU membership’

(Kris Miller/DC Thomson)
(Kris Miller/DC Thomson)


AN independent Scotland would join a queue of would-be EU members, a senior European official has said.

Jacqueline Minor, the head of representation for the European Commission in the UK, said if Scotland became independent and wanted to join the EU it would be added to the list of candidate countries including Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking at a Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association event in Edinburgh, she said: “Were Scotland to become independent, they would join that list.”

She added it might be easier for Scotland to meet membership criteria such as democracy, rule of law, anti-corruption and protection of minorities than other candidates.

Ms Minor also poured cold water on Scotland’s ability to secure a special deal in Brexit negotiations.

The Scottish Government argues the country, which had a majority of remain voters in the EU referendum unlike the UK, should be in line for a differentiated deal after the UK Government’s move for special deals for the car industry.

Ms Minor said: “The negotiations will be with the United Kingdom and that means essentially the Westminster Government.

“The first question is will the Westminster Government argue in favour of a differentiated arrangement, and it seems to me that at present they are not suggesting that they will.

“Should they do so, should they change their mind, then the other members states would have to look at that. I have to say that there is no precedent whereby a free trade agreement has distinguished between significant regions of the partner country.”

Labour and the Conservatives have said the SNP should be “honest” with voters about an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said: “This is a senior figure telling the SNP what it needs to hear.

“For all its moaning about Brexit, it knows fine well an independent Scotland would not simply step into the European Union.

“Not only would it join the back of the queue, but we now learn it may have to adopt the euro and tackle an eye-watering deficit.

“It’s time for the Nationalists to be honest about Brexit and stop using it as a tool to agitate for separation.”

Scottish Labour’s Europe spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “This is a hugely significant intervention from an experienced and respected official.

“As the SNP was repeatedly told during the (2014 independence) referendum campaign, an independent Scotland would have to apply to join the EU like any other country.

“Alex Salmond tried to dismiss this, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Now it’s time for the SNP to be honest with voters – an independent Scotland would have to join the queue.”

The Scottish Greens’ external affairs spokesman Ross Greer said: “There are five million EU citizens living in Scotland, it’s unthinkable that they will be told to join the back of a mythical queue.

“It shows just how little Labour and Conservative MSPs know about Europe that they think countries queue to join.

“What was made clear by this high ranking European Commission official was that Scotland already meets much of the requirements needed to continue EU membership as an independent nation.

“Rather than trying to undermine efforts to keep Scotland in the EU, unionist politicians must begin to recognise the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland who voted overwhelmingly against being dragged along with the angry, isolated Britain planned by Theresa May. They at least deserve a choice between these two futures.”