Nicola Sturgeon’s independence plan in pieces-EU admitted Scotland rejoining is IMPOSSIBLE

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Former President of the European Commission – Jose Manuel Barroso – claimed in 2014 that it could be “impossible” for Scotland to join the EU. The statement was made just months before Scotland went to the polls to vote in the independence referendum, and proved to be a blow to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon‘s hopes of securing a Yes victory. At the time, the SNP had claimed that an independent Scotland would automatically be admitted to the EU, despite top European officials saying it would have to reapply as a new member state. In its white paper on independence, the SNP government said Scotland would look to gain membership through Article 48 of the treaty of the EU.

The white paper – the nationalists’ blueprint for leaving the UK – said such a move could be achieved within 18 months of a Yes vote.

But Mr Barroso questioned these claims in an interview.

The President of the European Commission at the time said: “In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state, it will have to apply and the application and the accession to the European Union will have to be approved by all the other member states of the European Union.

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Nicola Sturgeon news: Sturgeon wants to take Scotland into the EU (Image: getty)

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Nicola Sturgeon news: Barroso said it could be ‘impossible’ for Scotland to join (Image: getty)

“I don’t want to interfere on your referendum here, your democratic discussion here, but of course it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state.

“We have seen Spain has been opposing even the recognition of Kosovo, for instance.

“So it is to some extent a similar case because it’s a new country and so I believe it’s going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, a new member state coming out of one of our countries getting the agreement of the others.”

Nationalist leaders attacked Mr Barroso’s intervention as “preposterous”, while Alistair Darling, leader of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, said the “wheels are starting to come off the wagon” of Mr Salmond’s plans.

READ MORE: How Nicola Sturgeon ‘descended into chaos’ with Scotland-EU claim

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Nicola Sturgeon news: Sturgeon was campaigning for a Yes vote at the time (Image: getty)

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Nicola Sturgeon news: Scotland meets the criteria for membership, an expert has claimed (Image: getty)

While there were more doubts in 2014, the tide appeared to shift in the subsequent years – accelerated by the UK’s Brexit vote.

Former European Council president Donald Tusk said in February that Brussels feels “empathy” towards an independent Scotland joining the EU.

When asked if this would be looked upon favourably, Mr Tusk said there would be enthusiasm but he warned the country would not be automatically accepted.

He said: “Emotionally I have no doubt that everyone will be enthusiastic here in Brussels, and more generally in Europe.

“If you ask me about our emotions, you will witness I think always empathy.”

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Brussels expert Anthony Salamone wrote a report published this year that claimed Scotland could join within five years of becoming an independent country.

It explains: “Scotland was previously part of the European Union for nearly five decades.

“On that basis alone, the Scottish economy is manifestly capable of forming part of the Union economy and responding sufficiently to its associated demands and forces.

“The Republic will therefore be in an extremely strong position to satisfy the economic criteria of the Copenhagen criteria.”

But it also adds any membership to the EU is likely to spark a border between England and Scotland.

Mr Salamone says it would be “unfortunate” but also claims it would be “manageable”.


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