Macron could scupper Scotland’s chances of rejoining EU as fragmenting UK ‘unwelcome’

Steve Barclay says UK trade 'more important' to Scotland than EU

The Scottish Centre on European Relations claimed that despite Brexit, France saw the UK “as an important ally”. Because of this, the paper, titled European Union Views of the UK post-Brexit and of the Future EU-UK Relationship claimed France could see “the potential fragmentation of the UK” due to Scottish independence as “unwelcome”.

The paper stressed France along with Germany would “clearly look to “develop and maintain cooperation with the UK both on a bilateral basis” after Brexit.

This could be achieved through NATO and through more formal EU-UK cooperation, the paper cities.

The think tank also highlighted Spain’s concerns over the potential for Scottish independence to act as a “precedent” for a prospective Catalonian split.

They made clear an independence vote “remains highly sensitive for Spain” as an issue and “political stances on this question in future cannot be guaranteed.”

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Dr Kirsty Hughes, director and founder of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, continued: “The two issues of potential UK fragmentation and an independent Scotland in the EU are strongly inter-connected.

“The demonstration effect from Scotland to Catalonia has already been seen and unwelcome to many in Spain.”

Professor Hughes also made clear EU member state governments were likely to take a “neutral stance if there is another Scottish independence referendum.”

She added in the paper: “But if such polls led to an independent Scotland, then the EU would deal with that situation at the time – whatever range of views there might be on the fragmentation of the UK.

 

“An independent Scotland would need to go through a normal EU accession process if it wanted to join the EU.”

It comes as First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon made a heartfelt message of unity to countries in the European Union (EU) as Brexit looms.

Ms Sturgeon’s call reflected the will of the Scottish people when 62 percent of the country voted to remain in the Bloc.

In her conference address to SNP members last week, the First Minister told the EU: “You are – and always will be – part of who we are. You are not distant to us.

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“To those of you who have come from other countries to live here in ours, thank you – please stay.

“To the other countries of the EU, Scotland wants to return. And we hope to do so soon, as an independent member state.”

Her calls were backed by Scottish MEP Christian Allard who said the EU should “keep it’s cool” if a trade deal is not reached.

He stressed today Brussels should turn their eyes to nations which “feel European” such as Northern Ireland and Scotland.

While the second referendum is still hypothetical, Mr Allard believes if Scotland becomes independent, it would be allowed back to EU quickly.

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