Scotland: EU ‘would consider them to join’ says MEP
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A report by the Institute for Government (IfG) claimed a hard border would also be put in place with England. This would mean goods from England crossing the border would have to be checked – similar to the Northern Ireland Protocol arrangements.
The report added: “As an EU member state, Scotland would have no choice but to enforce customs processes, as well as regulatory checks on goods such as animal and plant product.
“There would be a need for new border infrastructure to enforce these rules.
“For the first time in more than three centuries, England and Scotland would find themselves on either side of a hard economic border.
The Conservative think tank also suggested an independent Scotland would likely have to join the eurozone, a blow for the SNP who wish to retain the pound immediately after independence.
The IfG also claimed in the paper the EU would probably “welcome an application from an independent Scotland” but only based on an “agreement with the UK government.”
The report added: “So Scotland’s path back to EU membership would run via Westminster.”
It stressed the process of Scotland’s separation from the UK could easily last longer than the five years it took for the UK to exit the EU.
The report also made clear Scotland could only formally apply to join the EU once it had secured its independence from the UK, suggesting the “whole process could take the best part of a decade.”
Akash Paun, a senior fellow at the institute and co-author of the report, said: “Scotland was taken out of the EU against the will of a majority of its citizens.
“So it is understandable that many Scottish voters now want the opportunity to vote again on independence so that Scotland could then rejoin the EU.
“That is a choice for Scotland to make. But it should make that choice in the knowledge that it will not be able to maintain open borders with both the EU and with the rest of the UK.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, claimed if a separate Scotland joined the EU, then the negative impact of leaving the UK would be “far worse because we trade far more with the rest of the UK.”
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She told Express.co.uk: “Remaining in the UK means we not only avoid building a trade barrier with our largest market; it means we don’t build a border between friends and families.
“We are stronger together as part of the UK, ensuring we can rebuild our country together.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously urged Brussels to “leave a light on” for Scotland after 62 percent of Scots voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum.
The First Minister has also reiterated her government’s commitment to a “legal, constitutional route to becoming an independent state” followed by EU membership sometime after.
The SNP have been approached for comment.
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