An independent Scotland would find it “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to join the European Union (EU) according to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Barroso explained that if the Scottish people voted for independence on 18th September, then a newly independent Scotland would need to apply for EU membership and have its bid approved by all current member states.
While the majority of current EU members may be happy for Scotland to join, other countries facing independence movements such as Spain are unlikely to support any such bid. Spain has long faced a separatist movement in the Basque Country, and Barroso noted that they recently opposed the recognition of Kosovo and may well do the same to Scotland.
The Scottish government has said that they would try to gain membership of the EU within 18 months of a “yes” vote in the referendum.
Earlier this week, the SNP plan for an independent Scotland to continue to use the pound with the remnants of the UK was thwarted when Chancellor George Osborne ruled out any possible currency union.