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April 11, 2017

Scotland will be welcomed into the EU even if it votes for independence, MEPs say

Scotland will be “most welcome” to rejoin the European Union (EU) as a full member — even if it voted for independence, 50 European politicians have publicly stated.

In the letter to Holyrood, 26 MEPs — mostly from the Green party — as well as members of national and regional parliaments in Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Belgium give their full support to an independent Scotland’s continued EU membership.

The question of Scotland’s constitutional future, and your relationships with the UK and the EU, are for the people of Scotland to decide. It is not our place to tell Scotland what path you should take,” the open letter said. “If Scotland were to become an independent country and decided to seek to maintain EU membership, we offer our full support to ensure the transition is as swift, smooth and orderly as possible.”

Last June, 62 percent of people Scotland voted for the UK to remain in the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon, the country’s first minister, continues to push for a second referendum on Scottish independence as the UK inches closer to Brexit.

Last month, Sturgeon won by a 10-vote majority to formally request a fresh independence vote from the UK government at around the time Britain leaves the EU in spring 2019.

There is a tremendous amount of goodwill from across the continent towards Scotland’s European aspirations. Independence is the only way to secure a European future for Scotland,” said Ross Greer, the Green MSP who organised the letter along with German Green MEP Terry Reintke.

“The only thing standing in Scotland’s way to forging links with Europe is the Westminster government. Our parliament has voted to give the people a choice over their own future and no Tory government at Westminster should stand in the way of that,” he added.

Earlier this month, Spain said it would not veto an independent Scotland from rejoining the EU.

Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond lost the Scottish National Party’s first bid for independence in 2014.

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