Independent Scotland 'would need to re-apply to join EU', European Commission spokesman confirms

Written by John Ashmore on 13 March 2017 in News

Margaritis Schinas insisted the so-called ‘Barroso doctrine’ would still apply if Scotland became independent

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An independent Scotland would have to re-apply for membership of the European Union, Brussels has insisted.

Margaritis Schinas, chief spokesperson for the European Commission, insisted the so-called ‘Barroso doctrine’ would take effect if Scotland left the UK.

In 2012, former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso stated that "a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the EU and the treaties would no longer apply on its territory".


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The SNP has insisted in the past that Scotland would automatically join the EU as it is already a member as part of the UK.

But at a briefing in Brussels today, Schinas said: "The Commission does not comment on issues that pertain to the internal legal and constitutional order of our member states."

However, he added: "The Barroso doctrine, would that apply? Yes that would apply, obviously."

Meanwhile, the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, also said that Scotland would have to re-apply to join the nuclear military alliance if it left the UK.

“If it happens, then the UK will continue as a member of NATO, but a new independent state has to apply for membership and then it’s up to the 28 allies to decide whether we will have a new member, because all decisions in NATO are taken by consensus," the Norwegian told Sky News.

“Not automatically, because by leaving the UK it will also leave NATO. But of course it’s absolutely possible to apply for membership.”

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