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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Joining the EU could take a separate Scotland 6 years

A high-placed EU source has said that a separate Scotland could have to wait at least six years before getting back into the EU. The remarks contradict claims from Alex Salmond that a separate Scotland could negotiate membership from within the EU in just 18 months. This follows the intervention of another former senior European Commissioner who said that a separate Scotland using the pound without a formal currency union isn't compatible with EU membership.

The senior European Commission official told the Observer “there will be a significant wait for at least five to six years. For many Catalans, for example, it is this delay and the disruption to business that is in their mind when they consider independence.” Last week a former senior European Commissioner has said that a separate Scotland using the pound without a formal currency union means we wouldn’t get into the EU.

Olli Rehn, the former European Commissioner for Enlargement and former European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, said: “As to the question whether 'sterlingisation' were compatible with EU membership, the answer is that this would simply not be possible, since that would obviously imply a situation where the candidate country concerned would not have a monetary authority of its own and thus no necessary instruments of the EMU.”

Better Together have said that the disruption caused by being out of the EU for up to six years is a risk we don’t have to take.

Commenting Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander MP said: "There is no doubt that if we leave the UK then we would need to reapply to join the EU. A vote for separation would mean Scotland standing outside our two biggest markets – the UK and the EU. That would put the jobs of so many Scots at risk. That’s the wrong choice for Scotland. It is a risk we simply don't have to take. There is a better future for Scotland, which offers us the best of both worlds. We can have more powers for Scotland, backed up by the strength, security and stability of both the UK and the EU. We should say no thanks to putting that at risk on 18 September."