Nicola Sturgeon’s EU dream backed by Guy Verhofstadt’s intervention: ‘Let them in!’ | UK | News (Reports)

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The SNP led by Ms Sturgeon have pushed for a second independence vote ever since Brexit was voted for in 2016. Support for Scottish secession has grown in the last 12 months, will polls consistently showing more than 50 percent of Scots want to leave the UK. Ms Sturgeon wants Scotland to join the EU, but faced pushback when former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” in 2014. But in more recent years, the EU appears to have warmed to the idea – as shown by MEP Guy Verhofstadt’s comments in 2016.

He said: “If Scotland decides to leave the UK, to be an independent state, and they decide to be part of the EU, I think there is no big obstacle to do that.”

He added it would be “suicide” for the EU to refuse entry to people who are “sympathetic” to the EU’s aims.

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After the UK voted to leave the EU, Mr Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter: “It’s wrong that Scotland might be taken out of the EU, when it voted to stay.

“Happy to discuss with Nicola Sturgeon.”

This sentiment was echoed by Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, who said it would be a “definite yes” for Scotland joining the bloc.

On whether an independent Scotland could join the EU, the co-president of the European Greens told Express.co.uk last month: “Yes, the answer is a definite yes.

“There would be no obstacle for Scotland joining if the UK is no longer in the EU.

“And this time independence would be different, because in 2014 Scotland would have left the UK and the EU at once.

“Now Scotland is leaving a smaller union to join a bigger union.”

He also had high praise for Ms Sturgeon personally, tipping her as a potential future candidate for European Commission President.

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He continued: “Nicola Sturgeon comes across as a genuine person, politically astute and someone whose word can be trusted, whereas Boris Johnson comes across very quickly as someone you can’t trust.

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“I can imagine Nicola Sturgeon being president of the European Commission, she seems to be much closer to the centre of gravity of European politics than Boris Johnson is.”

Public law expert, Professor Aileen McHarg, also told Express.co.uk last summer that there are no legal barriers stopping Scotland from joining the EU.

She said: “Any barriers for Scotland in joining the EU are political rather than legal, because any candidate to join the EU has to abide by the terms set.

“It would be fairly easy to meet those terms because Scottish law is currently fully compliant with EU law.

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“As time goes on there are likely to become greater divergences, but that would simply mean at the time Scotland wanted to join the EU we’d have to change stuff then.”

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However, a report published last February claimed that Scotland would have to wait up to five years to join the bloc.

The report, entitled The EU Blueprint Pathway for Scotland’s Accession to the European Union under Independence, was published by political scientist Anthony Salamone in Edinburgh.

It said: “Scotland will reasonably take four to five years to join the EU. The Government should adopt a target to EU accession of four years.”

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