An ACADEMIC adviser to the pro-union Better Together campaign has hit back at the First Minister in a row about an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union.
Alex Salmond quoted Professor Jim Gallagher in support of the case for seamless EU transition within 18 months.
However, in a letter to Mr Salmond, Prof Gallagher wrote: “I have consistently said that’s too short for all that needs done. Imagine trying to buy a house when the seller knows you have no choice about the entry date.”
Responding to a challenge from Tory leader Ruth Davidson at Holyrood last week, Mr Salmond quoted the academic: “It seems pretty likely Scotland would be an EU member state probably, after an accelerated set of accession negotiations.’’
The professor’s letter said: “You should have spotted that I was talking and have only ever written about accession, not treaty amendment..”
A spokesman for the First Minister said: “The fact is that his (the professor’s) admission – that any requirements to join the euro or Schengen ‘can surely be avoided’ and that Scotland’s membership of the EU would be agreed in an ‘accelerated timetable’ – have undermined key arguments of the No campaign.”