LABOUR leader Johann Lamont used First Minister’s questions to attack the SNP’s claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the EU after Ireland’s Europe minister said the country would have to formally apply to join.
• SNP ‘bombarded’ and ‘pilloried’ critics of the party’s position on Europe, claimed Johann Lamont
• Ireland’s Europe Minister said an independent Scotland would have to formally apply to join EU
• Salmond: Irish minister gave ‘endorsement’ to SNP’s claim of independent Scotland inheriting EU membership automatically
Lucinda Creighton was reported to have said that an independent Scotland would be welcomed into the EU but would need to apply and go through a lengthy process.
Ms Lamont, speaking at today’s First Minister’s questions, claimed that the SNP “bombarded” and “pilloried” critics of the SNP’s position on Europe.
She said: “Lucinda Creighton said it is clear that an independent Scotland would have to negotiate its membership. What part of that does the First Minister disagree with.
However, Mr Salmond insisted that the Irish minister had given an “endorsement” to the SNP claim that an independent Scotland would automatically inherit EU membership in the event of a Yes vote in the 2014 referendum.
He went on to claim that the unionist parties could not “seriously doubt that” an oil rich independent Scotland would be handed EU membership.