An INDEPENDENT Scotland faces at least three years outside the European Union and it will be “next to impossible” to rejoin on the UK’s current terms, a group of senior business leaders has said.
Scotland faces “a long and winding road” back into the EU, according to Business For New Europe (BNE) which counts the chairmen of BAE Systems, RBS, BT Group and the London Stock Exchange amongst its advisory board.
The earliest Scotland could join would be 2019. But membership could be delayed until the next decade if the Scottish Government insists on an opt-out of the euro, a report by BNE associate Dr Daniel Furby said.
It came as David Cameron claimed that Scotland would have to “queue up” behind applicant countries including Serbia and Macedonia to join the EU.
But Yes Scotland said the report is trumped by the advice of key EU architect Dr Graham Avery – who said it is “entirely realistic” to negotiate Scotland’s continued membership by March 2016.
A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond added: “The only threat to Scotland’s place in Europe comes from David Cameron’s in-out referendum as Westminster dances to a Ukip tune and flirts with the exit door of the EU.”