THE Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has said Scotland cannot negotiate its own deal for EU membership.
Mr Rajoy dealt a devastating blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s attempts to protect Scotland’s position in the bloc when he said if the “United Kingdom leaves”, then “Scotland also leaves”.
The Spanish prime minister’s remarks came as Ms Sturgeon travelled to Brussels for talks she has organised in a bid to maintain Scotland’s EU membership.
Mr Rajoy said: “I want to be very clear Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the European Union. Spain opposes any negotiation by anyone other than the government of United Kingdom.”
Speaking at a news conference following a summit of European leaders in Brussels, Mr Rajoy added: “I am extremely against it, the treaties are extremely against it and I believe everyone is extremely against it. If the United Kingdom leaves... Scotland leaves.”
Spain has long been seen as a stumbling block for an independent Scotland’s EU membership. Faced with its own calls for independence from Catalan, Madrid has been keen to discourage separatist movements.