Alex Salmond: '˜full EU membership is still SNP policy'

Alex Salmond has said his party still supports an independent Scotland becoming a full member of the European Union.

Alex Salmond has said the SNP still supports full EU membership for Scotland

The Times reported on Monday that the party was considering ditching its long-standing policy in a move that would see SNP leaders campagin for Scotland to retain access to the European single market without being a full member of the EU.

Mr Salmond said the report had been due to “confusion on The Times’ part”.

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According to the report, senior SNP figures are considering adoption of a Norway-style arrangement, which would enable an independent Scotland to remain in the single market via the European Free Trade Area and the European Economic Agreement.

When asked whether that meant the SNP would pursue full membership of the EU in the event of a Yes vote, Mr Salmond said: “That is the policy.

“But the paper argues that in the current circumstances, where we can’t get everything we want, where we are trying to reach a compromise agreement, the first minister has put forward a plan whereby Scotland could stay within the European Economic Area.”

The former Scottish first minister, who is now the MP for Gordon, was speaking as the House of Commons prepared to start two days of debate over the UK government’s parliamentary bill to trigger Article 50 and get the formal process of Brexit underway.