Ireland '˜should help fast-track Scotland back into EU'

THE leader of Ireland's opposition has said that an independent Scotland should be fast-tracked back into the European Union.

Micheál Martin said that Ireland should support any bid by an independent Scotland to regain EU membership. Picture: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that while Scotland’s constitutional future is a matter for the country itself, Ireland should support any bid by Scotland to be readmitted to the EU in the event of a Yes vote.

Speaking in an emergency debate called in the Dáil following the referendum on EU membership, Mr Martin said: “We believe that it would be unacceptable for Scotland to be treated as a normal candidate country should it seek to remain a member of the EU.

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“It currently implements all EU laws.

“It wouldn’t need to be reviewed for its standards of governance and ability to implement these laws.

“It has a strong administration, a distinct legal system and an absolute commitment to European ideals.

“Scotland is strong enough to advocate for itself, but Ireland should be its friend and demand fair play should Scotland seek to remain in the EU.”

Mr Martin added that Europe ‘must under no circumstance interfere’ in the debate over whether Scotland could ‘veto’ a Brexit.

“We have to leave this to the administrations concerned,” he warned.

Mr Martin also branded the decision to hold a referendum on EU membership as ‘reckless’.

The Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork South-Central said that he felt there had been ‘very little preparation’.

Mr Martin added: “We know from our own referendums that one has to prepare over the long-term for such an event.

“I just got the sense that [the UK government] almost stumbled into the referendum in the aftermath of the General Election.”