Leading Spanish diplomat insists Spain would not block an independent Scotland's entry to EU

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Spain would not block an independent Scotland's entry to the European Union, one of its leading diplomats has stressed.

Miguel Angel Vecino Quintana, the Spanish Consul General in Edinburgh, highlighted his country's position in a letter received by the Scottish Government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to press on with a second Scottish Independence referendum. Picture: TSPL

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to press on with a second Scottish Independence referendum. Picture: TSPL

The document was obtained by The National newspaper under a freedom of information request.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon vows to press on with IndyRef2 after Tory 'humiliation'

In an article today, the newspaper revealed the diplomat insisted it had always been the Spanish government's policy not to veto membership for Scotland in the event of independence.

The letter was a direct response to comments made by Spanish MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons, who last month was reported as saying Scotland would have to 'get in line' to join the European Union.

He added that his centre-right Partido Popular (PP) party would 'veto an independent Scotland from directly entering the EU before Brexit'.

His comments were made in a letter to the press and copied to Scottish Government civil servants.

He said: "Whatever happens - and I hops that its independence never happens - Scotland will have to get in line, behind Turkey and behind Serbia to end up as an EU state."

In response, the Spanish Consul General wrote: "I would like to make it very clear that Mr Gonzalez Pons' statement is his and his party's exclusive responsibility and not the Spanish Government's at all."

He added: "Entry into the European Union does not depend at all in waiting in a queue like waiting in a shop for your turn to arrive. The European Union is joined if the economic and political conditions required by all the treaties that regulate it are fulfilled.

"The Spanish Government has not and never will intervene in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom or any other state and expects the same reciprocal attitude."

Spain's stance towards Scotland joining the European Union in the event of independence was an issue of the 2014 referendum campaign as Better Together suggested Spain would veto entry.