Scottish independence: European Free Trade Association could be EU alternative

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SCOTLAND would be welcomed into the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) if it votes for independence and then leaves the EU, a spokesman for the body has claimed.

The claim came after SNP grandees Gordon Wilson, a former party leader, and Jim Sillars, a former deputy leader, said that Alex Salmond should look at alternatives to EU membership such as EFTA – whose members include Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

EFTA senior information officer Tore Gronningsater said: Scotland could apply, but it would be a question of whether the EFTA members would like to see more members.”

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said: “The SNP has to be straight with the Scottish people, and be clear what its idea of a separate Scotland would look like.”

A government spokesman said: “An independent Scotland would adopt an approach based on international co-operation, working closely with our neighbours, our trading partners, and through bilateral relations with other nations.”