Scottish independence: Slovak premier says ‘no clear answer’ over Scotland in EU

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THE future of an independent Scotland within the European Union is uncertain, ­Slovakia’s deputy prime minister has said.

Miroslav Lajcak is the latest foreign politician to enter the debate over Scotland’s future within the EU, in the event of a referendum vote to break-up the UK.

The Scottish Government has insisted that rather than applying for EU membership, an independent Scotland would negotiate terms from within the EU.

But opponents claim if the Union was broken, Scotland would have to apply for EU membership.

Mr Lajcak, whose country was formed 20 years ago after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, said the possibility of Scotland becoming independent was “not for us to judge”.

But when asked if a new country would continue as a member of the EU, Mr Lajcak said: “As far as I know there is a discussion about exactly this issue going on in Brussels. There is no clear answer. There should be an evaluation of the readiness… but in the end it’s a political decision made by all the member states.”

Mr Lajcak said that when Slovakia came into existence in 1993, “many people were sceptical about the chances for us to exist, let alone prosper”. But he added: “Right now everybody acknowledges we have been a success story.”

SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said: “Becoming independent has allowed Slovakia to take the best decisions for their own economy and government – and they have a productive friendship with their neighbour the Czech Republic.

“The shared values and history of Scotland and the rest of the UK would continue after independence as part of a social union – but the key difference is that both countries would be able to take the decisions that are right for them.”

katrine bussey