Independent Scotland ‘would face five year wait to rejoin EU’

An independent Scotland would take 4-5 years to rejoin the EU, a major new report today finds.

And it warns that Scotland would effectively be forced to adopt the euro or see its influence shrink within the EU.

The report, entitled The EU Blueprint Pathway for Scotland’s Accession to the European Union under Independence, was published by political scientist Anthony Salamone in Edinburgh.

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It urges Scotland to rejoin the Brussels bloc after a Yes vote as this would be in the country's "economic, social and geostrategic interests."

An independent Scotland would seek to rejoin the EU
An independent Scotland would seek to rejoin the EU
An independent Scotland would seek to rejoin the EU

Scotland will be in a "strong position to satisfy the political and economic dimensions" of EU membership, the report adds.

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"Scotland's accession would not pose a challenge to the EU's integration capacity," it states.

And although the length of accession process is not defined, it would not happen immediately.

"Scotland will reasonably take 4-5 years to join the EU," it adds.

"The Government should adopt a target to EU accession of 4 years."

In the meantime, Scotland should seek to broker an "Association Agreement" on issues like customs and trade.

A majority of Scots (62%) voted to Remain in the EU in the Brexit referendum on 2016, but the weight of votes south of the border swung the outcome in favour of Leave.

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Nicola Sturgeon is demanding the right to hold a fresh referendum on independence this year in response to Brexit and would seek to rejoin the EU after independence.

The Scottish Government has insisted it has no plans to join the EU single currency if it becomes member state. The report accepts that the EU would not require Scotland to join the euro at a "particular time" and it would be up to Scotland to determine this issue.

But new members must eventually "participate fully" in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which includes joining the euro.

"The eurozone is a core aspect of the Union and the locus for most dimensions of future political integration," it adds.

"The longer the Republic were to remain outside of the euro, the less influence it will have in its operation and, by extension, the Union."