Bloomberg – Scots Reject Spanish Warning on EU Status After Independence

The Scottish government dismissed claims the country would have to apply to join the European Union should it vote to leave the U.K., after Spain warned membership wasn’t guaranteed.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said yesterday that an independent Scotland would have to pass through the same process as other candidate countries. The semiautonomous administration in Edinburgh, which is campaigning to break from the U.K., reiterated its stance that Scotland would automatically remain within the EU. A minister said earlier in the day it was seeking legal advice on its status.

“Scotland is part of the territory of the European Union and the people of Scotland are citizens of the EU — there is no provision for either of these circumstances to change upon independence,” a government spokesman said in an e-mailed response to questions last night. “Scotland will inherit exactly the same international treaty rights and obligations as the rest of the U.K., as equal successor states.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond agreed this month to hold a referendum on independence scheduled for 2014. With the debate so far mainly focused on the economics of Scotland going it alone, polls show voters are roughly two-to-one in favor of staying in the U.K.

Read @ Bloomberg