Financial Times – Independent Scotland faces EU application

Scotland’s hopes of automatically obtaining EU membership if Scots vote for independence from Britain in 2014 could be dashed by legal problems and political opposition from other member states.

EU bureaucrats have declined to spell out the legal position following Scottish secession from the UK, arguing that there is no precedent. But behind closed doors there is near unanimity that any country born out of the break-up of a member state would have to apply for membership.

“If you have secession from an existing member state the original member of the EU would automatically stay, although a number of issues such as voting rights would have to be reassessed, but the new country would have to apply for membership,” says an EU official.

This contradicts what Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, has been arguing for months. The leader of the Scottish National party claims Scotland would automatically become a member of the EU if it became independent.

Read  @ Financial Times