Donald Tusk said that he ‘feels very Scottish’ in the wake of Brexit and has claimed there would be broad support in Brussels for the country to rejoin the EU.
The former European Council president told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that Scotland would be treated with “empathy” if they gain independence and look for a place at the EU table.
Tusk was initially reluctant to comment on Scotland’s place in Europe, saying he would like to respect the “sovereignty” of the UK – a major issue during the Brexit campaign.
He said: “I want to stop myself from saying something too blunt.
“But sometimes I feel like I’m a Scot – I feel like I’m Scottish, especially after Brexit.
“But at the same time, I know how important the word sovereignty and integrity were in the internal debate in the United Kingdom.
“I feel like it is not my role to intervene.”
However, the Polish politician did expand on his feelings towards an independent Scotland – and his thoughts on how other member states may react.
Tusk said: “Emotionally I have no doubt that everyone will be enthusiastic here in Brussels, and more generally in Europe.
“If you ask me about our emotions, you will witness I think always empathy.”
Despite his claims of countries welcoming Scotland in, Tusk said there would still be a process of application for any country to re-enter the EU.
He said: “If something like, for example, the independence of Scotland happens, then we need a regular process.
“It would be a new process.”
Speaking on the same show, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the remarks were “un-European”.
He said other EU countries dealing with independence movements could be against the inclusion of Scotland in the EU.
“Given the secessionist, separatist tendencies in Spain, in France, in Italy, I’m not sure European leaders, let alone here in the UK, would actually welcome that kind of language.”
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, 62% of Scottish voters voted to stay in the EU.
Tusk’s comments come just days after the UK left the European Union and the First Minister announced plans to “ramp up” the campaign for independence.