EU open to Scotland joining bloc but ‘very reluctant’ to let rest of UK back in

PUBLISHED: 15:06 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:06 08 July 2020

The Saltire and European flag fly outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

The Saltire and European flag fly outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The EU could be open to welcoming an independent Scotland into the bloc but is “very reluctant” to readmit the rest of the UK, an expert has claimed.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Kirsty Hughes, a former director of thinktank Scottish Centre on Europe Relations (SCER), said Scotland had a better chance of rejoining the EU than other parts of the UK during an online conference.

Hughes predicts that Brussels would show “complete openness” to Scotland if it vote for independence in a legally binding referendum.

Speaking at the event, organised by pro-EU group European Movement in Scotland, she said: ““On the Scottish side I think there is complete openness if Scotland was to vote Yes in a constitutionally and legally valid referendum.

“There is complete openness to welcoming another small, northern European country into the European Union.”

You may also want to watch:

She said this would not be the case if “there is a big stand-off over a referendum between London and Edinburgh”.

She noted: “Frankly any big country applying to join the EU, whether it is Turkey or Ukraine or the UK, is always much more problematic usually than a smaller country.”

She said UK faced slim chance of being granted member state status again, noting that politicians in Europe had been left feeling “disappointed, upset, angry and many other things at the Brexit vote”.

She continued: “I think the EU would be very reluctant in the near future to welcome a penitent UK back.

“It would have to be more than penitent, it would have to be one that had clearly worked through all its political, democratic, constitutional problems and come out the other side of that.”

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.