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Scotland will have to reapply for EU membership, Commission says

Scotland will have to reapply for EU membership, Commission says
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It’s the main talk in pubs and clubs across Scotland.

In ten days time, its citizens will vote on whether to become an independent country.

A Yes would have huge implications for Edinburgh’s future relationship with the EU.

Earlier this year, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso handed a boost to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who backs the No campaign.

Barroso said in an interview in February Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU.

The Commission says that’s the way things stand today.

“This position, that has not changed, is on the record. It is not our role ten days before the vote to interfere in the campaign with new statements that will be taken up partly here and there,” said Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a spokeswoman for the EU executive.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond insists that an independent Scotland would remain inside the EU.

But Vivien Pertusot of the French Institute of International Relations told Euronews that Scotland “will have to apply for membership.”

“The bigger risk is if Scotland arrives with lots of demands: if it applies to the EU – we don’t want the euro, we don’t want to be part of Schengen. That’s going to be extremely difficult for Scotland to have all those opt-outs that it has been enjoying as a UK member.”

But whatever Scottish voters decide, the result will be watched very closely by independence movements elsewhere in Europe.