11 Dec 2012

EU head says Scotland would need to reapply for membership

5:00 pm on 11 December 2012

The European Union has confirmed that Scotland will have to reapply for EU membership if Scots vote for independence from Britain in a referendum in 2014.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso says if any EU region becomes independent, it has to apply to join the union.

The Scottish Nationalist government in Edinburgh has assumed until now that an independent Scotland could stay in the EU, the BBC reports.

Responding to Mr Barroso's intervention, Scottish Deputy First minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP government did not agree that an independent Scotland would have to reapply for EU membership.