Spanish foreign minister says Scotland would be at back of queue to join EU if it becomes independent

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NICOLA STURGEON recently announced plans to hold a second referendum before Brexit is finalised and the news hasn’t gone without comment from ministers across the EU.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said this week that Scotland would ‘have to queue’ to rejoin Europe in the event it achieved independence.
Dastis said Spain ‘supports the integrity of the United Kingdom and does not encourage secessions or divisions in any of the member states. We prefer things to stay as they are.’

He said Scotland ‘would have to queue, meet the requirements for entry, and enter negotiations.’

The issue of independence is one of contention for Spain it fights its own separatist movements in Catalonia and the Basque country.

Ms Sturgeon made the surprise announcement on Monday and said ‘if Scotland is to have a real choice – when the terms of Brexit are known but before it is too late to choose our own course – then that choice must be offered between the autumn of next year, 2018 and the spring of 2019.’

However, the UK Parliament must authorize any such poll – meaning Ms Sturgeon’s call could be blocked by Ms May who attacked the move, accusing her Scottish counterpart of playing ‘games’ and the SNP of having ‘tunnel vision’.

Whilst it is unlikely that Downing Street will block the referendum altogether, reports on Tuesday morning suggested the referendum, which requires the approval of both Houses of Parliament in Westminster, would not come before the UK leaves the European Union.

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