The SNP has been shot down by the EU in an embarrassing blow to their plans to rejoin the EU.
The party published a plan last week, outlining their vision for an independent Scotland in the EU, but a German MEP confirmed that there would be no shortcuts for Scotland to rejoin the EU.
Terry Reintke, co-chair of the European Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament confirmed that an independent Scotland would need to join the queue with the eight other candidate countries wanting membership.
The candidate list is currently made up of Albania, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
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Some of the candidate countries have been waiting for decades for membership, with Turkey first applying to join the European Economic Community in 1987.
While Reintke said Scotland would be “welcomed back with open arms”, she said the country would have to “pass the same process as other candidate states”.
She said: “The question on the independence of Scotland is for the people in Scotland to decide and I will not take a position on it.
“However, if Scotland were to became an independent country, they would be welcomed back with open arms into the European Union.”
“Of course, they would have to pass the same process as other candidate states, but since Scotland previously applied the full acquis I would expect this process to go much faster.
“The people of Scotland could count on myself and many other MEPs’ support in this process.”
Just yesterday, foreign policy expert Professor Azeem Ibrahim warned that Scotland is unlikely to meet the “basic economic criteria” for membership.
Ibrahim told GB News: “It shows the SNP no longer have any ideas on how an independent Scotland will function on currency, economy, defence etc so are creating fantasy papers on rejoicing the EU.
“There is little chance Scotland could meet the basic economic criteria to rejoin the EU even if it wanted to and then they will have to join a long line for countries ahead of it.
“The SNP know the independence dream is over and are just going through the motions now.”
The SNP’s new plan to rejoin the EU was included in the party’s Building a New Scotland report series.
The Scottish Government said it would use a “tried and tested” route to EU membership, relying on Article 49.
Speaking ahead of the report’s publication, the SNP’s Constitution secretary Angus Robertson dismissed Brexit as “disastrous”, calling instead for “an alternative direction for Scotland which will detail our shared European values”.
Robertson said: “Independent countries like Scotland are wealthier and fairer than the UK, so with all our resources and talents why not Scotland?
“Both Labour and the Tories are happy to impose a disastrous hard Brexit on Scotland which the UK Government’s own fiscal watchdog thinks will cut national income by 4 per cent compared with EU membership – wiping around £100bn from the UK economy and leaving people on average earnings £1,300 worse off.
“Today the Scottish Government is setting out an alternative direction for Scotland which will detail our shared European values, how we will trade with the rest of the UK and the EU, the immense value to Scotland of being a European Union member state, and the contribution we would make to achieving the EU’s goals.
“There will of course be challenges and the tried and tested accession process to go through, but we can escape the costs of Brexit and build a new and better relationship with our friends on these islands: taking advantage of new opportunities as part of the EU and the world’s largest single market, which is seven times the size of the UK.”
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