PRIME Minister Mariano Rajoy has insisted that he would not accept an independent Scotland into the European Union.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond promised Scottish nationals they would see an easy transition into the EU, but Mariano Rajoy plans to make the process as difficult as possible.
The prime minister added that if any region splits from its country, then ‘it converts itself into a third party outside the EU’.
Spain also received backing from Belgium on this, which also insisted that it would not approve Scotland’s EU application.
This refusal would make Scotland’s economically-uncertain independence all the more risky, as it would be required to implement a new currency and give up all economic support it currently receives from the EU.
The Scottish population will decide on September 18 whether or not they want independence from the rest of Great Britain.
Rajoy’s comments are also noticeably applicable to Catalunya’s bid for independence, to be voted on on November 9.
“It’s very clear to me, as it is for everybody else in the world, that a country that would obtain independence from the EU would remain outside of the EU, and that is good for Scottish citizens to know and for all EU citizens to know,” he added.
Rajoy added that he would expect UK Prime Minister David Cameron to take the same stance on Catalunya if it were to secede.
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish deputy first minister, pointed out that the two independence movements should not be treated equally, as the Scottish independence referendum has been approved by the UK.
She noted that Rajoy has previously acknowledged that the two movements are ‘absolutely and totally different’.