Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has rejected reports that EU officials would block an application from an independent Scotland if it refused to join the euro.
A Times report, based on four separate European sources, claimed that any membership application from Scotland would be rejected if it did not commit to also joining the euro.
Speaking to lawmakers in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday (October 27), Ms Sturgeon reiterated that EU members have not been forced to join the single currency.
“Not all EU countries will join the euroshe said, quoting former British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“The reality, according to these several EU officials, is that a Scotland separate from the UK would be denied entry unless it agrees to join the euro“, challenged Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
“Who is lying to the Scottish people: the European Union or Nicola Sturgeon?“, he added.
Although joining the EU’s single currency is a standard requirement for potential new members, Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party (SNP) argue that an independent Scotland would initially retain the British pound.”waiting to change to a Scottish pound“.
Denmark and Sweden – as well as Britain before they left the bloc – had taken a similar stance, although Sweden is also legally bound to join the euro.
Launching a position paper on Scotland’s post-independence economy, published earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon insisted it was not “joining the euro”the right opportunity for Scotland“. The SNP government has indicated that it will also seek to join the EU’s Schengen area of free movement.
Sturgeon has put the prospect of re-entry into the European Union at the center of her campaign ahead of a second referendum on Scottish independence from the UK, due to take place in the autumn of 2023.
Scots voted almost two to one to remain in the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum, which allowed Sturgeon to point out that the country had been taken out of the union against its wishes.
“The future that the vast majority of Scots want, which is within the EU, is now only available to Scotland if we become independent” she said Thursday.
However, Scotland’s path to EU membership is uncertain, even if voters vote for independence.
It is uncertain whether an application for Scottish membership of the European Union will be fast-tracked, although over 40 years of EU legislation in its statutes leaves little work to do to bring Scotland into line with the EU legal acquis.
Scottish finance minister John Swinney, also of the SNP, said last week that the expected timetable for joining the EU would be 10 years, although EU officials declined to comment on that hypothetical situation.