On Thursday, EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom Joo Vale de Almeida met with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. According to the Daily Express, the discussion was “constructive” and “warm,” with Scotland’s contribution to the European agenda being discussed.
Angus Robertson, Scotland’s Constitution Secretary, met with the Eurocrat and expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to “cooperate as a constructive European partner.”
“The election in May once again underlined the people of Scotland’s strong support for our view that rejoining the EU at the earliest opportunity as an independent country represents the best future for Scotland,” he said before the meeting in the Scottish Parliament.
“Until that time, we will maintain alignment, where possible, with EU legislation, policy, and standards.”
“That will help to ensure that Scotland is able to protect and advance the high standards that we enjoyed as a part of the EU, promote ease of market access for our people and businesses, and smooth the process of Scotland’s re-accession.”
Ms Sturgeon also stated in a newspaper interview today that the post-Brexit UK was riskier than independence. However, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the Scottish First Minister’s and SNP’s time would be better spent on “hypotheticals.”
The SNP leader, according to the Edinburgh Western MSP, was “asleep at the wheel on anything other than independence” and had allowed the Scottish Government “to rot.”
In July, Mr Vale de Almeida appeared to dismiss the prospect of Scotland joining the EU if it became independent.
“You know how we deal with countries that want to rejoin the European Union,” he said when questioned about the possibility of Scotland joining the organisation and becoming independent. “I’m sure the same rules would apply if that hypothetical scenario is confirmed which is far from being the case.”
Following independence, Scotland’s First Minister has stated that Scotland “wants to return” to the European Union.
After 62 percent of Scots opted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, she urged Brussels to “leave a light on” for Scotland.
However, Unionist leaders have expressed concerns that Scotland would not be well-positioned to join the bloc.
A big issue would be the possibility of a physical border being created between Scotland and England, which would possibly cause considerable disruption to the flow of goods and people.
COP26 and helping EU citizens in Scotland, according to the Scottish Government, were also discussed during the meeting. As part of a two-day visit to Scotland, other Holyrood MPs, including Douglas Ross, met with the Eurocrat.