EU voters – Independent Scotland should join EU, but not automatically

Voters in six EU countries other than Britain have given their thumbs up to an independent Scotland gaining membership of the European Union.

Voters in six EU countries (not including Britain) have given their thumbs up to an independent Scotland gaining membership of the European Union – but not as an automatic right, according to polling carried out by YouGov.

In addition to Great Britain, the survey focuses mainly on attitudes to the EU and the European Parliamentary elections in France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Included in the poll, however, is the question ‘If Scotland does vote to become an independent country, do you think it should be allowed to join the European Union?’

The poll finds that across the countries surveyed, clear majorities favour EU membership for Scotland in such circumstances except for Britain as a whole, where just under 50 per cent of those polled believe it should be allowed to join the Union.

The findings in full show:

Q: If Scotland does vote to become an independent country, do you think it should be allowed to join the European Union?

Britain France Germany Denmark Sweden Finland Norway
Yes 48% 61% 70% 77% 68% 65% 55%
No 26% 16% 9% 6% 5% 8% 12%
Don’t Know 27% 24% 21% 17% 27% 27% 33%

The results are likely to prove a boost to the Yes Scotland campaign, which has faced continued pressure over its policy on the status of an independent Scotland within the European Union.

The Scottish government’s White Paper on independence has said that Scotland would simply continue as a member of the European Union, with Alex Salmond having argued that it would be absurd if it had to re-apply for membership if it opted to break away from the rest of the UK.

In February, however, the now outgoing President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso told the Andrew Marr programme that it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for Scotland to join the EU under such circumstances.

Whilst the headline figures may prove good news for Salmond, his cheers will be be dented by the news that the YouGov poll shows that across all seven counties polled, opinion is largely supportive of the idea that Scotland should re-apply for EU membership rather than continue as now.

Q: When do you think Scotland should be allowed to join the European Union?

Britain France Germany Denmark Sweden Finland Norway
Automatic Membership 34% 47% 42% 47% 40% 40% 35%
Re-Apply 62% 48% 55% 50% 57% 57% 60%
Don’t Know 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 4% 5%
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