Sturgeon says Independent Scotland may not rejoin EU

She said that Scotland may need a 'phased' return to the EU

Sturgeon says Independent Scotland may not rejoin EU

First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon arrives at BBC | Image: PA images

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that an Independent Scotland may not rejoin the EU straight away. 

She said Scotland may not seek immediate membership of the EU if she won an independence referendum.

While most Scottish voters oppose a referendum before Brexit, the first minister insists that another vote on independence is needed because Scotland was taken out of the EU "against its will" after 62% of Scots voted to remain in the union. 

She said that Scotland could take the so-called "Norway option" by joining the  European Free Trade Association (EFTA) instead of the EU.

Sturgeon also said that even if she chooses to recommend that Scotland immediately seek membership of the EU, they could be forced to reapply from scratch after independence and after the UK leaves the EU.

"Phased approach"

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show this morning, Sturgeon said that a "phased approach" to rejoining the EU may be needed.

Sturgeon said "My position is I want Scotland to be in the EU," she added that "Now we have to set out if we’re in an independence referendum, and we’re not in that right now, the process for regaining or retaining, depending where we are in the Brexit process, EU membership."

"Now it may be that we have a phased approach to that by necessity."

When asked if Scotland would join the EFTA first and the EU later she said "Well, it may be by necessity but we don’t want that.

"We have to set that out at the time because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process."