An independent Scotland entering the EU: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked:

“In a recent interview with Andrew Neil the First Minister stated that she had had talks previously that meant she thought "that we could re-enter the EU relatively quickly". Could you provide any details of these talks and the advice given that would indicate this”


The interview that you cite as part of your request for information makes reference to a shortened excert. I have included the full quote from the First Minister for your information:

“In all of my experience of discussions with different interests in the European Union I think that could be relatively quick, but that will depend on the discussions we have.”

Details of the First Minister’s engagements are published at:

In order to provide as helpful a response to your request for information I have also included some public information in the ‘Further Information’ section of this response, please see below. I have taken these public statements from websites where you will find more detail. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Further Information

Lord Kerr, the former UK ambassador to the EU, author of Article 50, and a member of the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe has said: “The good news is that it would be a very swift accession negotiation. The sort of rubbish people talk about – back of the queue, behind the Turks– …..there is no queue. People who are declared eligible to join can join as soon as they’re ready to accept the whole of the acquis. Since the Scots would, presumably ... still be applying something very close to the existing acquis, they'd be in very fast."

You can find the full interview here:

Elmar Brok, the former chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee has said: “A lot of things which we have to negotiate with the candidate countries we have not to negotiate with Scotland because Scotland has already done it. If the political agreement would be there, then the process would be relatively speedy."

You can find the relevant article here:

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Central Enquiry Unit
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