The SNP is pushing for a fresh independence referendum and for an independent Scotland to join the EU. James Ker-Lindsay, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, dismissed suggestions Scotland will have to “get in line” behind other nations wanting to join the EU.
He said the bloc could be motivated to accept Scotland to “show that enlargement is still something”.
It comes after Britain finally untangled itself from EU control and a Frexit campaign across the Channel kicks into life.
Prof Ker-Lindsay told an online event organised by the European Movement in Scotland: “I’ve seen people say this, if Scotland wants to become independent, if it wants to join the EU it is just going to have to get in line behind the Western Balkans.
“And there is absolutely no reason to believe that is the case at all. That is not how EU enlargement works.
“It is simply a case with the EU if you are ready, and there is a political will to take you in, then you join.
“You don’t have to defer that membership behind any other country that might be in advance of you.
“In many ways I could see the European Union wanting to take Scotland in to show that enlargement is still something.”
Barbara Lippert, director of research at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, added that an independent Scotland could be “top of the list” to join the bloc.
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Nicola Sturgeon said Europe should “keep a light on” as Scotland will be “back soon” in a tweet just after the Brexit transition period ended at 11pm on December 31.
The First Minister posted a picture of the words Europe and Scotland attached by a love heart.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.”
But in a major blow to the SNP leader’s bid for Scottish independence, Boris Johnson recently repeated his position that a referendum should be a “once-in-a-generation” vote.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show earlier this month, the Prime Minister said: “Referendums in my experience, direct experience, in this country are not particularly jolly events.
“They don’t have a notably unifying force in the national mood, they should be only once in a generation.”
Asked about the difference between the Brexit referendum and another Scottish independence vote, Mr Johnson said: “The difference is we had a referendum in 1975 and we then had another one in 2016. That seems to be about the right sort of gap.”
Scotland voted against becoming an independent country in 2014 by 55 percent to 45 percent.