Scotland EU warning
The President of the EU Commission has confirmed that Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership if it chose to be independent.
President Jose Manuel Barroso told the BBC's Hardtalk programme: "If one part of a country, and I’m not referring to anything specific, wants to become an independent state of course as an independent state it has to apply for European Union membership according to the rules."
He added that should a country such as Scotland choose independence, then "for the EU purposes, from a legal point of view, it is certainly an new state... and has to negotiate with the European Union".
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the comments were "not surprising".
"We have said for some time that if Scotland were to leave the UK the most likely is that it would need to seek EU membership on newly negotiated terms while the rest of the UK would continue as a member state," he said.
"The Scottish Government's assertions on this issue have been exposed. This debate must be based on robust evidence and fact."
Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader of the SNP, this afternoon insisted "no serious person" would argue that the EU would not accept Scottish membership.