Sturgeon: Scotland must stay in EU
Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland should not have to re-apply EU membership if it becomes independent.
The Deputy First Minister said it was in Europe's interests to keep Scotland as an EU member and insisted it was an "inherently flexible organisation".
Speaking in Holyrood, she railed against "the complicated process of putting Scotland outside the EU just for us to be re-admitted later".
"Scotland's vast assets - fishing, oil and gas, renewables, our values and export market to other member states, our education system enjoyed by thousands of EU students every year and our status as home to thousands of EU citizens mean that the economic, social and political interests of the EU would be best served by Scotland remaining in continuous membership," she said.
The EU would "not like to see existing parts of its territory leave" Ms Sturgeon added.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has suggested if Scotland gained independence it would have to re-apply to the EU.
Ms Sturgeon compared the Scottish situation to when East Germany joined with West Germany in 1989, meaning the country's EU membership had to be renegotiated.
"They adapted and they did it on the basis of common sense and accommodation of internal decisions taken by one of its member states," she said.
She also made clear an independent Scotland would not enter into the euro or eliminate border controls unless it was in their interests to do so.