Break-Up a 'Threat to EU Membership'

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Byline: Alan Roden and Michael Blackley

SCOTLAND and the UK could both be forced to reapply for EU membership if voters back independence, a legal expert has warned.

Patrick Layden, QC, commissioner for the Scottish Law Commission, added to the growing confusion over Alex Salmond's separation plans at a meeting of Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee yesterday.

When asked whether Scotland and the remainder of the UK would automatically become EU members, he replied: 'Personally, I think that both parts of the UK would be outside the European Union seeking to get in.' He also said that 'it might be the case' that countries such as France and Ireland would have to hold a referendum on a treaty change to bring about an independent Scotland's entry into the EU.

Mr Salmond has repeatedly insisted that Scotland would automatically receive membership and would continue using sterling because Britain has an 'opt-out' on the single currency.

But those claims have been questioned by a series of experts. …