Sturgeon: Scotland wants to be EU member, but doesn’t want the euro

Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) Leader Nicola Sturgeon shopping as she meets local residents and business owners during a walkabout to visit businesses on Auchterader High Street, in Auchterader, Scotland, 8 May 2017. [Robert Perry/EPA]

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (14 May) said she would want Scotland to be a European Union member but not adopt the euro if it ever became independent.

But Sturgeon said it may have to be a “phased approach” and Scotland could initially join the European Free Trade Association along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said Scotland may also urged voters to choose her Scottish National Party in next month’s general election to help make Scotland’s voice heard in upcoming Brexit negotiations.

“If Scotland is independent… we want Scotland to be a full member of the European Union,” she said, adding: “We don’t want to go into the euro. No member of the EU can be forced into the euro.”

In fact, all new EU members who joined in 2004 (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta), in 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania) and Croatia in 2013, are under the obligation to join the euro, according to their accession treaties.

“We have to set out… the process for regaining or retaining, depending on where we are in the Brexit process, EU membership,” she said.

“Now it may be that we have a phased approach,” she added, confirming that Scotland may have to consider EFTA membership first “by necessity”.

Sturgeon has called for a referendum on Scottish independence after she said the British government dismissed her request for Scotland to be given special dispensation to stay in Europe’s single market.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain as a whole is pulling out of the single market in order to be able to limit immigration from other parts of the European Union but wants to keep close trade ties.

“There is a lot of concern, even among some people that voted Leave, that we are heading down the road of a very extreme Brexit,” Sturgeon said on Sunday.

“If you vote SNP you are strengthening my hand to make sure that Scotland’s voice is heard… and we can press the case for Scotland’s place in the single market,” she said.

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