By a Newsnet reporter
Former Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has said that he believes there will be no objections from EU member states to an independent Scotland being granted its own EU membership.
The MP, who was recently sacked from his Ministerial role, was giving an interview to Catalan News Agency ACN when he was asked about Catalonia and Scottish EU membership.
Michael Moore insisted that he saw “no reason to believe that any country around Europe would have an in-principal objection to any new Member State coming forward and I don’t mean Scotland as I mean anywhere in the European Union”. He added that “the EU had a proud record in Europe in recent times of expanding its borders and including people in”.
The admission from the former Secretary of State comes despite warnings from his coalition colleagues and others in the anti-independence campaign group Better Together that a newly independent Scotland would experience obstacles in the shape of objections from existing EU members.
Mr Moore himself has previously claimed that Scotland would in fact be expelled from the European Union if Scots vote Yes in September 2014, and have to try to renegotiate a way back in to the EU.
Similar claims have been made by head of Better Together, Labour MP Alistair Darling who has said a newly independent Scotland could face a wait of almost a decade before being granted EU membership.
Michael Moore was responsible for negotiating the Edinburgh Agreement on behalf of Westminster, which created a legally binding background to the independence referendum. However, despite widespread praise for his efforts, he was recently unexpectedly sacked from his post and replaced by Lib Dem colleague Alistair Carmichael.
Mr Moore subsequently revealed he had been asked to resign his position by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, but refused.
The Scottish Government has insisted that EU membership will be negotiated between the period of a Yes vote in 2014 and the point at which Scotland becomes officially independent of the UK – expected to be around 20 months later.
Below is the full interview given by Mr Moore