London, June 24: The Scots, who went to a referendum seeking independence from the UK in 2014 but fell short of their target, have voted overwelmingly in favour of remaining within the EU in the June 23 referendum but witnessed other parts of the UK preferring the Brexit. Glasgow (which voted for Scottish independence in 2014) and Edinburgh---the two big cities of Scotland---voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU.
The Scottish National Party (SNP), which failed in its 2014 bid to see Scotland as an independent country, raised the possibility of another referendum for Scottish independence if the UK decides to go out of the EU. Now, with that prospects becoming clear, the second referendum for Scottish independence in less than two years is also given a thought. [Is Northern Ireland eyeing a united Ireland?]
Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said in case the UK exits the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron would now work on a two-year-long negotiated exit and that time could be used for a fresh referendum on Scotland's independence.
But will Scotland be able to smoothly return to the EU even if it succeeds to get a positive referendum to exit the UK?
What Election Commission had said ahead of Scottish referendum in 2014?
The European Commission had said ahead of the 2014 referendum in Scotland that the latter would have to reapply for membership if it succeeded in leaving the UK.
Reiterating that the EU's position on an independent Scotland did not change, the EC said in 2012, the then EC president Jose Manuel Barroso had informed a British MP that if a part of the territory of a member state ceased to be the latter's part by becoming an independent state itself, the EU treaties would no longer apply to that territory---suggesting that an independent Scotland would not be a member of the EU.
Barroso had also said that states breaking away from an existing member will find it difficult to get backing from all member states to enter the EU.
But now with the UK deciding not to remain an EU member, Scotland seems to be in a better place to vie for an EU membership if it succeeds to pull out of the UK.