THE SPANISH Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has “demolished a favoured Unionist scare-story” and said that the government in Madrid will not stand in the way of an independent Scotland joining the EU.

Speaking to Politico, the pro-union Catalan, claimed the UK would break up long before Spain ever did.

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He said: “If they leave Britain within the accordance of the internal regulations. If Westminster agrees, we are not going to be more papist than the Pope.

“If Westminster agrees why would we be against it?”

Borrell, who is a former president of the European Parliament, added: “I am very much worried about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of Spain.

“I think the United Kingdom will split apart before Spain. That is a clear sign of the United Kingdom’s weakness.”

The National:

The politician also revealed that Theresa May will be in Brussels today to meet with the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, pictured above.

With the withdrawal agreement backed by the EU and Downing Street, the talks in Brussels have moved on to the political declaration, which outlines the future relationship.

Borrell warned that Spain could withhold support unless there was an explicit statement that approval from Madrid would be necessary for any future trade deal with the UK covering Gibraltar.

“Mrs May said that she will not agree with the withdrawal treaty... without knowing the content of the political declaration about the future relationship.

“She has said she will not agree with one thing unless I know and agree with the other. Me too. I want to see both things. Maybe tomorrow. Mrs May is coming here.”

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In the run up to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, Spain made clear it would resist an independent Scotland’s application to join the EU for fear of fuelling the Catalonian separatist movement.

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On the eve of the vote, the country’s prime minister at the time, Mariano Rajoy, pictured above, said the EU would oppose Scottish independence: “Everyone in Europe thinks that these processes are tremendously negative because they generate economic recessions and more poverty for everyone,” he said. Scottish secession would be a “torpedo to the vulnerabilities of the EU, which was created to integrate states, not to fragment them. Strong states are what’s needed today.”

However, last year, Borrell’s predecessor as foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis softened Spain’s position.

“We don’t want it [Scottish independence] to happen,” he said in 2017. “But if it happens legally and constitutionally, we would not block it. We don’t encourage the breakup of any member states, because we think the future goes in a different direction.”

SNP MSP George Adam welcomed the comments from Borrell.

“This intervention confirms what people in Scotland already know – and demolishes a favoured Unionist scare-story. Independence will allow Scotland to be an equal partner within Europe – instead of being dragged out against our will by the Tories.”

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer tweeted: “EU member states wasting no time to tell the UK Government they are out of the club and beyond its conventions of loyalty and ‘mutual respect’ between elites.”