SCOTLAND and Brexit were top of the news agenda in Germany this week. In Berlin the Brexit chaos was top of the running order on regional public broadcaster Inforadio Berlin Brandenburg; it was the key issue on national news channel Deutschlandfunk, the main evening TV discussion programme on Phoenix TV and also on international broadcaster DeutscheWelle.

I know that, because I was asked to appear on all of these outlets while I was in the German capital this week.

German journalists, politicians and citizens are genuinely puzzled and disappointed by the Brexit saga and the self-harming inward-looking pantomime at Westminster. Chancellor Angela Merkel even had to ask Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly at the EU summit what she actually wanted.

After the Tories ditched the meaningful vote on the Brexit deal, the front page of The National reported the current mess with the headline: “Cowardice, Shambolic, Disaster, Failure, Shameful, Incompetent, Clusterbourach”. The splash featured in a paper review on German TV, perfectly illustrating the UK Brexit chaos. As somebody who grew up bilingually as a half-German, half-Scot, it helps to be able to speak the language, although I must admit I was initially stumped with the best translation for “Clusterbourach”, but finally settled on “Tohuwabohu”.

READ MORE: WATCH: Angus Robertson holds up The National’s front page on German TV

Germans are literally incredulous about what is going on in the UK, and this has led to changing views towards Scottish independence.

During the 2014 independence referendum, it wasn’t really well understood why independence was necessary. Then it was described by some as “Kleinstaaterei”, the political fragmentation reminiscent of the Holy Roman Empire, or with the German-language meaning of nationalism which has only negative historic associations. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, however, Germans know that Scotland voted to remain in Europe, but that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against its will.

Germans have been generally positive about Scotland for a long time. German is the most widely spoken foreign language among visitors to this country, with an estimated 300,000 tourists coming every year. Scottish music, literature, culture, history, scenery and whisky are hugely popular in Germany. That general interest is now increasingly sympathetic to Scotland’s Brexit plight.

Politicians right across the spectrum have stressed that Scotland would be welcome in the European Union and that transition would not be as fundamentally problematic as some critics have suggested.

The National:

The senior European representative of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Brussels Elmar Brok has said the EU should have a “positive” relationship with Scotland to find solutions if it becomes independent, adding that he would be the “last one to be against” Scotland rejoining the EU if it becomes independent.

He went on to say that “… a lot of things which we have to negotiate with the candidate countries we have not to negotiate with Scotland because Scotland has already done it … If the political agreement would be there, then the process would be relatively speedy. Scotland is a member of the European Union and fulfils all of the conditions. There will be not many technical problems”.

In Berlin, the chairman of the Bundestag committee on European Affairs Gunther Krichbaum has said: “The EU will still consist of 28 member states, as I expect a new independence referendum in Scotland, which will then be successful”. Speaking to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the senior CDU politician said: “We should respond quickly to an application for admission from the EU-friendly country.”

The leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament and member of Chancellor Merkel’s Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) Manfred Weber said about Scotland: “Those who want to stay are welcome in the European Union.”

From the Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, who led the SPD and was vice-chancellor and foreign minister, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that the EU would certainly accept Scotland as a member in its own right if it were to leave the UK and move to join the Union.

The liberal Free Democrats said the talks in Brussels between the EU and UK must “consider the interests of Scotland and Northern Ireland fairly” given that both voted against Brexit. The party added: “Should they decide to leave the UK, the door to the EU should remain open – as it should to the UK”.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: May & Corbyn united in commitment to cowardice

Similarly, the German Greens said: “We welcome openly and with understanding the wishes of the Scots and Northern Irish, as well as the many people in the UK who want to remain in the EU. We make clear that our door remains open.”

Ska Keller, vice-chair of the Greens group in the European Parliament, said: “If Scots decide to go out of the UK and want to come either back into the EU or to stay in the EU …  then we need to facilitate that”.

Meanwhile, we have been hearing similar and unexpected tones from Spain, with foreign minister Josep Borrell saying: “I think the United Kingdom will split apart before Spain.” Asked if the Spanish will accept Scotland’s EU application to join if Scotland left the United Kingdom and fulfilled the requirements of the UK constitution, Borrell said: “Why not”?

While the views of all European Union countries matter, it is Germany that holds a special leadership position.

Since the UK Brexit vote, German decision-makers across the political spectrum have been striking a very different tone to what could be heard at the time of the 2014 independence referendum.

While they stress that Scottish independence is a decision for people here, Scotland would be welcome, very welcome, in the European Union as a member state. This should go a long way to help persuade those who feared Scotland would be in the cold. Sadly it is the UK that is choosing to leave the European Union. Many in Germany and across Europe look forward to Scotland staying.