SPAIN’s top diplomat in Scotland has declared clearly and unequivocally that the Spanish government will not block an independent Scotland’s entry into the European Union.

Miguel Angel Vecino Quintana, the Spanish Consul General in Edinburgh, laid out his country’s position in the strongest terms yet in a letter copied to Scottish Government civil servants.

He also stressed it has “always” been the Spanish government’s policy not to veto an independent Scotland membership of the bloc – busting what was a major Better Together myth once and for all.

The diplomat also made clear “there is no queue” that an independent Scotland would have to join in order to become a full EU member.

The National obtained the bombshell document following a freedom of information request made to the Scottish Government.

READ MORE: Spanish veto: How a Unionist scare story was spread by the media

Quintana’s letter was written to an executive at a Scottish newspaper after it published comments on April 16 made by the Spanish MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons, whose centre-right party is in opposition.

Under the headline “Spanish MP says Scotland must join the end of the EU queue” the paper reported that Pons, of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) said the PP “would veto an independent Scotland from directly entering EU before Brexit”.

The article also said that if Scotland waited until after Brexit to become independent, it would have to wait in a queue behind Turkey and Serbia.

Pons said: “Holding another referendum on independence at the same time as we are negotiating Brexit would even further complicate the UK’s internal politics.

“Whatever happens – and I hope that its independence never happens – Scotland will have to get in line, behind Turkey and behind Serbia, to end up as an EU state.

“There is nothing automatic about Scotland getting into the EU, however independent it may be.”

The article prompted Quintana to write to a senior Herald director to point out Pons did not represent the Spanish government.

The Spanish Consul General wrote: “I have read today 16 April in your newspaper, an article concerning a statement made by a member of the Spanish Conservative Party Mr Esteban Gonzalez Pons affirming that his party will block the entry of an independent Scotland into the European Union.

“In this regard, I would like to make the following points: “1. The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Joseph Borrell has recently declared that Spain will not block Scotland’s entry into the European Union if independence is legally achieved and such has always been the intention of the Spanish Government.

The National: Spanish foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell Spanish foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell

“2. The Spanish Government has not and never will intervene in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom or any other state and expects the same reciprocal attitude.

“3. Entry into the European Union does not depend at all in waiting in a queue like waiting in a shop for your turn to arrive, as stated by the former Conservative MP Gonzalez Pons. The European Union is joined if the economic and political conditions required by all the treaties that regulate it are fulfilled.

“Therefore, Mr Director, I would like to make it very clear that Mr Gonzalez Pons’ statement is his and his party’s exclusive responsibility and not the Spanish Government’s at all.”

Quintana’s letter was not marked “for publication”, as is customary in “letters to the editor” submissions, and it is not clear whether it was intended for publication at the time.

It was copied to officials at the Scottish Government and only came to light after The National submitted a freedom of information request to the Scottish Government. We received the letter yesterday.

The issue of Spain’s stance towards an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU was a heated issue ahead of the 2014 independence referendum with the Better Together campaign repeatedly suggesting – wrongly – that Spain would veto the newly independent state from joining the bloc.

In an interview with Politico last November, Borrell was questioned on Spain’s position on Scottish independence and EU membership.

“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,” he said.

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

Pons’ intervention came after several welcoming statements by other EU politicians when asked about the prospect of an independent Scotland joining the bloc, including Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt.

The PP is the biggest party in the Madrid parliament, it was in government during the independence referendum in 2014 but lost power to the socialists in June last year.

A spokesman for the First Minister: “This is welcome confirmation of the position taken by the Spanish Government in relation to an independent Scotland’s place in the European Union, including the confirmation of the fact that this has ‘always been’ their stance.

“There is huge goodwill towards Scotland from our European friends and neighbours, and as an independent country we will be well positioned to take our place as an equal partner.”