A SENIOR German politician has given her support for an independent Scotland joining the EU – further undermining a plot by UK Tories to block the new state from being a member.

Terry Reintke, vice chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, spoke out after a leaked memo by a political consultancy with close links to the Tories and the Vote Leave campaign, proposed seeking help from Brussels to scupper independence.

The Green MEP said the EU will “do all we can so that our door will remain open”.

“There is an established procedure for new member states that would apply to Scotland.

“But from experience: this procedure is there to make sure that states are in line with EU values and the Acquis. Which Scotland already is right now,” she told The Sunday National.

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“I can only repeat what I said before: whether Scotland will become an independent country or not is for the people in Scotland to decide. But we will do all we can so that our door will remain open.”

Her comments follow an intervention from senior Irish politician Neale Richmond last week after the Hanbury report was leaked to Bloomberg News.

Responding to the report’s suggestions – described as “dirty tricks” by Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell – Richmond told The National: “Scotland has been very good to Europe and we miss our Scottish friends dearly from the EU.”

Richmond, a Fine Gael TD and close political ally to former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, criticised the Hanbury proposal and said Scotland would be a welcome new member.

“Any country in Europe can apply to join the EU and if they meet the Copenhagen criteria then they will be admitted.

“If Scotland was to vote for independence and in turn apply to join the EU then I see no reason why the EU would not accept them in due course,” he said.

“From an Irish point of view, having another English speaking, common law jurisdiction with a similar outlook in the EU would be a very welcome thing.”

He added: “I do not see how the UK can expect the EU to block such a membership application. I don’t think the EU would take kindly to such a request, things may have been different in 2014 but the UK has left the EU, they have supposedly taken back control.”

A recent survey by Ipsos MORI had backing for independence at 58%. with the shift being driven by soft “no” voters for independence being won over by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who has promised a return to the EU if Scotland becomes independent.

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Hanbury was set up by Ameet Gill, David Cameron’s strategy chief in No 10, and Paul Stephenson, director of communications for the Vote Leave campaign.

One of the company’s partners is James Kanagasooriam, who worked with the Scottish Conservatives on elections in 2016 and 2017. The report’s short-term suggestions – a focus on the SNP’s record and an “attack-focused” campaign against Sturgeon – appear to have been adopted by the Scottish Tories.

The memo also identified “a vacuum of leadership within the unionist movement, which is leaving the campaign rudderless” and suggested a “velvet no” that rejects a referendum in the short term and buys time if the SNP returns a majority next May. It also recommended more financial powers being moved to Edinburgh and a constitutional plan ready for next summer.