INCREASING support for independence, the upcoming Holyrood election and Scotland’s removal from the EU are the focus of several news stories across Germany this morning.

The Hamburg-based Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency wrote a piece on Scotland’s future in the wake of Brexit. It was published this morning by Der Spiegel, one of the top five German news sites, Handelsblatt, a business newspaper and regional daily Sächsische Zeitung, among others.

It comes after the director of research at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Barbara Lippert, said an independent Scotland could be “top of the list” to join the EU.

READ MORE: Expert says independent Scotland could be ‘top of the list’ to join EU

She said Brexit has been a “gamechanger” for how people in Europe view the UK and added there would be “broad openness” to indy Scotland joining the bloc.

As the copy is from an agency the stories are broadly similar across the titles. The articles includes interviews from polling expert Professor John Curtice, Kirsty Hughes, the director of the Scottish Council on European Relations, and former SNP depute leader and managing director of pro-indy think tank Progress Scotland, Angus Robertson.

All pieces are published in German but have been translated through Google.

The National:

In Der Spiegel, the newspaper headlines the piece: “The [UK] Government is playing with fire”. It is followed by the subdeck: “Prime Minister Johnson is hoping for a globally successful UK after Brexit - but the nation could fall apart. The Scots are working on the next attempt at secession. Others could follow.”

In Dresden-based Sächsische Zeitung the headline reads: “Is Britain turning into Little Britain?”

The subdeck follows: “No sooner has the kingdom separated from the EU than new trouble threatens the island. Because the Scots want their independence.”

In Handelsblatt, there are also quotes from Holger Nehring from the University of Stirling. The headline is: “German expert: Scots are frustrated with London.” It continues: “According to a German expert in Scotland, the British government is to blame for the continued approval of Scottish independence from Great Britain.”

READ MORE: Scottish independence hits the headlines across Europe after 58 per cent poll

In Der Spiegel, the story opens with the point that Scotland is looking for a fresh referendum and reintegration into the EU. Robertson explains that the country wants to be part of the largest single market in the world and wants a new vote within the next parliament.

Referring to Westminster’s ruling out of a new vote for a “generation”, Robertson said the UK Government is “playing with fire when it tries to block democracy in Scotland”, adding this will only increase support for independence.

The story goes on to point out that a lot has changed since 2014 – particularly Brexit. Fabian Zuleeg, the chief executive and chief economist of the European Policy Centre, says that 62% of Scots voted Remain is significant.

He says: "Now only independence can create the possibility of EU membership, which is desired by the overwhelming majority of Scots.”

The National:

Hughes adds that for people under 35 between 70-80% are pro-independence and pro-EU.

The article also touches on the coronavirus pandemic, explaining: “The badly managed corona crisis in London gives proponents of Scottish independence hope more than ever that they will break away from Great Britain.”

Speaking to Curtice, they say Nicola Sturgeon is seen as “much more competent” at tackling the virus than Boris Johnson. Curtice told the agency that while Johnson doesn’t seem to care about the details, the First Minister “sounds like the chief medical officer, like a top scientist”.

The professor references increasing support for independence in the polls, which have the figure up to 58% in recent cases. “There is no doubt that Boris Johnson involuntarily became the best recruiter for the national movement in Scotland," he said.

The National:

Another expert, Robert Hazell from University College London, told the dpa that Scotland leaving the UK could lead to a referendum in Northern Ireland on reunification with Ireland as well as an independent Wales.

The stories in today’s German media come after a spate of articles and broadcasts about independence across the world media.

In December Sturgeon gave interviews on the need for independence to CNN and several European newspapers including Die Welt, El Pais, La Repubblica and Liberation following the latest poll to put Yes support at 58%.

READ MORE: Scottish independence in the spotlight during Nicola Sturgeon's CNN interview

Later this month the First Minister will also present the case for Scottish independence at an international event organised by a major European media outlet.

She will speak to the Irish Times’s Winter Nights Festival in conversation with columnist and author Fintan O’Toole, discussing independence, Brexit and the state of the Union.  

To read the piece in Der SpiegelSächsische Zeitung or Handelsblatt click on the links.