A SCOTTISH political scientist has broken down why Scotland would not be "waiting" to join the European Union after voting Yes to independence.

Anthony Salamone, managing director of political analysis firm European Merchants, was writing after an article in the Sunday Times suggested that Scotland could not make a quick return to the EU.

The piece was referencing economist Andrew Wilson who has also advised First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Former SNP MSP Wilson (below) reported to the First Minister as chair of the Sustainable Growth Commission and was speaking about the problems Brexit threw up for Scottish independence on the podcast Scotland’s Choice, hosted by SNP MP Drew Hendry.

The National: Former MSP turned Scottish Government adviser Andrew Wilson of Charlotte Street Partners. STY HUTCHEON.Pic Gordon Terris/The Herald/Sunday Herald.25/6/18.

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Wilson said on the podcast that Scotland needs to be "upfront" about how re-entering the EU is going to be managed and "honest" about the transition and how long it will take.

Wilson added that after a successful Yes vote in any independence referendum, it would "be about two years before we were formally independent" which would give the country time to set things up like a central bank and other institutions.

He continued: “We would need to negotiate our re-entry. Some people say that could take up to a further five years so seven years from a vote, maybe longer.”

The process could be accelerated, with Wilson pointing to East Germany which joined within weeks, but he said you would want things to be done in "an orderly fashion".

Political scientist Salamone said the "recurring preoccupation" with the speed at which an indy Scotland rejoins the EU is "misplaced".

This is because becoming part of the EU would be a "strategic constitutional decision that would demand broader perspective", Salamone wrote in a Twitter thread responding to the Sunday Times article.

He wrote that it is inaccurate to describe Scotland's accession to the EU as "waiting", adding: "We would not be stuck at a toll crossing. We would be progressively advancing on our path to becoming a member."

In the time it takes an independent Scotland to join the EU it would go through the process of actively preparing and transforming the nation into a future member state of the EU.

Salamone's own assessment from his EU Blueprint is that it could take Scotland 44-78 months to rejoin the bloc with about four to five years as the probable range. This would be from the point Scotland applies to becoming a full member.

He continued: "As I set out in the Blueprint, joining the EU would be a journey. Scotland would be in a strong position to meet the Copenhagen Criteria and much of the EU acquis. Some steps would therefore be faster for Scotland than other candidates. Other steps would take their standard time.

"Views within the EU institutions on Scotland joining would be important. However, how long the process lasted would be in our hands – how quickly and well we provided evidence to the Commission, undertook reforms to align with the acquis and built the necessary state institutions."

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He added: "All told, if accession took 4-5 years, would that be slow? Not at all – it would be comparatively fast. It would demonstrate that Scotland was well qualified to join the EU. 'Join' is a better description than 'rejoin' of how Scotland's EU accession process would actually work.

"If Scotland does become independent and seek EU membership, the priority must be to join the EU well – not in a rush. Our credibility in Brussels and EU capitals would be based on how we approached the accession process. In large part, how long it took would be up to us."