A YES vote for Scottish independence would also count as a vote to rejoin the European Union, the Constitution Secretary has said.

Angus Robertson insisted a second ballot on whether or not to rejoin the bloc would not be needed post-independence, as the choice put to Scottish voters would be an independent Scotland within the EU or staying in the UK.

In an interview with Holyrood magazine, SNP MSP Robertson said that it would make the choice for voters “very clear” between Brexit Britain and rejoining the EU.

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One of the Scottish Government’s whitepapers, three of which have been published so far, suggested that Scotland would rejoin the EU, but did not set out whether or not a further ballot would be required. A second, more detailed paper on bloc membership is yet to be published.

Every local authority area in Scotland voted to stay in the EU during the 2016 referendum, with Scotland overall backing Remain by 62 to 39 per cent. Meanwhile, the UK-wide result was 52 to 48 in favour of Leave, after gaining the backing from the majority of voters in England and Wales. Northern Ireland also voted to remain by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

Speaking to the political magazine, Robertson said: “Scotland, 50 years on from having joined the then European Economic Community, has now endured two years of being outside the European Union, to the disbenefit of our public sector, our private sector, and our relations with our European neighbours and friends.

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“I think it makes Scotland’s choice very clear, which is it is either as an independent, sovereign European Union member state with the restoration of all of the rights of citizenship that go with the right to live, work, study, trade, and much else besides, to restore that and to work with our friends elsewhere on these islands as equals, or signing up to a Brexit Britain led by the Tories, or with a now pro-Brexit Labour Party.”

When asked whether there would need to be a referendum to rejoin the EU, Robertson said: “No, the referendum case will be for Scottish independence within the European Union as a member state.”

There are still numerous questions around the process an independent Scotland would be subject to and how quickly it would take to rejoin the EU, with some suggesting it could take as long as five years.

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However, polling since 2016 has shown consistent support in Scotland for rejoining the bloc.

Robertson was also asked if the fact that Brexit had not shifted the dial on independence surprised him, to which he said “no”.

He added: “When it’s clear that a referendum is happening, I think people who are having to deal with a lot of things in their daily lives will think anew about where we are now compared to where we were in the run up to 2014.”

Robertson added he had never seen the Brexit vote as an “opportunity” to boost independence, adding that he found it “disappointing”.

“I think Brexit is so counterproductive and impoverishing in so many ways that I wouldn’t wish it on anybody to further any political agenda,” he said.

We previously told how the SNP MP said there had been "no advantages" to leaving the EU on the second anniversary marking the end of the Brexit transition period.