AN independent Scotland would be “welcomed back with open arms into the European Union”, according to a German member of the European Parliament.

Terry Reintke, a German Green MEP, said Scotland “could count” on her and “many other MEPs” to support the nation if it were to re-apply for membership of the trading bloc after a Yes vote – and predicted the process would be far speedier than for other countries.

Reintke, a German MEP since 2014, said: “The question on the independence of Scotland is for the people in Scotland to decide and I will not take a position on it.

“However, if Scotland were to became an independent country, they would be welcomed back with open arms into the European Union.”

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She added: “Of course, they would have to pass the same process as other candidate states, but since Scotland previously applied the full acquis I would expect this process to go much faster.

“The people of Scotland could count on myself and many other MEPs’ support in this process.”

The Scottish Government has previously said it is committed to remain aligned with EU law where possible after Britain left the EU.

A Scottish Parliament report from September this year found that “overall” there had “not been significant divergence between Scots law and EU law” post-Brexit.

Reintke’s intervention comes after the publication of the latest Scottish Government paper on independence, which set out ministers’ arguments for rejoining the EU after independence.

The paper published last week confirmed that Scotland would create its own currency before joining the bloc, while arguing it would continue to use sterling at the point of application.

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It also generated some uncertainty about whether Scots would have the chance to vote on whether they wanted to rejoin the European Union.

The National: Angus Robertson

In the paper’s foreword, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson (above) said the Scottish Government wanted to ensure Scots could “exercise the right to choose their own future”.

But the paper later set out that Scotland would “apply to join the EU as soon as possible after independence” without mention of whether this could be put to a vote.

There is also debate on the best approach for Scotland towards Europe if it becomes an independent country.

The SNP and the Greens are committed to rejoining the trading bloc, while Alba have argued it would be faster and easier to join the European Free Trade Agreement (Efta).

Efta gives countries some of the trade benefits of European membership – but does not give members the ability to shape laws.

Her comments echo those of her colleague Reinhard Bütikofer, a member of the European Parliament for Germany and speaker of the delegation from the German Green Party.

He told delegates at SNP conference in Aberdeen in 2022 that members of the European Parliament will do “whatever it takes to keep the door open” to welcome Scotland back into the European Union.

Reintke’s comments also came after a major week for nationalist politics in the continent after Catalan and Basque independence parties secured the continued premiership of Pedro Sanchez in Spain.

Catalan independence activists and politicians were promised a sweeping amnesty for their roles in a wildcat referendum deemed illegal by the Spanish courts.

Spain is often seen as one of the potential blocks to Scotland rejoining the EU post-independence.

The National: ROSS GREER

Ross Greer (above), the Scottish Greens’ constitution spokesperson, said Brexit had been a “a complete disaster”, adding: “We were told it was about ‘taking back control’ but the UK Government has used it as an excuse to give itself sweeping veto powers over Scotland’s elected Parliament.

“The people of Scotland rejected Brexit at the time and we still believe that our future is brightest as an EU member, something only possible with independence.

“I am proud that it is the Greens, both here in Scotland and across Europe, who are leading the campaign for an independent Scotland to rejoin the European Union and regain the rights and opportunities we all lost when we were dragged out against our will.”