Scotland Rebuffed, Particularly by Spain, on EU Membership

EU Nations Said to Be Split on Question of Scotland

Yesterday, Scottish officials were talking of a deeply “sympathetic” European Union which seemed open to working with them on some way for Scotland to remain part of the union after Britain’s exit. Today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that her talks with the EU have been much more “mixed.”

Sturgeon has been pushing for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom as a way of joining the European Union on their own, though Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy appears to have put the kibosh on that suggesting, insisting that Spain opposes any EU negotiations with Scotland.

Facing an active secessionist movement in Catalonia, Spain has made a policy of seeking to discourage other such movements around the world. Sturgeon said she was unsurprising by the Spanish reaction, though she also mockingly called Rajoy the “acting prime minister,” a reference to Spain’s contested Sunday election.

Even EU officials more open to at least talking to Scotland have insisted no such action could even be formally discussed until Scotland was a recognized, sovereign nation. That puts the Scots in a tough position, having to consider secession as a first step with no guarantee they’ll be able to get into the EU afterward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.