German support grows for Scotland to stay in European Union 


Green MEP Ska Keller latest German politician to back Scotland in Europe 

THE VICE PRESIDENT of the German Green group in the European parliament has become the latest high profile European politician to back Scotland remaining in the European Union. 

Ska Keller MEP addressed the group’s sister party in Perth today [Saturday 22 October] and pledged support for the democratic right of Scotland to stay within the EU. 

Green MEPs, responding to the position of the Scottish Greens, have called for the 62 per cent vote in Scotland to remain in the EU to be respected at an EU level.

European politicians extend hand of friendship to Scotland after Brexit vote 

Keller told the conference: “I will support you to stay in Europe and European Greens will always stand by your side.”

The statement is the latest example of German support for the charm offensive launched by the Scottish Government to persuade EU institutions and its 27 member states of the country’s position. 

Germany, the largest economy in the EU and the driving political force behind the project, will be crucial within the upcoming negotiations on Westminster’s planned EU exit. 

Keller follows a number of high profile Germany politicians who have expressed support for Scotland’s position. 

Vice-chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel 

Gabriel said that an independent Scotland would be welcome in the European Union, in an interview with newspaper Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung (also reported by Reuters in English). 

Manfred Weber MEP, leader of the European People’s Party in the EU parliament 

Weber, a close ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel, told the Financial Times, in relation to Scotland, that “Those who want to stay are welcome in the European Union.”

Weber chair the EPP group, the biggest and most influential bloc in the European parliament. 

Gunther Krichbaum, chair of Germany’s European affairs committee

Krichbaum, also an ally of Chancellor Merkel, said he expected an independent Scotland to become a member of the EU smoothly. 

He told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper (also picked up by Reuters): “The EU will still consist of 28 member states, as I expect a new independence referendum in Scotland, which will then be successful.”

“We should respond quickly to an application for admission from the EU-friendly country,” he added.

Social Democratic Party of Germany conference

Markus Rinderspucher, speaking on behalf of the SPD at its conference, welcomed SNP leader Angus Robertson to the party’s conference, adding: “We want Scotland to remain in the European Union.”

Rinderspucher, head of the Bayern SPD, told the meeting that the sentiments expressed where those of the whole party.

The SPD are Germany’s second largest party, and are currently in a ‘grand coalition’ agreement in government at the Bundestag. 

MEP David McAllister and EPP vice president

McAllister, whose father is Scottish, has risen up the ranks of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union led by Angela Merkel. 

Following the Brexit referendum, he called on Brussels leaders to listen and respect voices from Scotland on its EU membership.

He is a vice president of the European Parliament’s biggest group.

The interventions mark a sudden and historic shift in European elite opinion towards Scotland. 

The EU Parliament’s negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgium Prime Minister, has said an independent Scotland can join the European Union without any substantial obstacles. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was also met by senior EU officials on her post-Brexit vote visit to Brussels. 

Sturgeon later met with German Europe minister Michael Roth, who described the talks as “constructive conversation between two dedicated pro-Europeans”.

The German foreign office recognised Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU alongside the meeting.

The Scottish Government recently announced it will open a new trade office in Berlin.

Picture courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

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