This document, part of the Building A New Scotland series, outlines the government's intention to use the Article 49 process to smoothly and quickly become an EU member.
The Article 49 process involves fulfilling the requirements outlined in the Treaty on European Union, which include respecting democracy, law, and human rights, as well as demonstrating a functioning market economy capable of competing within the EU.
The Scottish government's prospectus for rejoining the EU as an independent Scotland highlights several potential benefits, including access to the single market with reduced trade barriers, open access to a larger labor market, the return of the Erasmus+ exchange program, and multi-year funding for Scotland's farming and rural businesses through the Common Agricultural Policy.
Critics, however, argue that rejoining the EU could lead to a hard border with England, as the rest of the UK would not be members of the single market. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has maintained that the issue of Scottish independence was settled in the 2014 referendum, and the UK government has rejected calls for another referendum.
The Scottish government's strategy for gaining independence involves demanding a referendum if the SNP wins a majority of Scottish constituencies in the next general election, with the option of considering the 2026 Scottish Parliament election as a de facto vote if the UK government continues to refuse a second referendum.
The issue of Scottish independence and EU membership remains a contentious and complex one, with various political and economic implications.