Oxford University's Sionaidh Douglas-Scott weighs in on the debate over EU membership for an independent Scotland.

In July 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker was designated as new President of the European Commission. It may be that he will take a more neutral approach to the question of an independent Scotland’s EU membership than that of his predecessor, José Manuel Barroso, who famously stated that it would be: ‘extremely difficult, if not impossible’ for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.

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Many years ago I was a junior member of the British team negotiating the United Kingdom’s membership of the EC. Later I went to Brussels to work for the European Commission, where I was one of the architects of the enlargement that brought the Central and East European countries into the EU. If there’s a topic on which I have some expertise, it’s how to join the EU.

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It is clear talking to voters around Scotland that they have real difficulties in putting the claims of both sides in the referendum debate into perspective. Those claims are often very different and generally contradictory. To mark the countdown as we hit 100 days before the referendum, we launch the first part of our response to this in the form of our Guide to the Issues.

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The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Scotland's Membership of the EU

Scottish Affairs Committee - Twelfth Report

Today Scotland's interests in the European Union are represented by the UK which, as one of the largest Member States, has the voting power and leverage to influence decisions to the benefit of Scotland. In leaving the UK, a separate Scotland would lose this advantage.

Kirsteen Shields discusses Scotland's role in the EU, noting that European experts say Scotland should “pursue whichever pathway is most likely to ensure her continued membership of the EU”.

In the presidential candidate’s debate at the State of the Union address in Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence last week, the candidates were in agreement that reform was urgently needed in order to recapture the founding values of the European Union.

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