Denial of EU membership would be an 'affront to democracy' - Sturgeon

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Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would be an "absolute affront to democracy" for Scotland to be denied independent membership of the European Union if there was a 'yes' vote in the referendum, on 18 February 2014.

Ms Sturgeon was responding to Labour MSP Drew Smith, who asked for a response is to the comments of the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso that it would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible" for an independent Scotland to join the EU.

Mr Barosso also compared the Scottish case with Kosovo, which Ms Sturgeon said was "completely and utterly ridiculous".

Mr Smith said Scotland could only join the EU as a member state by negotiation with other member states.

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also pushed Ms Sturgeon to explain why Scotland should expect an easy switch to EU statehood.

Opposition parties also demanded to know how the SNP can promise a currency union if the other partner was not willing, and called for details of the cost to business if Scotland adopts a new currency.

Ms Sturgeon said: "One of the reasons we propose a sterling zone is so no English businesses nor Scottish businesses would have to incur transaction costs."

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