One of Madrid’s top diplomats in Scotland has been fired after saying that Spain would not block an independent Scotland’s accession to the EU, according to Spanish media.
In a letter obtained by pro-independence Scottish daily the National, Spanish Consul Miguel Ángel Vecino Quintana wrote: “Spain will not block Scotland’s entry into the European Union if independence is legally achieved and such has always been the intention of the Spanish Government.”
“Entry into the European Union does not depend at all in waiting in a queue like waiting in a shop for your turn to arrive,” he wrote.
The statement seemed at odds with one of Madrid’s main arguments against Catalan independence, namely that if the region split from Spain it would have to queue up for EU membership, and would not be guaranteed re-entry into the bloc.
Vecino sent the letter to the Herald in order to refute comments it carried by the Spanish MEP Esteban González Pons. On the campaign trail before a general election in April, Pons said that his center-right Popular Party would veto any entry of Scotland into the EU before the conclusion of Brexit negotiations.
The PP, which is not in government in Spain, is firmly against Catalan independence.
Spain’s Foreign Ministry told El País that Vecino had “crossed the line” and that “It is not appropriate… for him to make a statement of this political nature.”