Donald Tusk, former European Council president | Antonio Bat/EPA
Tusk: Brussels ‘enthusiastic’ about Scotland rejoining the EU
UK foreign secretary describes remarks as ‘irresponsible’ and ’un-European.’
By Paola Tamma
Updated 2/2/20, 12:25 PM CET
Brussels “would be enthusiastic” if an independent Scotland sought to rejoin the EU, former European Council President Donald Tusk said Sunday.
That prompted an immediate reaction from London, with U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab describing the remarks as “un-European and rather irresponsible.”
After Britain left the EU on Friday, the Scottish government’s position is that it will seek independence and then rejoin the bloc, against the wishes of the U.K. government.
“Emotionally, I have no doubt everyone would be enthusiastic here in Brussels and more widely, more generally also in Europe,” Tusk told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, while adding the country would need to follow the standard protocol for EU accession.
“We have our own treaty … If something like for example the independence of Scotland happens, then we need anyway a regular new process,” he said.
Tusk added that he personally would welcome Scotland in the EU: “If you ask me for my emotions and genuine feelings, you will witness only empathy.”
But Raab said Tusk’s remarks were “rather un-European and rather irresponsible, given the secessionist-separatist tendencies in Spain, in France and in Italy.”
“I’m not sure Europeans leaders, let alone here in the U.K., would welcome this kind of language,” he told the BBC.