Alex Salmond
Scottish Independence: SNP’s Alex Salmond Claims No One Will Block Scotland’s EU Membership Reuters

The Scottish National Party's leader has claimed that no European Union member has indicated that it will block the country from membership to the 28 nation bloc despite the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso saying otherwise.

Alex Salmond said told the Business for Scotland organisation in Aberdeen today that "no member state has suggested they would seek to block Scottish membership."

His comments come only two days after Barroso said that if Scotland votes to leave the UK, the Scottish government will have to apply independently for membership and obtain approval from all current EU members.

"Of course it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state," said Barroso in a BBC TV interview.

"I believe it's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible - a new member state coming out of one of our countries getting the agreement of the others."

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum in September this year and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The SNP is pushing for a yes vote in the September independence referendum, but has continually told voters that it is likely that the country will retain the pound.

However, Osborne said on 13 February that "if Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound."

He added, "there is no legal reason why the rest of the UK would need to share the currency with an independent Scotland."

"The pound is not an asset to be divided up."

During his speech, Salmond also attempted to deconstruct the UK Chancellor's argument that an independent Scotland would be precluded from using the pound.

Salmond added Osborne's case against a currency union is "ill-thought out and misinformed" during a "point-by-point deconstruction" of the Chancellor's speech.

"The reality is the pound is as much Scotland's as the rest of the UK," said Salmond.

"By suggesting otherwise, the Westminster establishment - Tories, Labour and Lib Dems - are reaping a backlash from the ordinary people of Scotland, who feel this is an attempt to bully Scotland ahead of the democratic choice we all look forward to this September.