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Scotland could rejoin EU 'smoothly and quickly' after independence - report

The Scottish government has laid out its plans to rejoin the European Union, claiming it would be a process that happens "smoothly and quickly" after independence, with an application to become part of the bloc being submitted "as soon as possible." 

The pro-EU, pro-independence government in Edinburgh made the comments in a new policy paper that lays out the benefits of EU membership including access to the single market for Scottish businesses; joint access to the EU's free trade agreements; securing EU funding for Scottish agriculture in particular; and allowing Scotland's young people to benefit from the Erasmus+ university exchange programme, which was closed to them after Brexit.

EU membership, says the country's _de facto_foreign minister Angus Robertson, "would give Scotland direct representation in European decision-making for the very first time, providing opportunities for our economy to grow inside a market which is seven times the size of the UK and escape the damage of the UK’s hard Brexit, which is hitting Scotland’s economy and communities hard."

The elephant in the room for Scotland's EU membership is that independence is not on the cards any time soon. 

Both the UK Conservatives and Labour have vigorously opposed any mechanism that would allow the Scottish government to hold a referendum on independence; while polls consistently show no majority support for independence in Scotland itself. 

A survey published earlier this month puts support for independence at 40%, with 49% in favour of remaining part of the UK. 

The ruling Scottish National Party says it will claim it has "a mandate for independence negotiations" with London if it wins a majority of Scottish seats at the next UK election, something it