A suggestion that an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership of the European Union as a new state has been dismissed by a member of Alex Salmond's cabinet.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said if there was a Yes vote in next year's referendum, Scotland would negotiate to become an independent member of the EU from within Europe.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, he said the country would enjoy a:
"seamless transition because we have the unique position that we're not joining Europe from outside of Europe, we're joining Europe from within Europe."
– Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead
He spoke out after Spanish prime minster Mariano Rajoy said that if part of an existing member state became independent, it would be "left out of the European Union" and would need to apply for membership as a new state.
Mr Rajoy reportedly told a press conference in Madrid yesterday:
"I would like to see the consequences of secession presented to Scots in a realist way. Citizens have the right to be well-informed.
"If part of a member state becomes independent, it would be left out of the European Union and it would be good for citizens (in the EU) and Scots to know that. EU entry would need to be be approved by all 28 member states."