Greenland could give hope to Scotland on independent EU membership

Nicola Sturgeon announces her reaction to Brexit, flanked by EU and Saltire flags.

Scotland could stay in the European Union by following the example of Demark and Greenland.

The Courier has learned that senior SNP figures believe the precedent set by Scandinavia could provide the model for an independent taking the UK’s place in the 28 nation bloc.

Senior officials have previously confirmed it is be possible to redraw member state’s borders so only Scotland would be subject to EU treaties.

Such an action was carried out in the 1985 Greenland Treaty, which saw the devolved government in Greenland secede from the EU but still remain a part of Denmark.

One influential SNP figure said: “The EU is based on precedent and politics. The politics mean a solution could be found but the precedent is there with Greenland.

“It would also mean that, in theory, we would inherit the UK’s opt-outs as we would be taking their place as the member state.”

Sources close to Nicola Sturgeon, who told journalists it was “important that we take time to consider all steps and have the discussions” before making a firm decision, said all options were on the table.

“It is far too early to be talking about specifics,” they said. “We need to look at what the UK Government does and how the EU reacts.”

EU expert Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott has previously confirmed there is a “precedent” for members to redefine what parts of their country are subject to EU rules without a complicated treaty change.

She said: “It is possible for only part of a state to secede from the EU. Further, it would be ill-considered to dismiss Greenland as a precedent on the basis that Greenland is too small and unimportant to be significant.”