Spain issues Scottish warning as Holyrood vote on referendum motion is dated for next week

Mark Sands
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The Scottish Parliament Debates Brexit After Theresa May's Speech
Sturgeon hopes to schedule a vote between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 (Source: Getty)

A Spanish minister has warned that Scotland must “join the queue” for EU membership, and backed the continuation of the United Kingdom.

Speaking in Peru, Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said: “Spain supports the integrity of the United Kingdom, and does not encourage secessions or divisions in any of the member states.”

Dastis added that Scotland, “would have to queue, meet the requirements for negotiations and the result would be that these negotiations would talk place.”

Read More: Scotland will quit the EU regardless of referendum plan

It comes as first minister Nicola Sturgeon's hopes for a new Scottish independence referendum inch forward, with a date was set for MSPs to discuss the plan.

The Scottish parliament will stage a two day debate beginning on Tuesday next week, with a vote taking place on Wednesday.

MSPs will vote on a motion to ask parliaments in Westminster and Holyrood to agree a Section 30 order, effectively granting Scotland the right to set its own referendum.

Read More: Would an independent Scotland be able to stay within the EU?

It is not yet known whether Sturgeon will speak in the debate, but her Scottish National Party is likely to win, despite being a minority administration.

While both the Scottish Labour and Conservative parties are against a referendum, the Greens have offered Sturgeon the support she needs to pass the motion.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May accused the Scottish National Party of "playing politics" over the future of the UK.

Speaking in the House of Commons, May said: "We have been working closely with the devolved administrations including the Scottish government, listening to their proposals and recognising the many areas of common ground we have.

"This is not a moment to play politics and create division. It is a moment to bring our country together."

Scotland voted 55 per cent - 45 per cent against independence in 2014.

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