EU, Nato welcome Scotland referendum result

2014-09-19 12:56
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Brussels - Top EU and Nato officials breathed a sigh of relief Friday at the outcome of Scotland's referendum on independence, in which a majority voted against separating from the rest of Britain.

"I welcome the decision of the Scottish people to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"This outcome is good for the united, open and stronger Europe that the commission stands for."

Barroso also praised Scotland's "European commitment" and said the commission would continue to engage in a "constructive dialogue with the Scottish government" on issues such as employment, energy and the environment.

EU lawmaker Manfred Weber, who chairs the legislature's largest party, the European People's Party, said that while many people's strong desire for independence "cannot be ignored," the outcome was good for the economy.

"The Scottish voters have shown their preference for stability, inside the UK and inside the European Union. Stability is important to boost economic growth and job creation," Weber said.

Meanwhile, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he fully respected the choice of the Scottish people, and welcomed that Britain would remain united.

"I am confident that the United Kingdom will continue to play a leading role to keep our alliance strong," he said in a statement.

The prospect of Scottish independence had raised questions about the size of Britain's future defence force and the status of its nuclear deterrent, as its Trident nuclear submarines are stationed off Scotland.

Read more on:    nato  |  eu  |  scotland

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