FIFTY European politicians have said Scotland would be “most welcome” in Brussels if it voted for independence and decided to rejoin the European Union.

In a letter to Holyrood organised by Green MSP Ross Greer, the group of mostly Green parliamentarians said they recognised Brexit was not the choice of a majority of Scots.

The letter was signed by 26 MEPs and members of national and regional parliaments in Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Belgium.

They said: “The question of Scotland’s constitutional future, and your relationships with the UK and the EU are for the people of Scotland to decide.

“It is not our place to tell Scotland what path you should take.

“If Scotland were to become an independent country and decided to seek to maintain EU membership, we offer our full support to ensure the transition is as swift, smooth, and orderly as possible.

“Scotland would be most welcome as a full member of the EU, with your five million European citizens continuing to benefit from the rights and protections we all currently enjoy.”

Mr Greer, who organised the letter with German Green MEP Terry Reintke, said: "There is a tremendous amount of goodwill from across the continent towards Scotland’s European aspirations. Independence is the only way to secure a European future for Scotland.

“The only thing standing in Scotland’s way to forging links with Europe is the Westminster government. Our parliament has voted to give the people a choice over their own future and no Tory government at Westminster should stand in the way of that.”

SNP Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins added: “This is yet another significant intervention which underlines the depth of good will towards Scotland across Europe.

“Politicians across Europe want to engage constructively with Scotland – and if we choose to be independent, they will respect the will of the Scottish people.”

The letter follows Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis saying Madrid would not veto Scotland’s membership of the EU if it applied as an independent nation.

The Spanish were previously seen as a key obstacle to Scottish membership, as Madrid does not want to fuel demands for Catalan autonomy.

However the more welcoming attitude is also a dilemma for the SNP, which is wary of making independence synonymous with a return to Brussels, given voter scepticism about the EU.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday said he wanted Scots to choose between Brexit and “the future an independent Scotland within the European context”, rather than in the EU.

Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “People might be right to smell a rat.

"The truth is that the SNP still can't say whether an independent Scotland would seek to get back into the EU. This is the absurdity of the SNP position exposed.

They want a referendum on independence because we are leaving the EU. But they can't say whether they would want Scotland to go straight back in."

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie added: “The SNP's case for another independence referendum is increasingly feeble with their refusal to guarantee EU membership.

"The SNP can't use the Brexit vote to claim a mandate for another referendum when they refuse to say that they would take us back in. It shows that the EU was just an excuse and that it has only ever been about independence for the SNP.”