The longest-serving member of the European Parliament has said that it would be “easy” for an independent Scotland to negotiate entry into the union.

Known as the Father of the House, Elmar Broke has been an MEP since 1980 and is credited with writing the constitution of the EU by many. 

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Speaking to former first minister Alex Salmond on his RT programme, the MEP, who went to Edinburgh University, said that Brexit will lead to Scotland thinking again about independence.

He said: “This is one of the nations closest to my heart ... this country is so wonderful, this is so pro-European ... and therefore I wish Scotland all the luck for the future and I know that the membership in the European Union is of the utmost importance for the future economic and social development of Scotland”.

Asked about the EU’s attitude to a future Scottish application for membership, Brok said: “If that is done in a referendum under the rules of the United Kingdom, and if you decide so then it would be then easy to have membership negotiations because Scotland fulfils all the needs for membership, because all the standards are already there, and therefore I am not pushing for dividing the United Kingdom, hopefully the United Kingdom could together be a member together of the European Union but if the United Kingdom goes out of the European Union I can imagine that the Scottish people will think a second time.”

Brok told Salmond’s latest show that he still “dreams” that Britain will stay in but sees this as unrealistic and the worst fear is a “hard Brexit by default”.

He expressed his “great regret” about Brexit saying that he “never believed that the United Kingdom would have no interest in its own interests.”

READ MORE: Theresa May insists SNP Government is 'betraying' Scotland with higher taxes 

He also used the platform to describe Brexit negotiations as “stupid” and warned that a hard Brexit is now a very real danger.

“I think there is a very good chance of the hard Brexit," he said.

“For sure it’s a lose-lose situation for both of us and for economic reasons, as trading power but also for security policy we would like to have Britain in, but Britain is in this marketplace 13 times smaller than the market of the European Union so you know who will be the stronger part.”

A member of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Brok sits in the European Parliament’s European People’s Party bloc. He has had a number of positions in the CDU and its fellow groups and is seen as a committed European federalist. 

This story originally appeared in our sister paper, The National