AN independent Scotland would be back in the European Union in around four to five years, a new report has suggested.

A 125-page paper by Anthony Salamone, managing director of the Scottish political analysis firm European Merchants, argues the Scottish Government should adopt a target of four years to re-join the bloc.

However, it said Scotland would have to ditch the pound, pledge to adopt the euro and sign up to the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Border infrastructure would also likely be created between Scotland and England to preserve the integrity of the EU internal market.

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Mr Salamone, an honorary fellow at the Scottish Centre on European Relations, said: “The requirement is clear that EU members have to sign up to the euro.”

His report said the Scottish Government should not seek a permanent opt-out from the euro, as such a request “would surely be unacceptable” to the EU.

But it stressed that Scotland alone would “set the pace” of its progress, adding: “The [European] Union will not require Scotland to join the euro at a particular time.”

The report said it would be an “indirect requirement” of EU membership for Scotland to eventually establish its own currency.

“It will later converge its currency with the euro area and adopt the euro,” it continued.

The SNP has previously outlined plans to keep the pound in the short-term before transitioning to a new currency. It is not the party's policy to join the euro.

Mr Salamone said the longer Scotland remains outside the euro, “the less influence it will have” within the EU.

Launching his report in Edinburgh, the academic said: “I think we need to be honest with ourselves.

“The EU is a community of values, but it’s also a community of rules. There is political flexibility from time to time, but the rules are still there.

“The EU has a very clear and well-developed process for how European states can join the European Union.

“Scotland would have to follow that process just like any other country. In my view, there would be no special route or shortcuts.

“But I think we should be equally clear about this: that is not a problem.

“Scotland would be one of the most well-qualified countries that would ever have applied to join the European Union.”

Mr Salamone’s report – The EU Blueprint – said Scotland would participate in the CFP as part of EU membership.

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However it said Scotland would be in a "much stronger position to shape the CFP and fisheries decisions, compared to its previous participation while part of the UK".

It also said border infrastructure and checks would probably be required between Scotland and England “to preserve the integrity of the EU internal market and customs union”.

The report continued: “Although such eventuality will be unfortunate, it will also be entirely manageable.

“Across the world, many neighbouring states with close economic relations operate secure and efficient borders.

“Moreover, it will be a product of the UK’s regressive decision to isolate itself from the rest of Europe, not Scotland’s choice to be part of our common European future in the EU.”

Mr Salamone said an independent Scotland should hold an EU accession referendum, so that people have the chance to endorse membership.

He suggested Scotland be allocated 14 MEPS. It last had six under UK membership.