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EU Chief Barroso says admitting breakaway states to EU “extremely difficult”

José Manuel Barroso (left) and Herman Van Rompuy on the right

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Sunday it would be nearly impossible for the European Union to agree on granting membership to newly-formed states that elect to break away from an existing member country.

Barroso’s comments were made after he was asked if an independent Scotland would be welcome to join the EU, although he said he did not want to comment specifically on that scenario. Scotland is due to hold a referendum on independence in September.

“It would be extremely difficult to get approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state,” Barroso said in a BBC television interview. “I believe it’s going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.”

Barroso, whose mandate as head of the EU executive ends in October, has previously said that any newly independent state would have to re-apply to join the EU.

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