Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said on November 20 that his country would not object to Scotland joining the European Union as an independent nation – but only if the secession process from the United Kingdom was legally binding.

Borrell said: “Why not? If they leave Britain in accordance with their internal regulation, if Westminster agrees.”

“If Westminster [Britain’s national parliament] agrees, why should we be against it? (…) I think the United Kingdom will split apart before Spain,” he told Politico in an interview before a live audience.

Scotland’s pro-independence Scottish National Party, the biggest party in Scotland, welcomed the comments, saying they destroyed a “favoured unionist scare-story”.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, one of the potential stumbling blocks for Scotland to rejoin the European Union was perceived to be the potential veto of EU member Spain, because of worries about its own secessionists in northeastern region Catalonia.

Meanwhile, Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU has called the future of the four-nation United Kingdom into question. England and Wales voted to leave the EU, but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.