NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted Scotland would be able to rejoin the EU quickly after independence.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Neil, the First Minister rubbished his claim it would take 10 years.

The SNP leader told the interviewer: “In all of my experience of discussions with different interests in the European Union I think that could be relatively quick but that will depend on the discussions we have.

“We understand the conditions we would require to meet and the discussions that would require to take place but if we’re in a position of Scotland being taken out of the European Union then we will be seeking a way back in.”

Asked whether Scotland could join the EU while using the currency of a non-member state, she told him: “We would be setting up a central bank, we would be setting up the infrastructure that is required for that, that is part of the discussion we would have about the European Union, but it is not true to say we would have had to have established an independent currency before joining the European Union.”

She added: “We would have a discussion with the EU about the journey an independent Scotland was on in terms of currency, and the accession if Scotland was already out of the EU to the point where we rejoined the EU.

“Scotland faces right now the uncertainty of being ripped out of the EU against our own will. It’s not of our making.

“And we need to plot the best way forward for our country where we are in charge of the decision that we make.”

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Asked about trade friction if Scotland was inside the EU and the rest of the UK was not, Sturgeon said it was “a priority” to ensure smooth movement of goods and services.

She said: “We don’t yet know what the UK’s final relationship with the EU will be. Once we have clarity on that we have to understand the implications and set out clearly how we deal with those, in order to keep trade flowing between Scotland and England, which is in our interests and in the interests of the rest of the UK.

“It is also in our interests to stay in the single market, which is eight times the size of the UK market. The experience of Ireland, albeit at a different time in history, is when they combined independence with membership of the EU, their exports to the EU grew and they became more prosperous. That’s the best of both worlds I believe Scotland can attain.

The SNP leader was taking part in a special interview with Neil as part of the broadcaster’s build-up to the snap General Election on December 12.

Other party leaders are also set to be quizzed by the notoriously tough veteran interviewer, with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn to follow tonight.

Asked about her MPs helping put the Labour leader in Downing Street in the event of a hung parliament, she said Corbyn must first accept the “fundamental principle” that an independence referendum should be “in Scotland’s hands”.

Asked if she would bring down a Labour government if he didn’t support any of her red lines, including the SNP’s opposition to nuclear weapons, the First Minister said she would “never do anything to support a Conservative government in office.”

When Neil said that meant Sturgeon didn’t “really have the bargaining power,” she insisted a Prime Minister Corbyn would have to “compromise”.

She said: “I lead a minority government. I can’t get a budget through unless I win support from other parties. He’s not going to be in a position of being able just to say I’m not going to do anything you want.

“Now I also accept that in any discussion of this nature if were in this position after the election it’s because no parties got an overall majority and discussions will be required. Compromise will be required on all sides.”