THREE years after Brexit, I keep thinking that the best option for Scotland, for the United Kingdom, and for the EU as a whole, would have been to continue within the European Union.

And as the chair of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, that is what I have always advocated in this House.

Brexit was not just going against the grain, a bad idea chaotically implemented, but also a decision contrary to the majority will of the Scottish people.

The Scots were removed from the European family of nations against their own will, clearly expressed in the Brexit referendum.

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When it comes to making your voice heard, the choice for the Scots should include other options that are not in the field of Brexit. Now, independence really is your only route back.

On that account, we at EFA are working in the European Parliament for Scotland to be fast-tracked back into the European Union the day you are able to decide for independence and for EU membership.

And I am happy to say that the hope that you will rejoin the EU is shared by a great majority of my colleagues here in the European Parliament.

But not only that. I am also convinced that Member States would be happy to welcome you back, and that even those who currently fear what is known as internal enlargement will overcome their fears.

Nevertheless, I also know that this route is not an easy one, one abounding with setbacks. I truly regret the political and legal obstacles that lately the UK is presenting the Scottish Parliament with, a parliament that has clearly expressed its desire to hold a second referendum on independence.

As a Catalan, I have also long struggled for our people to be able to vote and freely decide Catalonia’s own future, a future which I am convinced will be better shaped by being a member state of the EU, with just the same rights and duties as all the others.

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As is well known, we have faced fierce rejection by Madrid to our will for self-determination.

In our case, the answer of the Spanish state has not only been to declare the self-determination referendum illegal, but also to try to stop democratic determination through violence and by starting a large-scale judicial persecution of the pro-independence movement that is still ongoing, with more than three years of imprisonment for some of our leaders.

Circumstances surely differ, but at the end of the day, the Catalans and the Scots defend the same democratic cause, which is the right for every nation to decide on its own political status.

And that means being able to decide on independence and on membership of successful projects like the EU.

If the Scots are convinced that independence within Europe is your brightest future, I hope you will find your way back to the EU.