In the UK, the issue of Scottish independence has again become topical, as the Scottish National Party (SNP) have recently published a draft referendum bill (on the 20th of October 2016).
One difficulty that is often cited with regard to an independent Scotland being part of the EU is that Spain would be opposed.
There are two ways in which it is imagined that Scotland might be in the EU after voting for independence:
i) Scotland seeks some bespoke arrangement to retain membership of the EU in the case in which it manages to become independent before the UK leaves the EU. Or,
ii) Scotland leaves the EU while it remains a constituent part of the UK and then becomes independent. Upon becoming independent it applies for membership of the EU.
It is suggested that in either of these scenarios, Spain may veto Scotland's bid to be in (or remain part of) the EU.
It is thought that the Spanish government would be opposed to allowing any region of another EU country gaining independence and gaining membership - as this would encourage separatist tendencies within its own borders.
That, certainly, appears to be the position of the conservative Spanish People's Party (PP).
As far as I am aware, other Spanish parties do not have an official position on Scotland joining the EU.
If the PP held a governing majority in Spain that might be the end of the matter (forgetting about any scenarios in which the PP might be induced to change their position).
But the PP do not hold a governing majority in Spain.
As things stand, members of the Socialist party in Spain (PSOE) are deciding whether to abstain and allow the PP to form a minority administration or to continue to block the PP, forcing new elections.
If we imagine that the PP is able to form a minority government, how might their attempt to prevent Scotland joining the EU work in practice?
Would they need the support of other parties to prevent Scotland joining or could they do it unilaterally?