In late 2016, the Scottish First Minister said that her priority was to keep the whole of the UK in the European single market but that taking Scotland alone into the EEA was an option being "looked at".[35] However, other EFTA states have stated that only sovereign states are eligible for membership, so it could only join if it became independent from the UK,[36] unless the solution scouted for the Faroes in 2005 were to be adopted (see above).

In early 2018, British MPs Antoinette Sandbach, Stephen Kinnock and Stephen Hammond all called for the UK to rejoin EFTA.[37]


A Scottish minister said that it wanted to join the EEA, but the EFTA states said it wouldn't accept Scotland since Scotland is not a sovereign state, so I was wondering if there are trade organizations that accept non-sovereign states as a member.

1 Answer 1


Members of the World Trade Organization include the European Union, Macao, and Hong Kong (all three are widely considered to not be sovereign states).

  • 1
    (Taiwan or "Chinese Taipei" is also a member, but there's less consensus over whether this is a sovereign state or not.)
    – user103496
    Jan 12 at 3:26
  • 1
    One could add that in all of these cases the sovereign states that compose the EU or that Macao and Hong Kong belong to (China) explicity gave these entities the right to organize their trade relations with other countries and hence sign international trade agreements.
    – quarague
    Jan 12 at 7:19
  • I don't think there's any doubt that Scotland would require the permission of the sovereign state that it belongs to (the UK) in order to enter a trade agreement. Northern Ireland already has different trade arrangements to the rest of the UK, so it's possible.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 12 at 13:38

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