Scotland should be fast-tracked back into the European Union if it votes for independence, Micheál Martin has said.
The Fianna Fáil leader believes that while the future of Scotland within the UK is a matter for themselves, Ireland should support them in a bid to re-enter the EU if the situation arises.
“I and my party believe that it would be unacceptable for Scotland to be treated as a normal candidate country should it seek to remain as a member of the EU.
“It currently implements all EU laws. It manifestly would not need to be reviewed for its standards of governance and ability to implement EU laws.
“It has a strong administration, a distinct legal system and an absolute commitment to European ideals,” Mr Martin told an emergency Dáil debate on the outcome of the EU referendum.
“Scotland is strong enough to advocate for itself, but Ireland should be its friend and demand fair play should it seek to remain in the EU.
“As for whether Scotland could effectively veto Brexit, we have to play this straight leaving this to the administrations concerned. Europe must under no circumstance interfere,” he said.
However, Mr Martin hit out at Sinn Féin’s call for a referendum on a united Ireland.
He said such a vote should only be held when it has a chance of passing and “at the moment there is no evidence of this”.
“If it changes because of forced departure from the EU then it may be the time for such a vote – yet this has not yet been demonstrated. The North has had enough of the politics of gestures and votes used to assert difference rather than build consensus.
“The cynicism of Sinn Fein on this is dramatic even for that party,” Mr Martin told the Dáil.
He added that for four decades Provisional Sinn Féin has opposed Europe “in everything”.
“It opposed membership and every referendum. In the European Parliament it spends its time condemning the EU. It shares a group with parties opposed to the existence of the EU.
“It even refuses to oppose the Russian invasion and partition of European states but supports resolutions blaming the EU for Russian aggression,” he said.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the Government and Fianna Fáil should need to take an all-island approach to the negotiations that will lead to a Brexit.
British 10-year government borrowing costs sank below 1 percent on Monday for the first time ever and sterling tumbled to a fresh 31-year low against the dollar as investors bet Britain's vote to leave the EU will trigger a Bank of England rate cut.
Boris Johnson has declared "Project Fear is over" after Chancellor George Osborne said an emergency post-Brexit budget was unlikely to happen until a new prime minister is in place in the autumn.
The United Kingdom is unlikely to secure full access to the European Union's single market unless it allows unrestricted access to its labour market for EU citizens, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.
Finance minister George Osborne said Britain's vote to leave the European Union was likely to lead to further volatility on financial markets but said the economy was about as strong as it could be to cope with the challenge ahead.