Celtic Alliance emerges to challenge Westminster hard Brexit plans
FIRST MINISTER Nicola Sturgeon begins a jam-packed two day visit to Ireland today [Monday 28 November] as part of a trip to strengthen Scots-Irish relations.
Sturgeon will meet business leaders, students at Trinity College, and a host of Irish political leaders – including the nation’s president and foreign affairs minister.
The visit has been reported in the Irish press as representing a growing ‘alliance’ in opposition to the Tory approach to cutting off trade and free movement with the European continent.
“During my visit to Ireland, I look forward to further developing these areas of common interest to ensure deeper collaboration between our governments.” Nicola Sturgeon
Irish political leaders – such as Micheal Martin TD and Sean Kelly MEP – have expressed support for Scotland’s claim to remain within the European Union, as supported by a majority of Scottish voters in June.
Irish leaders are themselves grappling with the threat Brexit poses to the peace process in Northern Ireland, which is based on shared citizenship, open trade, and free movement across the island.
Demands for a ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland mirror Sturgeon’s demand that Scotland be granted a unique position in any UK Brexit deal.
2015: Scottish Government to set up a dedicated business office in Ireland
Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “Scotland and Ireland have a long history of cooperation based on our shared values, close historic and cultural ties and the deep links between our people.
“The relationship between Scotland and Ireland is more important than ever. I look forward to meeting with political and businesses leaders to discuss how we can work together to protect and strengthen our shared interests.
“I’ll be stressing the Scottish Government’s commitment to the principle of European solidarity and the benefits Scotland receives from membership of the European Single Market.
“Given the close proximity of our countries, Ireland is a strategic partner for Scotland. The opening of a Scottish Government Innovation and Investment hub earlier this year, demonstrates the value we put on this relationship.”
“Given the close proximity of our countries, Ireland is a strategic partner for Scotland.” Nicola Sturgeon
Sturgeon added: “Our hub is working on a range of issues including economic development, strengthening links on research and innovation, cooperation on energy and the development of renewable technologies and supporting government to government links.
“During my visit to Ireland, I look forward to further developing these areas of common interest to ensure deeper collaboration between our governments to deliver greater economic prosperity for both countries.”
CommonSpace will be reporting on the visit from Dublin.
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