Scotland In Europe: Fiona Hyslop call of solidarity to Brussels leaders

13/10/2016
michael

Scottish Government address conference leaders on post-Brexit vote uncertainty 

SCOTLAND’S cabinet secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs will affirm the country’s commitment to European Union links at a major Brussels conference today [Thursday 13 October].  

Fiona Hyslop, who has regularly met with European diplomats since the June Brexit vote, will speak at the ‘Friends of Europe’ conference focusing on a message of solidarity following Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU. 

The event is the latest milestone in an ongoing charm offensive, after the Scottish Parliament backed the first unilateral national foreign policy with the continental mainland for over 300 years. 

Scotland United: Parliament backs negotiations to keep Scotland in the EU 

According to the government, the conference will include “ministers, former heads of state, European commissioners, parliamentarians, academics, international organisation representatives and young European leaders and media representatives”.

Ahead of the conference, Hyslop said: “Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government welcomes that outcome. The UK vote means that Scotland risks being taken out of Europe against its will and that is democratically unacceptable. Our priority is to protect all of Scotland’s interests.

“The Scottish Government strongly values the contribution that EU citizens make in Scotland, just as we hope Scottish citizens in Europe are equally valued, and we will continue to press the UK Government for the protection of their right to live and work here. We have been clear about the benefits of being a member of the EU – the prosperity and economic opportunities which membership of the single market brings to our nation; the social protections it gives to our workers; the human rights it affords our people; and the important standards which protect our environment.

The UK Government has spent over 100 days without any concrete plans on how the UK plans to leave the EU, or whether it will accommodate any special status for Scotland. 

“Scotland has always been an outward looking nation and to this day we actively and enthusiastically collaborate with our European friends. We are also a nation that believes strongly in European solidarity so that we can tackle today’s global challenges such as climate change, terrorism and the refugee crisis together.

“We are now in uncharted territory. Brexit has not yet happened – Article 50 will not be invoked until next year. We are at the start of a process and we are ready to work creatively and positively with the UK Government and with all of our friends across Europe to shape a future that respects the interests of Scotland and the UK and benefits all of our citizens.”

The Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe is currently investigating the best options to keep the country within the EU

The UK Government has spent over 100 days without any concrete plans on how the UK plans to leave the EU, or whether it will accommodate any special status for Scotland. 
 
With no UK negotiating position after the Brexit vote, there remains continued uncertainty for financial services, exports, manufacturing, agriculture, science and university sectors and EU nationals.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Government 

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