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Call for Scotland's voice to be heard on Brexit

Published: 10 Jul 2017 17:15

External Affairs Secretary meets EU Ambassadors.

Scotland’s voice should be heard in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop will tell EU Ambassadors in a meeting in London later today.

As part of our continuing engagement with the 27 other members of the EU, Ms Hyslop will reiterate the importance of Scotland retaining membership of the single market and customs union, and for the UK Government to engage with all the Devolved Administrations to ensure all voices are heard.

Speaking ahead of the event, Ms Hyslop said:

“It is essential that the UK Government looks again at the issue of single market membership.  As the election results on June 8 clearly show, the UK Government has no mandate to leave the single market.  The Prime Minister should reconsider her aim of a hard and damaging Brexit and listen to the views of all nations of the United Kingdom.

“Removing the UK, and Scotland in particular, from the single market and customs union will cause severe long-term economic damage, hitting jobs, growth and living standards.  Indeed, this is backed up by the recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, that found a majority of firms believe the UK should remain in both the single market and the customs union.

“The Scottish Government set out a range of options last December in our paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe”,  and I call on the UK Government to look again at our suggestions as a matter of urgency, particularly ahead of the next round of negotiation discussions. 

“If the UK Government wish to build consensus then it is vital that Scotland has a seat at the negotiations.  This is a position not only overwhelmingly backed in Scotland but across the UK - including support from business leaders such as the CBI.”