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EU market key for Scottish business

Published: 7 Nov 2016 00:01

Brexit threat to trade growth.

Opportunities for Scottish companies to maintain their £11.6 billion EU exports market will be jeopardised by Brexit, Europe Minister Alasdair Allan will highlight in Estonia today.

Dr Allan will restate the Scottish Government’s commitment to safeguarding free movement of labour and, for our companies, access to a single market of 500 million people.

He will reaffirm that citizens of Estonia and other EU countries living in Scotland remain welcome here, and we will work to protect the people who make Scotland their home.

The First Minister recently unveiled plans to increase Scottish Development International presence in Europe to support Scottish companies.

A permanent hub will be established in Berlin and trade envoys appointed to promote Scottish exports.

The Estonian Government takes on the Presidency of the EU in July, 2017.

Dr Allan said:

“Our friendships and partnerships with other nations are important to us. We will ensure that whatever the outcomes are of the UK leaving the European Union, these partnerships are not damaged.

“There is a real risk that Scottish companies face a damaging loss of business if the UK leaves the Single Market.The priority is to protect Scotland’s interests at home and abroad. 

“I’ll be meeting with Scots doing business in Estonia and reassuring them that we are exploring all possible options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU. Single Market membership is a key priority for Scotland with over 40% of our exports going to the EU.

“I’ll also reinforce that more than ever we need to tell our European friends that Scotland is open for business, working with our neighbours, and playing a positive role in the world.”