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Joint Ministerial Committee on Brexit

Published: 30 Jan 2017 00:01

UK must be prepared to compromise

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will call on the Prime Minister to set out how the UK Government intends to reach UK wide agreement on the aims of the article 50 negotiations, when she attends the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting in Cardiff (Monday).

The meeting will include discussions on Scotland’s Place in Europe, the Scottish Government’s proposals for maintaining access to the single market.

Also tomorrow, Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop will continue our efforts to ensure Scotland’s position is heard in Europe, becoming the first government Minister from any part of the UK to speak at the European Parliament since the EU referendum last June.

Ms Hyslop will appear before the Constitutional Affairs Committee to set out the Scottish Government’s work to explore distinct solutions to protect Scotland’s interests, remain in the single market and maintain its relationship with Europe.

The First Minister said: “It is becoming clearer with every day that passes that the UK Government is determined to pursue a hard Brexit and I am determined to do all I can to protect Scotland’s from the devastating impact that would have.

“In Scotland’s Place in Europe we have set out a range of propositions to keep Scotland in the single market and these will be discussed at tomorrow’s meetings. I hope the discussion on this tomorrow will be meaningful, but the process has been deeply disappointing so far.  The Prime Minister must start to demonstrate not only that the UK government is genuinely listening to the views of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also that they are prepared to act on them in order to reach the UK position that she said she was committed to.

“The Scottish Government has offered significant compromises in our proposals for Scotland’s place in the EU but we have yet to see any movement from the UK Government.

“Time is running out for the Prime Minister to demonstrate that she is going to uphold the commitment she made to me shortly after taking office that Scotland will be fully involved in discussions to develop an agreed UK approach and listen to alternative proposals for Scotland.”