First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to undertake engagements in Brussels that will include a meeting with the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the official opening of the expanded Scotland House.
The First Minister will continue to ensure that the EU understands the key issues of concern for Scotland as the Brexit negotiations continue.
Ahead of the meeting, the First Minister urged the UK Government to offer more clarity on their plans for the future relationship with the EU, to engage properly with devolved governments and to stay inside the Customs Union and Single Market as the best possible outcome from Brexit, short of continuing EU membership.
The First Minister will also host a round table with members of the business community in Brussels before she formally opens the expanded Scotland House – part of the Scottish Government’s network of hubs across Europe with offices now in London, Dublin, Berlin and soon to open in Paris.
“People and businesses are desperate for clarity on Brexit but with just months to go before the withdrawal agreement has to be signed the UK Government still cannot agree a position.
“This damaging uncertainty could come to an immediate end if only the UK Government would put jobs and living standards first and agree to continuing Single Market and Customs Union membership – for Scotland and the whole of the UK.
“Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, we are committed to continuing our collaboration, our friendship and our partnership with other European countries. Increasing our presence across the EU is a significant part of maintaining those relationships and the newly expanded Scotland House has a major part to play in representing Scotland across the whole of the EU.”
Adam Tomkins, the Scottish Conservatives’ constitution spokesman, accused the First Minister of trying to use Brexit to create support for independence, saying: “It’s becoming ever more obvious that Nicola Sturgeon wants to create a political crisis to justify her continued push for independence.”