Scottish Ministers will be holding a series of meetings in Brussels today (Wednesday, 19th October) to continue the work to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.
Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell will be at the European Parliament for discussions with MEPs and will also host a briefing session in Scotland House.
The visit will be the first time Michael Russell has visited Brussels in his new role, and comes after weeks of in-depth negotiations with stakeholders right across Europe.
Following the meetings, Mr Russell will host an open-door discussion with over 130 audience members, including Scots working and living in Brussels, stakeholders from member states and further afield, representatives from the EU institutions, and Brussels-based media.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Russell said:
“Since the referendum result in June, the Scottish Government has worked hard to continue our strong relationship in Brussels and protect Scotland’s interests across Europe.
“A key objective from these talks will be to work with others across the political divide to avert a hard Brexit for Scotland – there is simply no UK mandate for that. I will also raise the First Minister’s commitment to publish proposals that would allow Scotland to stay in the single market and to preserve aspects of our relationship with the EU even if the rest of the UK is intending to leave.
“I am incredibly proud of the warm reception we’ve always had from those right across the European Parliament, and the hugely positive pick-up we’ve had from those wishing to attend the question and answer session is proof that Europe sees the Scottish Government being at the heart of the discussions on the UK’s exit from the EU.
“As a government, we remain absolutely committed to finding a solution that offers a good outcome for the people of Scotland, who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, and for the EU as a whole.”