The Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee will work during the summer recess this year to examine the implications of Brexit on Scotland.
In an unprecedented move for the Committee, it agreed to hold special evidence sessions and invite UK ministers and the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, who said this week she will update the committee on the Scottish Government’s progress in dealing with the fallout from the referendum.
The Committee will also commission research on the implications of Brexit and engage in an extensive public consultation with the people of Scotland to hear at first hand what leaving the EU means to them.
The Committee met this morning for the first time since last week’s referendum. It heard evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP and a panel of leading constitutional experts all of whom agreed that the UK government’s negotiating position was as yet unknown.
Speaking afterwards, the Committee’s Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP, said the committee had a duty to seek clarity for the people of Scotland after they voted by 62% to remain in the European Union.
“It is our role to get answers from the Scottish and UK Governments about how the negotiations to withdraw from Europe will impact on Scotland, however, the Committee is determined to explore all possible options to safeguard Scotland’s place in Europe.
“The people of Scotland find themselves in unprecedented territory and, as a Committee, we are keen to offer a forum for people to place their views on record.”
The Committee also agreed:
- To undertake meetings in London and Brussels with UK Government and EU bodies to fully explore all options available to continuing Scotland’s relationship with the EU.
- To commission detailed research aimed at securing clarity on some of the main issues, such as the contribution of EU migrants to Scotland’s economy and the implications of loss of EU funds for Scotland’s financial settlement within the UK. It will make this information publically available.
The European and External Relations Committee now includes members of each political party represented in the Scottish Parliament.
Details of the meetings with UK Ministers and the First Minister of Scotland will be announced once they have been confirmed.