Members of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee have held a day of meetings in Brussels as they continue their examination of the implications of Brexit for Scotland.
The Committee members met with a number of Ambassadors from the European Union and EFTA (the European Free Trade Association) Member States, together with a number of other key organisations in Brussels such as those representing UK business.
Speaking from Brussels, Joan McAlpine MSP, Committee Convener, said:
“In our meetings today we have been able to open up channels of communication to help ensure that Scotland’s interests can be heard in the discussions on the UK’s future relationship with Europe. We experienced a lot of goodwill and awareness of Scotland’s situation, where 62% of people voted to remain in the EU.
“No country has left the EU before and the process for leaving is far from straightforward. Our discussions today are a starting point for the Committee as we look at what Brexit means for Scotland.
“Discussions with officials representing the European Economic Area and EFTA have been useful in our building a picture of some of the alternatives to EU membership. We’ve also heard some informative reaction from business organisations about what Brexit means to them.
“Later this month, we will be holding a formal evidence session at Holyrood where we will hear from key sectors in Scotland. We will also launch a public consultation to find out what leaving the EU means to the people of Scotland.”
The Committee’s programme included meetings with:
- Oda H. Sletnes, Norwegian Ambassador to the EU
- Bergdis Ellertsdottir, Icelandic Ambassador to the EU
- Declan Kelleher, Irish Ambassador to the EU
- The British Chambers of Commerce in Belgium
- Scottish Government officials in Brussels