Scotland needs 'formal role' in trade talks
Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell will call for the Scottish Government to be handed “a formal role” in trade talks with countries outside the EU, in a statement to Scottish Parliament on the eve of Brexit.
In an “EU Exit” statement today, Russell will say: “The Scottish Government must have meaningful input to protect our country’s interests.
“Negotiations with the EU, and trade talks with other nations, will cut across a wide range of devolved matters, from environmental standards to agriculture, fishing and health.
“It is bad enough that Scotland is being forced to leave the EU against its will. Not to have a say in the future relationship would simply compound that injustice.
“The Scottish Government is committed to staying as close to Europe as possible. We believe that Scotland has the right to choose its own future and that the best option for Scotland is as an independent country within the European Union.
“But whilst we make that decision we must ensure that our interests are protected in any talks, at any time and held anywhere, that cover devolved competences.”
The UK will withdraw from the EU on January 31, after which there will be an 11-month transition period terminating on 31 December 2020.