Scottish ministers travel to Brussels for talks on Scotland's relationship with EU
The European Parliament - credit: Press Association
Scottish ministers will today hold talks with Members of the European Parliament on Scotland’s future relationship with the European Union, following the UK’s vote for Brexit.
Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop will travel to Brussels with new Brexit secretary Mike Russell to hold discussions with stakeholders from EU member states and representatives from EU institutions.
Russell said the talks were aimed trying to “avert a hard Brexit for Scotland”.
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Nicola Sturgeon has stated she will publish proposals for how Scotland could retain access to the single market after Brexit.
But, warning against the prospect of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’, the First Minister used her speech at the SNP conference to announce that the Scottish Government will also publish an Independence Referendum Bill for consultation this week.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Russell said: "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."
The SNP will also lead an opposition day debate at Westminster on the status of EU nationals in the UK after the vote for Brexit.
Writing for Holyrood, Prime Minister Theresa May promised that Brexit will enhance Scotland's global standing, rather than diminish it.