Holyrood committee to look at European relations post Brexit

The best way for Scottish ministers to deal with EU nations in the wake of Brexit will be considered at Holyrood.

MSPs on the Europe Committee are launching a new inquiry, looking at how the Scottish Government can best engage with and influence other nations.

It will look at the work being done by hub offices the Scottish Government has opened in Berlin, Brussels, London, Dublin and Paris.

Committee convener Joan McAlpine explained the inquiry was about “the role the Scottish Government needs to take in maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s influence with the EU and the rest of the world”.

She said: “Much of the public discourse is quite rightly focused around when and if the UK leaves the European Union given the current political situation in the UK, which makes a world post-Brexit hard to imagine.

“However, how Scotland engages with the European Union is probably one of the biggest issues affecting the country given the economic and political importance of the remaining EU states.”

Deputy convener Claire Baker said: “Scotland’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world is critical not just to our economy but to our wider society.

“We need to consider what this changed relationship will look like in the current political climate and how Scotland’s interests can be best developed.

“A key consideration will also be our relationship with the rest of the world. The Scottish Government’s international strategies will be put under the spotlight to see if this is still the best option in a post-Brexit landscape.”

The inquiry will also consider the Scottish Government’s international operations, looking at the work of its offices in Beijing, Ottawa, Toronto and Washington DC.

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