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30/01/20 14:00

Cabinet Secretary’s message to EU: ‘Leave a light on for Scotland’

Scottish Government marks enduring bond with Europe on Brexit day.

A series of activities signalling the Scottish Government’s desire to remain close to the European Union will be undertaken tomorrow, Friday 31 January, as Scotland is taken out of the EU without its consent.

The First Minister will write an open letter to Europe, which will be published across the EU.

Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Relations Michael Russell, who is delivering a statement on Brexit in the Scottish Parliament today, will attend a European Movement event in Edinburgh.

He will be urging Europe to #LeaveALightOn for Scotland, until the country can determine its own future.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and the External Affairs Fiona Hyslop will chair a meeting of European consular corps in Edinburgh.

Ms Hyslop will also attend a meeting at the French Institute in Edinburgh to discuss future collaborations and common interests.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman is to issue a letter of thanks and reassurance to EU nationals working in the health and social care services.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is to visit Dundee University to meet with EU students.

Two Scottish Government buildings in Edinburgh, St Andrew’s House and Victoria Quay, will be lit in blue and yellow, the colours of the European flag.

In addition, the European flag will be flown at St Andrew’s House and Victoria Quay, as well as at Scotland House in Brussels.

Mr Russell said:

“For the majority of Scotland, today is not a day of celebration, it is a day for the sad and sombre acknowledgement that Scotland is being forced to leave the European Union against its will.

“Therefore it is fitting to mark the occasion, and to reassert our desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with our European friends around our many shared values and interests in the future.

“We believe Scotland has the right to choose its own future and that the best option for this country is to be independent, within the European Union.

“Until that day comes, we ask that Europe leave a light on for Scotland.”