Scotland’s views must feature in Article 50 letter
Continued lack of clarity from UK Government.
The views of the Scottish Government on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU must be clearly reflected in the letter which the UK Government sends to the EU to trigger Article 50, Michael Russell, the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, has said.
Speaking after the fourth meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (European Negotiations), Mr Russell said:
“Only last week the Prime Minister herself said that work to find a common UK position on triggering Article 50 needed to be intensified.
"However, there was no commitment today that the Scottish Government's compromise plan to keep Scotland in the Single Market will be put forward as an objective by the UK Government.
“And alarmingly there was no guarantee that current devolved powers, such as agriculture, will come back to the Scottish Parliament in full.
“I made it clear to David Davis when I wrote to him two days ago that the so-called “Article 50 letter” should remain at the top of the agenda for discussion. Also, that the agenda must address the way in which that letter will make mention of the devolved administrations and their requirements including that of differentiation.
“A clear majority of Scotland’s elected representatives oppose EU withdrawal, and Scotland’s views must be respected.
“Along with ministers from across the devolved administrations, we are asking that the UK Government fully engage and involve us in the discussions around the content and timing of Article 50. This should remain at the top of the agenda.
“The Scottish Government’s comprehensive plan, Scotland’s Place in Europe, published in December is designed to keep Scotland in the European single market even if the rest of the UK leaves – which is absolutely essential for Scottish jobs, investment and long-term economic wellbeing.”