Scottish Government demands assurance over vital EU meetings
External Affairs Secretary warns against Scotland’s interests being ignored.
The Scottish Government is calling on the UK Government not to withdraw from a series of influential EU working groups and meetings.
External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop says the UK Government’s reported intention to remove diplomats from these working groups would surrender the UK’s ability to influence EU business while still a member state.
In a letter to Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Ms Hyslop seeks an assurance that no such decision has yet been made, and insists that any move to do so must first involve discussions with the Scottish Government.
The reported move, she writes, comes at a time when important discussions and decisions are still being made in the EU about a range of crucial topics - including budgets, fisheries negotiations and foreign affairs – which would continue to impact on Scotland post-Brexit.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and devolved administrations, UK ministers must consult on policy positions which have an impact on devolved matters.
Ms Hyslop said:
“The UK Government’s pursuit of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and its determination to leave the EU on October 31 ‘come what may’ is deeply damaging for jobs, living standards and our wider economy and society.
“Sadly, these latest reports appear to be yet another case of Scotland’s interests being ignored during the Brexit process.
“The UK Government should not take any decision that would affect our ability to have Scotland’s legitimate interests fully represented while the UK is still a member state and I am seeking your assurance that no such decision has been made.”
A copy of the letter from External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop is attached.