Wednesday, 13 July 2016 06:46

SNP must be at the top table for EU Negotiations

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The SNP has called on the UK government to ensure that the Scottish government has a seat at the top table in any formal negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Several SNP MPs raised the issue with the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, asking what formal role the Scottish government and other devolved governments will have in the process of formalising Brexit.

While the Foreign Secretary said he would consult the devolved nations, SNP MPs said the UK government must respect and recognise Scotland and its vote to 'remain'. Voters in all of Scotland’s 32 council areas and 62% of the population in Scotland overwhelmingly backed staying in the EU.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said Scotland’s decision must be respected, not just noted, and has vowed to protect Scotland’s standing in the EU.

Owen Thompson MP, who raised the issue in the chamber today said:

“Much like the Brexiteer’s, the UK governments plan is lacking any detail or direction. At a time of heightened uncertainty the government must clarify what official role the Scottish government and other devolved governments will play in formalising Brexit.

“With Scotland overwhelmingly voting to remain within the EU, it is crucial that the Scottish government is not just consulted but is at the table where negotiations are ongoing to ensure the decision of the people of Scotland is heard.”

Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, commented:

“The outgoing Prime Minister took us into a situation that threatens to see Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. Scotland must therefore be at the top table when the UK government meets to discuss formalising its exit from the EU.

“The new Prime Minister must turn her words into action and show and ensure that the voices across the UK are included in these negotiations and which candidates, if any, from Scotland are being considered to be part of negotiating team. It would be extremely difficult for the new PM exclude Scotland from such negotiations.”