Scots’ interests ‘at centre of EU talks’ – Mundell

The UK's Scottish Secretary David Mundell

The UK Government said its Scottish Secretary David Mundell will be in Glasgow on Wednesday to begin a series of meetings with groups from across Scottish society to make sure that Scottish interests are fully represented in the negotiations to come with the EU over Brexit.

Scotland voted in favour of remaining in the EU by 62% to 38% in June’s referendum — but the UK voted to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1%.

All 32 council areas in Scotland returned majorities to remain in the EU.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she will “protect Scotland’s place in Europe.”

Immediately after the Brexit vote, Sturgeon said a second Scottish independence referendum was “highly likely” but said she would explore other options.

Last month, Sturgeon held talks with new UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Edinburgh — and said May was “willing to consider any options that the Scottish Government now brings forward to secure Scotland’s relationship with the European Union.”

Mundell has insisted that a ‘Team UK’ approach is needed, working closely with the Scottish Government and others as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

This week’s meetings come after Mundell held a roundtable with Scottish business leaders in Edinburgh in early July.

Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop has also been meeting key stakeholders across the country in recent weeks.

“I am looking forward to meeting groups from across Scotland to hear directly from them what their priorities are following the vote by the UK to leave the European Union,” said Mundell.

“My task is to ensure that Scottish voices and interests are at the centre of the negotiations to come, and that is why this engagement is so important …

“At every step of the way, the UK Government will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people and for all parts of our United Kingdom.

“While the UK is leaving the EU, we will of course remain part of Europe.

“The United Kingdom will always be an outward-looking, globally-minded country, which is very much open for business.

“Our economic position is a strong one, with employment high and the deficit down by nearly two-thirds.

“That is a strong basis from which to move forward as we forge a new role for ourselves in the world.”

Scottish groups Mundell will meet include:

  • Oil and gas sector
  • Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Start-ups
  • Armed forces
  • Young people at Young Scot
  • Local authorities
  • Creative industries
  • Farmers’ representatives
  • Legal sector

Dunlop will also continue to meet a number of sectors over the summer, including businesses, the arts, tourism, food & drink and higher education.