Scotland politics

MSPs to seek Brexit answers in Brussels

EU and Scottish Saltire flags Image copyright Getty Images

MSPs are due to head to Brussels this week in an effort to find out what Brexit will mean for Scotland.

Members of the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee will meet ambassadors from the EU and the European Free Trade Association on Tuesday.

Later this month the committee will hold an evidence session.

It will hear from businesses and the public sector likely to be affected by last month's vote to leave the EU.

European and External Relations Committee convener Joan McAlpine said: "Sixty-two per cent of voters in Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

"For that reason alone, it is important to understand what the possible options are to safeguard Scotland's place in Europe.

"Our meetings in Brussels will seek to open channels with key European decision makers to discuss how Scotland's interests can be represented as discussions go forward."

'Questions and concerns'

She added: "Our session later this month provides us with an opportunity to hear from key sectors, including higher education, finance and industry.

"We will raise the questions and concerns of those sectors in our meetings with the Scottish and UK governments."

The evidence session will be held on 28 July, with witnesses expected to include members of the Scotch Whisky Association and Virgin Money.

The committee also plans to hold further evidence sessions with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and UK government ministers, on dates yet to be confirmed.

Members will also commission research on the implications of Brexit and hold a public consultation on what Scotland's residents feel about leaving the EU.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May told Ms Sturgeon she was "willing to listen to options" on Scotland's future relationship with the European Union.

But after talks in Edinburgh, Mrs May appeared unwilling to consider a second referendum on Scottish independence.

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