Scotland politics

MSPs appeal for evidence on Brexit impact on Scotland

Committee room Image copyright Scottish Parliament
Image caption MSPs will get the chance to quiz Scottish and UK government ministers on the implications of Brexit later this year

Holyrood's Europe committee has issued an appeal for evidence on the impact of the Brexit vote.

MSPs are studying Scotland's options going forward following the UK's vote to leave the EU.

The committee has already reconvened once during the summer recess to take evidence from business leaders and economists.

And convenor Joan McAlpine said they had only "scratched the surface of identifying the true impact" of Brexit.

She appealed for businesses, organisations and individuals from across Scotland to engage with the committee by sending in written submissions or volunteering to give evidence.

The committee is looking for views on the alternatives to EU membership and the implications of these on Scotland, how the withdrawal process might be managed at the EU and UK level, the positions likely to be taken by other EU member states and the contribution that EU citizens make to Scotland's economy and society.

These views will inform the questions MSPs will put to Scottish and UK government ministers later in the year.

'Lengthy negotiations'

Ms McAlpine said: "Scotland is interconnected with the EU across a number of areas. From people, to investment, students, research and regional development funding to name a few. We need to understand both in the long and short term how Scotland will change as a result of this vote.

"More importantly when we hear from the Scottish and UK ministers later on this year, we will put to them some of the initial views we have heard in order to seek to influence the long and lengthy negotiations that will now follow."

The committee took the unusual step of meeting during Holyrood's recess for a first round of evidence-gathering from a range of groups.

They heard claims that Scotland's fishing industry could show "world leadership" having been "unleashed" by the Brexit vote.

MSPs were also told that it was "vastly important" to get the right deal with the European Union in the coming negotiations to ensure that talent and ideas can still move across borders.

The Scottish government is also studying the country's future links with Europe, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon setting up a special advisory council and laying out her views on Scotland's key interests in the Brexit talks.

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