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A positive case for Europe

First Minister to set out case for Scotland remaining in EU.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will take the case for Scotland remaining in the European Union to the heart of Europe in a major speech in Brussels next week. She will make clear that making the case for continuing EU membership is vital to the Scottish economy and jobs.

In her first speech in the EU capital as First Minister, she will reiterate the Scottish Government’s commitment to Europe, in the face of the UK Government’s planned “in-out” referendum – and will reaffirm her call for a ‘double lock’ on membership to prevent Scotland being forced out of the EU against its will.

The European Policy Centre will host the First Minister for the address, to an audience of EU policy makers and institution representatives, which is expected to highlight benefits the EU brings to Scotland, including:

  • Economy: The EU provides the market for 46 per cent of our international exports – worth £12.9 billion in 2013;
  • Jobs: Membership of the single market and trade - with more than 300,000 jobs in Scotland estimated to be associated with exports to the EU;
  • Freedom of movement: 171,000 people born elsewhere in the European Union currently live in Scotland – boosting our economy.

The First Minister is expected to say:

“I firmly believe that membership of Europe is in Scotland’s best interests – and have done for all of my adult life.

“We value Scotland’s place in Europe, and the benefits it brings in terms of jobs and investment – with more than 300,000 Scottish jobs estimated to be associated with our exports to the European Union.

“Perhaps most fundamentally of all, the freedom to travel, study and work across Europe has brought major benefits to Scotland. At present there are 171,000 people from elsewhere in the European Union who live and work in Scotland. They contribute hugely to the diversity of our culture, the prosperity of our economy, and the strength of our society.

“Polls in Scotland consistently show strong support for EU membership. That is why will propose a ‘double lock’, meaning that exit from the European Union would only be possible if all UK nations agreed. That way Scotland couldn't be forced out of the European Union against our will.”


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