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Scotland in the EU

Independence needed to safeguard Scotland’s place in Europe .

Scotland’s place in Europe can only be guaranteed as an independent member state of the EU, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said recently.

Only by securing such direct representation will Scotland be protected from the possibility of being taken out of the EU via the Prime Minister’s proposed in-out referendum on the UK’s continued membership.

Speaking ahead of a debate about the European and External Relations Committee’s recent inquiry into an independent Scotland’s EU membership, Ms Hyslop highlighted the real risk that the UK may exit the EU, with potentially significant adverse consequences for jobs, investment and prosperity.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Independence will give Scotland a seat and a voice at the top table in Europe for the first time ever, giving us a direct say in protecting vital national interests like fishing and farming. 

“Without a direct voice, in these areas we are forced to accept whatever deal is negotiated for us by the UK.

“And only independence will safeguard Scotland’s place in the European Union, given the very real threat of UK withdrawal via Prime Minister’s proposed in-out referendum.

“With the proposed in-out referendum on UK membership looming, the case for direct representation for Scotland in Europe is now urgent.

“Direct representation will protect Scotland’s economic and social interests against the uncertainties and adverse consequences of the proposed in-out referendum, which raises the risk that the UK may exit the EU, with potentially significant adverse consequences for jobs, investment and prosperity in Scotland.”

Ms Hyslop added:

“It is time for Scotland to join others at the top table of the EU, where we can be significantly more influential than we are now as part of the UK.

“A quick glance across the EU shows how much influence we can bring to bear as an independent member – of the 10 countries which joined the European Union in 2004, more than half became independent since 1990 and seven are smaller or around the same size as Scotland in population terms.

“The alternative is for Scotland to continue to be represented by a UK Government that is increasingly marginalised in key EU negotiations and has shown itself unwilling and unable properly to represent Scotland’s interests.

“The people of Scotland are perfectly capable of thinking and acting for themselves, to fight for the self-interest of this country but to do so as part of the international community co-operating in a peaceful and productive manner. That is the vision of THE Scotland we seek.”

“The case for Scotland’s future being in Scotland’s hands has never been clearer.”

Notes To Editors

Ms Hyslop was speaking before she delivered her speech to the Scottish Parliament as part of a debate about a recent inquiry by the European and External Relations Committee into the Scottish Government’s proposals for an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.

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