14:24 GMT25 January 2020
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    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)
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    An emergency debate on Scotland's response to the Brexit vote took place Tuesday afternoon (June 28) at the Scottish Parliament, wherein First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the establishment of a "Standing Council of Experts" to advise on how best to proceed on Scotland's relationship with Europe.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Parliament: "If we were to be removed from the EU, it would be against the will of our people. That would be democratically unacceptable."

    Ms Sturgeon said that she had already had talks with the President of the Republic of Ireland Michael Higgins and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny. She said she had also spoken with the Mayor of London and Gibraltar's Chief Minister, and had been closely in touch with the heads of other administrations throughout the UK.

    The First Minister said that her Government had been in direct contact with other EU member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament, and that her priority was to emphasize Scotland's "overwhelming support for staying in the EU." Tomorrow, Ms Sturgeon will visit the President of the European Parliament — Martin Schulz — in Brussels, and she will set out Scotland's position directly to the European Commission.

    Ms Sturgeon announced the establishment of a Standing Council of experts to provide advice to the Scottish Government on how best to achieve its EU objectives:

    "This Council will be made up of specialists on finance, economics, European and diplomatic matters and it will encompass a range of political and constitutional opinions. It will provide the government with access to a wealth of knowledge built up over years of experience.

    "The Council will consider the impact of proposed changes to the UK's relationship with the EU on Scottish interests and advise Scottish Ministers throughout our negotiations on the best way to secure Scottish interests and objectives."

    Party leaders across the entire chamber of the Scottish Parliament were broadly supportive of the First Minister's desire to protect Scotland's EU status, although they were not united — necessarily — with regards the prospect of full Scottish independence, all except Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens. 

    Brits voted to leave the EU by a margin of 1.9% in a UK-wide referendum held on Thursday 23 June 2016; Scotland voted to remain by a margin of 12%.

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    Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (463)

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    Vote Remain, Vote Leave, Brexit, debate, EU membership, independence referendum, Britain's EU referendum, Scottish referendum, Holyrood, Scottish National Party, European Union, Nicola Sturgeon, Great Britain, Europe, United Kingdom, Scotland
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