Post-Brexit International Relations

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th February 2021.

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Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government how it will develop its international relations in the post-Brexit era. (S5O-05034)

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has undoubtedly posed challenges to Scotland’s ability to engage closely with international partners. Despite that, the Scottish Government stands firm in its outward-looking approach to international relations. We continue to work, from Scotland and through our network of eight international offices, to strengthen our international relationships and to increase trade and investment, with an overarching objective of sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

It is important that we continue to develop our strong business, economic and cultural links post-Brexit and that we do not allow Scotland’s ambitions to be thwarted by the actions of others. Can the minister provide any further details on how we can maintain and enhance those connections, for example through the digital single market, the Erasmus exchange programme and support for international artists in Europe and internationally?

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

We will continue to build international links through our international network, with partners such as Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise. As Willie Coffey touched on, cultural and education exchanges are also important to Scotland’s international role, which is why we are continuing to explore options following the UK Government’s decision to end our participation in the Erasmus programme.

The Scottish Government is working with stakeholders and others to explore how we can further support and enable cross-border work and collaboration in our culture and creative sectors. We continue to call on the UK Government to seek extensive reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU for those sectors.