Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland will ‘immediately’ go into talks with EU states to maintain membership
The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has said her country will go into talks “immediately” with EU member states and EU agencies, with a view to maintaining EU membership.
Despite not mentioning a referendum on Scottish independence which she yesterday said was “highly likely”,Ms Sturgeon said she would have “immediate” discussions on Scotland’s continued membership of the EU.
She also said it was an “honour” for Scotland to have people from other EU member states living there, and said she would have talks with representatives from those countries on how to accommodate them best.
Ms Sturgeon said she was to appoint an advisory panel, a range of experts to guide Scotland through the process of maintaining EU membership.
Nicola Sturgeon yesterday said a second Scottish Independence referendum is “highly likely” following the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union.
Scotland’s leader said yesterday that she “deeply regrets” the decision made by the UK.
The First Minister said that it’s “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland – as a majority of voters chose to Remain – “faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our view”.
In the wake of the result, Ms Sturgeon said that her government will “discuss all options” to avoid leaving the EU – before stating a second referendum on Scottish Independence is “highly likely”.
She insisted the option “must be on the table”, because the country faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will.
The leader highlighted that a “significant and material change in circumstances” had occurred since Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom in 2014.
However, since the UK has voted to leave the EU, the Scottish government “will begin to prepare the legislation required” for a second referendum to take place.
She also praised London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who she says shares her view and willingness to remain an active, positive member of the European community.
Echoing Mr Khan, she then reached out to Europeans living in Scotland.
“You remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued,” she said.
She added that the referendum outcome wasn’t just a vote on the EU, it was “a clear expression of disaffection with the political system”.
Before the referendum took place, Ms Sturgeon told PinkNews why she thought the UK should remain members of the EU.
“One of the reasons why I think it’s important to stay in the EU is around social and employment rights that the EU has introduced and protected.
“I think different countries will take their own decisions on things, we touched on some of that already, but, it’s important there is a sort of common understanding of rights across the European Union.
“I think that membership of the EU guarantees that.”