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Europe and Foreign Affairs: Taking forward our National Conversation


6 Conclusions

6.1. This paper has examined Scotland's options for promoting its interests internationally and within the EU.

6.2. Scotland's ability to engage effectively in international fora is limited by two principle factors; arrangements with the UK government which mean that Scotland's interests are not always fully incorporated into the single UK foreign policy and negotiating position, and the constraints resulting from Scotland not being a full, sovereign member of the international community, and therefore relying on the UK Government for almost all of its international representation.

6.3. The Scottish Government welcomes the recommendations of the Commission on Scottish Devolution for improving the processes for incorporating Scottish views into UK positions on EU affairs. However, the Scottish Government thinks that it is unlikely that these recommendations could be successfully implemented. A more radical extension of devolution, 'Devolution Max,' could see significant improvements for Scotland. However, it is only under independence that Scotland would have full access to the opportunities and responsibilities of promoting itself internationally.

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