On 28 June 2016 The First Minister told MSPs, in a Parliamentary statement, "Scotland voted to stay inside the single market and to protect the jobs, investment and trade that depend on it. We chose to be an open, inclusive and outward-looking society where other EU citizens are welcome to live, work and contribute."
The Scottish Government has a clear mandate and the support of the Scottish Parliament to protect Scotland’s future relationship with the EU; on 17 January the Scottish Parliament voted by a clear majority for Scotland’s place in the Single Market to be protected, and agreed that “alternative approaches within the UK should be sought that would enable Scotland to retain our place within the single market”.
The Scottish Government’s paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe” published in December 2016, set out compromise proposals with the aim of keeping Scotland and the UK as a whole in the European Single Market and Customs Union.
Following the General Election the First Minister wrote to the Prime Minister to express the Scottish Government’s concerns over the UK’s current Brexit plans. The letter calls for membership of the European Single Market and the EU Customs Union to be protected, and that proposals to maintain the UK’s European Single Market membership contained in “Scotland’s Place in Europe” provide a blueprint for this approach. It also calls for the negotiating team to include representation from the devolved governments and for the UK government to immediately guarantee the rights of EU nationals to remain in the UK beyond the date of the UK's exit from the EU.
The Scottish Government has produced a publication that outlines the historical, political and constitutional context that gives legitimacy to Scotland’s voice in the Brexit debate.