First Minister visits Berlin.
The European Union’s role in promoting economic prosperity, democracy and human rights has benefitted Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.
The First Minister is in Berlin to build diplomatic links with the German government and discuss with business leaders how economic ties between Scotland and Germany can be strengthened.
Germany was Scotland’s 4th largest export market in 2017, responsible for 7.2% of all international exports worth £2.3 billion, up from £1.91 billion in 2016.
The First Minster highlighted that engagement with EU nations in the run up to a possible Brexit date is vital for the Scottish economy and society to show that Scotland is open.
She will participate in a round table with the German Council on Foreign Relations and meet with the German Chambers of Commerce. She will also meet with the German Europe Minister to share Scotland’s perspective on Europe.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland is an outward-looking European nation with a strong relationship with Germany and we are committed to further developing cultural, economic and political links. Scotland is open and it is vital that message is heard across the European Union.
“Our desire for continued EU membership is about far more than self-interest. The EU’s fundamental values are ones we cherish - freedom, democracy, the rule of law, equality, and respect for human dignity and human rights.
“Scotland clearly benefits from EU membership. It is good for our businesses, our universities, and our people – who have the freedom to study, live and work across the continent. Scotland has also been enriched by the many EU citizens who have done us the honour of making Scotland their home.
“There is still a very real risk of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. That would damage our economy and communities and I will do everything in my power to stop that happening.
“With the current Brexit deadline approaching it is important that our friends and neighbours in the EU know that Scotland remains a committed European nation and that we will continue to work with our EU nations on key issues including tackling the climate emergency.
“At a time when the rule-based international order is under threat, the EU exemplifies the benefits of co-operation and solidarity. For all of these reasons Scotland sees the EU as a natural home.”