News

Civic society to discuss Scotland’s future

Published: 17 Dec 2019 15:39

First Minister calls for a national discussion.

Representatives from across Scottish society are to be invited by the Scottish Government to identify responses to the UK election result, and to the prospect of Scotland being removed from the European Union against its will.

The discussions with groups from across civic society will include trades unions, the business community, local government, and religious and minority groups.

The meetings will echo those held after the Brexit referendum in 2016, and will identify how, within the Scottish Parliament’s current powers, Scotland responds to the impact of UK Government actions including the imminent prospect of a damaging Brexit.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said all parts of Scottish life need to discuss the urgent challenges facing the nation.

The Scottish Government will also engage with the Standing Council on Europe, so that Scotland retains its relationships and voice in Europe.

These discussions will sit alongside the work of Scotland’s independent Citizens' Assembly, which will report its conclusions next year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“It is clear that Scotland must engage with the range of challenges facing us now - as well as discuss what kind of future we wish to create as a nation together.

“The General Election result has made it clear that the future desired by most people in Scotland is different to the type of future chosen by the rest of the UK.

“That is why it is so important that the breadth and depth of civic Scotland urgently face up to, and respond to, these challenges.

“Just as we did in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016, the Scottish Government will in January convene a number of round table meetings, bringing together key groups that represent different areas of Scottish life.

“I hope in the days and weeks ahead, we will see a coming together around the idea that Scotland has a right to choose a better future.”