Dutch connections

Hyslop: £2bn annual exports at risk due to Brexit.

Scotland’s significant economic ties with the Netherlands are under threat, following the continued uncertainties over Brexit and Single Market access.

That was the message from External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, as she undertook a series of high level engagements in The Hague.

Data from 2015 shows that the Netherlands was Scotland’s second main export destination, thanks to the country’s important role in global trade. Exports were worth £2.3 billion, 8% of the Scottish total.

Ms Hyslop held meetings with the Netherlands Vice-Minister for European Affairs, Thijs van der Plas, and Marjan Hammersma, Secretary General of the Ministry for Education, Culture and Science.

Fiona Hyslop said:

“Scotland has close cultural links with the people of the Netherlands – and with annual Scottish exports worth in excess of £2 billion passing through Dutch ports, our mutually beneficial economic ties are also very apparent.

“As I met representatives of the Dutch government I emphasised our position that, despite the threat of Brexit, Scotland is open for business and we want to continue to have a strong and positive relationship going forward.

"As set out in our analysis paper, we do not believe Scotland is required to choose between the EU Single Market and continued trading relations with the UK. A solution can – and must – be reached that ensures Scotland can continue to benefit from both markets.”


The analysis paper Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment finds that a failure to remain in the Single Market or secure a free trade agreement would see Scotland’s GDP around £12.7 billion lower by 2030 than under continued EU membership.


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