First Minister: Outward-looking, welcoming approach key to growth and opportunity

Address to investors at AAM conference in London.

The First Minister today contrasted the Scottish Government’s “Welcome in Scotland” approach with the approach being taken by the UK government.
Nicola Sturgeon set out her determination to keep Scotland in the Single Market even if the rest of the UK leaves, following the Brexit vote.
The First Minister addressed 200 investors at AAM’s annual investment conference in London on the themes of growth, empowerment, and the importance of investing in an inclusive economy.
Ms Sturgeon said
“Scotland voted very strongly to remain in the European Union – by 62% to 38%. Every local authority area in Scotland voted to retain EU membership.
“It is my job, and the job of the whole Scottish Government, to protect our vital national interests. We are currently exploring all options that will enable us to do that.
“More than anything else our long-term economic success will depend on nurturing the talent of those already in Scotland and of those who believe ours is the kind of welcoming country that allows ambition to flourish.
“That’s why I am so personally committed to reducing the attainment gap in Scotland’s schools. Education and skills will always be at the heart of how individuals’ fulfil their potential.
“We also believe freedom of movement helps to enhance and enrich our country. It creates opportunity for those born here and for those who move here.
“The position of the UK Government and some others is very different. From the refusal to guarantee the status of fellow EU nationals living in Scotland and the UK, to the threat to draw up lists of foreign workers, the UK Government seems intent on sending out a “not welcome here” message.
“I am determined that we send out a different message: one that says to all those living, working and studying in Scotland that they are most definitely welcome.
“We want to trade as freely as possible with our EU partners; to continue to welcome people from across the EU and around the world; to maintain ties which have enhanced our prosperity and enriched our society.
“And we want to ensure that Scotland remains an open, internationalist country. Our relationship with Europe has become part of Scotland’s sense of itself. So we will argue for an approach to Brexit which retains as much of that relationship as possible.”


The First Minister's speech is available here: 


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