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Fiona Hyslop leads diplomatic discussion in France.
The Scottish Government is taking steps to build stronger connections with France – Scotland’s third largest export market and a significant cultural partner.
That was the message from Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, as she undertook a series of high level engagements in Paris.
During the visit, she met culture partners and institutional contacts, including French Ministers and Government representatives.
Speaking after a meeting with French Government Minister for Europe Nathalie Loiseau, where they discussed Scotland’s position on Brexit, opportunities for collaboration between Scotland and France and shared international interests, Ms Hyslop said:
“I had a very productive meeting with Mme Loiseau and I am pleased to see we share the same objectives for the future of our respective nations. France and Scotland are both outward looking countries with strong international links that we must strengthen.
“Scotland and France have a long history and I am confident our commitment to open a new Innovation and Investment Hub in Paris later this year will further strengthen our diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with our French neighbours.
“Despite the threat posed by Brexit, we are committed to reassuring our partners that Scotland is an open and forward-looking nation – one which invests in cultural collaborations and is keen to boost its trade and investment links internationally.
“As set out in our recently published paper, all the scenarios point to Brexit having a damaging impact on Scotland’s economy and wider wellbeing. Nevertheless, short of maintaining full EU membership, we must stay in the Single Market and Customs Union.
“The Scottish Government will do all we can to protect trade and investment links with Europe and to provide the certainty that businesses want – which is why I would also encourage the UK and the EU to ensure that a transition deal is agreed at next week’s meeting of the European Council."