Two new advisors to offer expertise

New members on Standing Council on Europe.

Two new advisors have been appointed to join the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

Sir John Grant, a former UK Permanent Representative to the EU and The Rt Hon Sir George Reid, former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament will join the 17 other members to provide their expertise to the Scottish Government in the wake of the Brexit vote. Each member brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from various specialists sectors including legal, financial, business and diplomatic matters.

The First Minister made the announcement ahead of the third meeting of the Standing Council.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“Since the EU Referendum I have been clear that my government’s overriding objective is to protect Scotland’s relationship with Europe and our place in the single market.

“To date, the Standing Council on Europe has provided advice and expertise on how to protect Scotland’s interests, even if the rest of the UK decides to leave. And we are working with others to keep the UK as a whole in the Single Market.

“The council already has a breadth of knowledgeable and experienced members who have years of experience of working within the EU. I am certain that the addition of Sir John and Sir George to the council will further enhance the advice to Scottish Ministers throughout the negotiations in order to secure Scottish interests and objectives.”

Chair of the Council, Professor Anton Muscatelli said:

“I am delighted to welcome Sir John and Sir George as members of the Standing Council. Their experience and expertise will be invaluable as negotiations progress and the council seeks to provide advice on a wide range of topics, gathering evidence and considering key areas including Scotland’s economy; human rights and social protections; the environment; and important sectors such as financial services and higher education.”

Sir John Grant said:

"It is an honour to be invited to join the Standing Council. I hope to be able to contribute to its important work of helping the Scottish Government ensure that the outcome of the Brexit negotiations reflects the wishes and interests of the people of Scotland.”

The Rt Hon Sir George Reid said:

"Brexit poses real challenges for Scotland. I want to help explore all options to safeguard Scottish national interests"

Membership of the Standing Council will be flexible to ensure Ministers have access to appropriate advice as required.

Sir John Grant was a British diplomat from 1976- 2007. His final posting was as UK Permanent Representative to the EU (2003-2007).   Among his other roles he was British Ambassador to Sweden (1999-2003) and Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (1997-1999).   He spent 12 years of his career in Brussels working on EU issues.  He left the Diplomatic Service in 2007 and since then has worked in the private sector.

The Rt Hon Sir George Reid has over 40 years’ experience as an MP, MSP, Member of the Assembly of the Council of Europe, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Director of Public Affairs of the International Red Cross / Red Crescent in Geneva, and thereafter was Director of strategic reviews of public organisations in the UK and Europe. He is currently a Professorial Fellow at the University of Stirling.   

Members invited to take part in the Standing Council include:

Chair: Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Glasgow

Vasco Cal, former economic adviser at the European Commission

Sir David Edward, European Court Judge

Dame Anne Glover, former chief scientific adviser to President Barosso

Charles Grant, Centre for European Reform, London

John Kay, financial markets

Lord Kerr, diplomat, deputy chair ScottishPower, Carnegie Trust

Dame Mariot Leslie, diplomat

David Martin, MEP

Amanda McMillan, CEO Glasgow Airport

Professor Alan Miller, former chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission

Anne Richards, M&G Investments & Edinburgh University Court

Frances P. Ruane, Irish academic economist & former director of ESRI

Alyn Smith, MEP

Grahame Smith, STUC, Scotland Europa

Professor Andrew Scott, University of Edinburgh

Fabian Zuleeg, European Policy Centre, Brussels

The Rt Hon Sir George Reid, Professorial Fellow at the University of Stirling

Sir John Grant, former foreign diplomat

The First Minister’s statement to statement to Parliament on the outcome of the EU referendum can be viewed at:

Further information on the Standing Council members can be viewed at: 


Cristina Dello Sterpaio: 0131 244 2517 / 07557 848 722


Media enquiries

Back to top