Standing Council on Europe minutes: August 2016

Agenda and minutes of the second meeting of the First Minister's Standing Council on Europe, which took place on 29 August 2016.

Attendees and apologies


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

Members in attendance:

  • Vasco Cal
  • David Frost
  • Dame Anne Glover
  • Charles Grant
  • John Kay
  • Lord John Kerr
  • Dame Mariot Leslie
  • Sir David Edward
  • Amanda McMillan
  • Alan Miller
  • Frances Ruane
  • Anne Richards
  • Alyn Smith MEP
  • Grahame Smith
  • Professor Andrew Scott
  • Fabian Zuleeg


  • David Martin MEP

Ministers in attendance:

  • Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister
  • Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs
  • Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe
  • Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe

Items and actions


EU Standing Council – second meeting

  1. Welcome and apologies
  2. Introduction from Chair and overview of work since last meeting
  3. Update from First Minister
  4. -
  5. -
  6. Discussion of initial thinking on diplomatic and influencing strategies
  7. Next steps
  8. Any other business


Opening Remarks

Meeting opened with a short introduction from the Chair. First Minister then gave a short context and introduction:

  • welcomed support from the Standing Council in working through detailed and complex issues and welcomed the sub-groups which had been developed
  • stated there was no clarity from UK Government on when Article 50 will be triggered or on what the UK negotiating strategy would be
  • Scottish Government undertaking detailed preparation for negotiations on which the work of the Standing Council was key
  • engagement with the UK Government on the question of how the Scottish Government will be involved in developing the UK position is progressing, but has not concluded
  • welcomed work of the Council to understand impacts at sectoral level.


Professor Drew Scott gave a presentation. There was a discussion around a range of options that might be available to Scotland, including options which would allow membership of/full access to the single market– either on a UK or differentiated basis.

Engagement with the UK Government should focus on bringing Scotland’s policy position as close as possible to the five tests set out by the First Minister. Full membership of the single market is very important because it encompasses much more than just trade in goods – includes free movement of people and services and rights of establishment for business and cross border trade.

There was a discussion on the importance of engagement with EU states to set out Scotland’s position and to appreciate and listen to what EU states are thinking.

There was further discussion on the working groups of the Council which will develop more detailed positions in due course. The work-groups set out are as follows:

  • Economy and Financial Services
  • Social Protections
  • Higher, Further Education and Funding
  • Diplomacy and Influencing
Standing Council on Europe - Agenda for second meeting.pdf
Standing Council on Europe - Minutes for second meeting.pdf


Email: Monika Baczyk,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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