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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04210: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of what engagement it has had or plans with the (a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA), (b) European Economic Area (EEA) and (c) EU and its institutions since the EU referendum result regarding future trade arrangements with Scotland.

Answered by: Michael Russell 22 November 2016

Powers to make trade agreements are not currently held by the Scottish Government but are held by the UK which is not able to make any trade agreements whilst it remains a member of the European Union.

The Scottish Government’s priority at present is to protect our relationship with Europe and ensure Scotland and the UK remain members of the single market. We are engaging directly with the UK government to achieve those objectives and to protect Scotland's interests. In the meantime, our trade and investment strategy published in March this year set out a comprehensive action plan to boost Scotland’s export activity and to make it clear that Scotland is open for business with Europe and with the rest of the world.

Following the Brexit result, engagement has taken place with countries within EFTA, EEA, and EU and its institutions to discuss the implications of the result for Scotland on trade and other matters. Scottish Ministers will continue to update the Scottish Parliament on their meetings and engagement plans.