Sturgeon briefs Barnier on Scotland’s Brexit priorities
Nicola Sturgeon has met the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator to brief him about Scotland’s priorities.
The private meeting with Michel Barnier took place in Brussels ahead of the second round of formal Brexit negotiations next week.
The Scottish Government said its priority is building consensus against an extreme Brexit outside the single market and protecting Scotland’s vital interests.
The First Minister said: “This was a useful and constructive meeting and I welcomed the opportunity to discuss Scotland’s priorities with Mr Barnier – in particular our view that the UK should seek to remain in the single market.
“I outlined to Mr Barnier that our priority is to protect Scotland’s vital economic interests, and that the Scottish Government will do all it can to build a consensus against an extreme Brexit outside the single market, which would have potentially catastrophic consequences for jobs, investment and our living standards.
“We have always been clear that this is not about holding separate Scottish negotiations – it is for the UK as the member state to negotiate with the EU – and as such we will continue to work hard to influence the UK position.
“However, meetings like this are helpful in developing a mutual understanding between the Scottish Government and the EU as these vital negotiations gather pace.”
Mr Barnier is also meeting Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in the Belgian capital to discuss the progress of the talks.