‘Dismayed’ Scott earns seat on Holyrood’s Brexit committee
Tavish Scott has been appointed to a Holyrood committee charged with scrutinising talks over a UK exit from the EU.
The Shetland MSP was given a seat on the parliament’s Europe committee, which has already taken evidence from EU secretary, Fiona Hyslop.
It comes after MSP’s backed a motion by Nicola Sturgeon aimed at protecting Scotland’s relationship with the EU.
Ninety-two MSPs supported the First Minister on Tuesday, and there were 31 abstentions.
By this morning, Ms Sturgeon was in Brussels ahead of a meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the Brexit vote.
Mr Scott said he looked forward to the challenge of standing on the committee.
He defended the EU model, insisting it was “in our interests” to work within and across Europe.
Mr Scott also welcomed a point made by Ms Sturgeon that her motion was not about Scottish independence.
“I have been given a seat on Parliament’s Europe Committee,” he said.
“This committee is charged with scrutiny of the Scottish government’s actions and I look forward to that challenge. I will write regular updates on the emerging picture.
“Both the agriculture and fisheries industries have already made strong statements about the importance of the Brexit negotiations to Scotland. These are both vital industries for Shetland and I plan to keep a close eye on all these matters.”
Mr Scott said he was “dismayed” by last week’s UK-wide vote to leave the EU, which saw all of Scotland’s local authority areas vote in favour of remain.
He also highlighted the “16 million” people who voted in favour of staying in the EU from across the UK.
“For all its faults, and there are many, working within and across Europe is in our interests. That is especially so given the latest terrorist atrocity in Turkey overnight.
Sixteen million people voted to remain within the EU from right across the UK. I do not think we should abandon people, especially the young, the length and breadth of the UK either. TAVISH SCOTT
“Our security, the economic future and how we welcome people from other parts of the world fleeing conflict, war and repression seem to me an important part of our contribution to the world we live in.
“To turn our back on that is not right. Shetland did not. Scotland did not. But nor did Northern Ireland, London and significant parts of England. Sixteen million people voted to remain within the EU from right across the UK. I do not think we should abandon people, especially the young, the length and breadth of the UK either.”
He added: “Nicola Sturgeon made clear that parliament’s motion is not about independence. That was welcome. I cannot see how rushing from one decision with enormous repercussions, to a second referendum on Scottish independence helps.
“We need a period of stability and calm to work out the best way forward. Scotland and the UK is certainly not helped by the shambles that is the Conservative and Labour parties at Westminster.”
• Ms Sturgeon’s motion stated: That the parliament welcomes the overwhelming vote of the people of Scotland to remain in the European Union; affirms to citizens of other EU countries living here that they remain welcome and that their contribution is valued; mandates the Scottish government to have discussions with the UK government, other devolved administrations, the EU institutions and member states to explore options for protecting Scotland’s relationship with the EU, Scotland’s place in the single market and the social, employment and economic benefits that come from that, and instructs the Scottish government to report back regularly to parliamentarians, to the European and External Relations Committee and the parliament on the progress of those discussions and to seek parliament’s approval of the outcome of that process.