Belfast Telegraph

Minister to visit Estonia saying Scotland determined to stay in single market

Scotland's Europe Minister is to visit Estonia this week as the Government continues to build relationships amid the fallout of the Brexit vote.

Nicola Sturgeon recently unveiled plans to increase Scottish Development International's presence in Europe to support Scottish companies, with a permanent hub to be established in Berlin and trade envoys appointed to promote exports.

Alasdair Allan will travel to Estonia on Monday to restate the Scottish Government's determination to remain part of the EU single market.

The Estonian Government takes on the EU presidency in 2017.

Dr Allan said: "Our friendships and partnerships with other nations are important to us. We will ensure that whatever the outcomes are of the UK leaving the European Union, these partnerships are not damaged.

"There is a real risk that Scottish companies face a damaging loss of business if the UK leaves the single market. The priority is to protect Scotland's interests at home and abroad.

"I'll be meeting with Scots doing business in Estonia and reassuring them that we are exploring all possible options to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU.

"Single market membership is a key priority for Scotland with over 40% of our exports going to the EU.

"I'll also reinforce that more than ever we need to tell our European friends that Scotland is open for business, working with our neighbours, and playing a positive role in the world."