Nicola Sturgeon had more than 80 meetings with EU leaders since the Brexit vote
The Scottish first minister and other senior Scottish National Party figures reportedly held more than 80 meetings with European leaders in the five months after the referendum last June, compared to just 20 meetings with UK Government representatives, according to the Times.
Documents uncovering travel and engagement details allegedly show that Sturgeon, along with Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell and Scotland’s external relations minister Fiona Hyslop, met with a host of European leaders including European Commission leader Jean-Claude Junker and President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
Other figures include former French prime minister Laurent Fabius and Michael Roth, Germany’s Europe minister.
Sturgeon has had just one meeting with Theresa May to discuss Brexit
The engagement with European leaders lies in stark contrast with Brexit talks with the UK Government – in the same 20-week period after the historic vote, Sturgeon held just one bilateral meeting with Theresa May and met other UK ministers just four times.
And the strategy of sliding up to European bigwigs appears to be paying off, according to Scottish government strategists.
It is absolutely essential that Scotland’s vote to remain in Europe is fully understood among our European friends and neighbours
Spokesman for Mike Russell
Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis last week made a spectacular U-turn by saying it would not block a Scottish application to join the EU.
The country had previously stated it would stand in the way of any move by Scotland to join the bloc.
PM and Sturgeon feign smiles as they go to battle over referendum Wed, April 5, 2017
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British Prime Minister Theresa May met Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow, following the announcement that Scotland is to hold a second Independence Referendum
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British Prime Minister Theresa May meets Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow, following the announcement that Scotland is to hold a second Independence Referendum
The revelations come amid speculation Sturgeon would seek a “Norway-style” relationship with Brussels if Scotland were to vote Yes in any potential second independence referendum.
A spokesman for Mr Russell said: “It is absolutely essential, following the EU referendum result, that Scotland’s vote to remain in Europe is fully understood among our European friends and neighbours.
The SNP aims to secure a
“That is why, in addition to the extensive contact with UK ministers, we have engaged with countries across the EU in recent months.”
But Adam Tomkins, the Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman, criticised the meetings, saying: “Rather than trying to work with the UK government to get the best deal from Brexit, it’s clear the SNP were already manoeuvring for independence.”
Scotland’s future in Europe has reportedly caused disagreements at the heart of the SNP.