Scottish Parliament's European Committee raises Scottish concerns over Brexit with Michel Barnier

11.09.2017

The Scottish Parliament's European Committee has raised Scottish concerns over Brexit with the EU's Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.Michel Barnier meets Europe Committee members in Brussels.

Speaking after this morning's meeting in Brussels, committee convener Joan McAlpine MSP, said:

"Our committee had a wide ranging and constructive meeting with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

"The Committee presented Mr Barnier with reports from their long-running inquiry into the consequences of Brexit for Scotland and raised their concerns about the consequences of leaving the single market and the impact on key Scottish sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, higher education and exporting industries. We also highlighted our concerns about the future of EU citizens living in Scotland.

"Mr Barnier said he was pleased that the Committee had taken the initiative to come and see him and he respected our role as representatives of the citizens of Scotland."

Joan McAlpine added:

"Mr Barnier was interested in Scotland and was well-informed about our concerns around Brexit. We discussed the importance of reaching a deal and the concerns about the pace of the negotiations.

"He has a very clear mandate to negotiate for the EU27 as one. We discussed what needs to happen before negotiations can move on to any future relationship between the UK and the EU as well as models for transitional arrangements. I made it clear that a majority of the Committee favoured remaining in the single market.

"On a personal level, Mr Barnier was charming and open. The meeting ran over its scheduled time of an hour and Mr Barnier said he would be happy to speak to us in the future."

Deputy Convener,  Lewis Macdonald MSP, said:

"We had a very constructive discussion with M. Barnier covering the withdrawal agreement, long-term relationships and the transitional period.

“It is clear that there is plenty of scope for discussions of any proposals the UK government might make about remaining in the single market and customs union for a transitional period after March 2019.”