EU urged to 'leave a light on' for Scotland after Brexit day

PUBLISHED: 18:25 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 18:25 30 January 2020

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole Hamilton puts up a European Union flag from his office window after FMQs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole Hamilton puts up a European Union flag from his office window after FMQs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

PA Wire/PA Images

Scotland will be back in the European Union soon - and members should 'leave a light on' for the country, Holyrood's Brexit secretary has said.

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In a statement to the Scottish parliament Russell urged the UK government to give Scotland a role in the upcoming negotiations to decide Britain's future relationship with the EU.

He said: "It is a stark fact that tomorrow we leave, dragged out against our will, despite the clear instruction of the Scottish people.

"Scotland has the right to choose its own future and the best option for Scotland is to be an independent country in the EU.

"In the mean time we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of Europe around our shared values and interests.

"Scotland may lie on the edge of Europe, but we have always been and want to remain at its heart, and we are committed to doing everything we can to get back where we belong.

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"As we do so, we ask all of the remaining 27 members to leave a light on for Scotland as we navigate our way out of an incorporating union that does not work for us, into a union of equals that does.

"And we will leave a light on here to guide us back into our European home."

The Scottish government has announced two of its main buildings - St Andrew's House in Edinburgh and Victoria Quay in Glasgow - will be lit in the blue and yellow colours of the European flag on Friday.

The European flag will also continue to fly at the two Scottish government buildings, as well as at Holyrood, despite Brexit.

A series of pro-European events will be held on Friday under the banner of 'Leave a light on for Scotland' in the country.

Scottish Labour's constitution spokesman Alex Rowley said his party backs Scottish government efforts to "be at the table as equals" in European talks.

But he condemned the Scottish government's "obsession with independence", adding: "There cannot be another referendum anytime soon."

He also questioned why SNP minsters want "even greater constitutional upheaval" after Brexit with a vote on independence.

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