Scotland should look to ‘Nordic neighbours’ post-Brexit

Europe Minister Alasdair Allan, who has said that close relationships between Scotland and its Nordic neighbours have become more important in the wake of Brexit. Picture; PA
Europe Minister Alasdair Allan, who has said that close relationships between Scotland and its Nordic neighbours have become more important in the wake of Brexit. Picture; PA
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Close relationships between Scotland and its Nordic neighbours have become more important in the wake of Brexit, Europe Minister Alasdair Allan said.

He spoke out as he launched a new policy statement, aimed at cementing links between Scotland and Nordic and Baltic nations.

The Scottish Government’s recent baby box scheme - which sees a box full of baby items that can double up as a sleeping space for infants given to new parents - is a “great example” of the first Nordic-Baltic Policy Statement, which was agreed in 2014, Mr Allan said.

He also highlighted a number of other areas where Scotland could benefit from ties with other nations, such as Norway’s expertise in carbon capture and storage, Sweden’s bottle return scheme and Finland’s action to close the attainment gap.

READ MORE: Baby boxes to be sent to new parents in Scotland from this week

Speaking during a visit to Latvia Mr Allan said: “As the UK Government continues to limit Scotland’s input to the Brexit negotiations - and as we hurtle ever closer to a damaging and poorly-planned EU departure - it is all the more important that we strengthen our international relationships and protect Scottish interests.

“Our first Nordic-Baltic Policy Statement in 2014 was a catalyst for greater collaboration with countries in the region. A great example was the launch of Scotland’s Baby Box, based on the experiences of Finland.

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“Looking ahead, there are many areas we can work together, share our expertise and learn from others.

“Scotland wants a continuing close relationship with the rest of Europe, particularly our northern neighbours, and I believe this new Nordic-Baltic statement can help articulate and secure many important connections in the future.”