Mike Russell urges role for Scotland in post-Brexit trade talks

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Giving the Scottish Government a guaranteed role in the development of future trade deals would have “clear benefits” for both businesses and the public sector, Holyrood’s Constitutional Relations Secretary has said.

Mike Russell spoke ahead of a new paper being published by Scottish ministers, setting out a series of proposals on how to protect the country’s interests in post-Brexit trade deals. It will argue an urgent overhaul is needed of the UK’s current arrangements for developing these international agreements.

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe

And the paper will make the case for giving the both government in Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament a guaranteed role in all stages of any future trade deals, from their formulation right through to their implementation.

Doing this could protect the NHS in Scotland from the advancement of the private sector, Mr Russell argued, as well as benefiting businesses and consumers

The Constitutional Relations Secretary also stressed the need for politicians north of the Border to “do everything we can to protect Scotland’s interests”.

The new paper, Scotland’s Role in the Development of Future UK Trade Arrangements, is being published today in a bid to encourage wider discussion about what role ministers and Holyrood could have in any post-Brexit deals.

Mr Russell said: “The Scottish Government has consistently argued that the best future for Scotland and the UK is to remain in the EU, or at the least in the single market and customs union.