Nicola Sturgeon: I’ll protect Scotland’s place in Europe

In her New Year's message, the First Minister said Scotland's reputation for being a hospitable country 'has never been more important'. Picture: Jonathan Brady
In her New Year's message, the First Minister said Scotland's reputation for being a hospitable country 'has never been more important'. Picture: Jonathan Brady
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The Scottish Government will work “to protect Scotland’s place at the heart of Europe” in 2019, Nicola Sturgeon has said in a New Year message.

The First Minister believes the reputation for being a hospitable country “has never been more important”.

*** EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 MONDAY 31 DECEMBER 2018 ***' 'First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:'"One of the things we should be proud of, at Hogmanay, is the number of people from around the world who come to Scotland to see in the New Year.' '"They come in part because of Scotland's reputation for offering a warm welcome for all. That's a reputation we should cherish. And it's one which will endure, regardless of the changes we may see in 2019.' '"In the year ahead, the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to protect Scotland's place at the heart of Europe. However, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Scotland will always offer a warm welcome to the world. In fact, our reputation for being an open, warm-hearted, hospitable country has never been more important.

*** EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 MONDAY 31 DECEMBER 2018 ***' 'First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:'"One of the things we should be proud of, at Hogmanay, is the number of people from around the world who come to Scotland to see in the New Year.' '"They come in part because of Scotland's reputation for offering a warm welcome for all. That's a reputation we should cherish. And it's one which will endure, regardless of the changes we may see in 2019.' '"In the year ahead, the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to protect Scotland's place at the heart of Europe. However, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Scotland will always offer a warm welcome to the world. In fact, our reputation for being an open, warm-hearted, hospitable country has never been more important.

She added EU nationals who have made Scotland their home will always be welcome.

Although Brexit is likely to dominate politics in 2019, Ms Sturgeon said her government will work to make Scotland “a greener, fairer and more prosperous country”.

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In a recorded message, the First Minister said: “One of the things we should be proud of, at Hogmanay, is the number of people from around the world who come to Scotland to see in the New Year.

“They come in part because of Scotland’s reputation for offering a warm welcome for all.

“That’s a reputation we should cherish. And it’s one which will endure, regardless of the changes we may see in 2019.

“In the year ahead, the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to protect Scotland’s place at the heart of Europe.

“However, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Scotland will always offer a warm welcome to the world.

“In fact, our reputation for being an open, warm-hearted, hospitable country has never been more important.”

Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said there is cause for optimism about the future.

He said: “The next few weeks will be a momentous moment in our country’s history - and none of us can predict exactly how it is going to turn out. But as we go through this period, I believe that we all have good cause to do so with a well-grounded optimism in our future.”

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP said: “We can safeguard our future in Europe and the next few months will be critical if that hope is to become a reality.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “The power we have is not being used to make people’s lives better.

“So we must renew that founding spirit. That ambition that power can mean real change.”

Scottish Lib Dems leader Willie Rennie said: “We have a real opportunity this year to push for unity, rather than bitter division.

“To stand with our neighbours in the UK and Europe because through partnership we can achieve so much more.”