The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator has said that Europe “cannot afford” to lose Scotland.
Guy Verhofstadt told The National that Europe was aware that a clear majority of Scots had voted to remain within the European Union during last year’s referendum.
His comments come as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger the formal process which will lead to Britain’s departure from the bloc.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “Europe hasn’t forgotten that a large majority of the Scottish people voted to remain.
“We need the Scottish people and their firm European beliefs. Scotland has shaped European civilisation, through iconic figures such as David Hume, Alexander Fleming and Adam Smith and still does so today by being at the forefront of defining and strengthening European values.
“We cannot afford to lose that.”