Monday, 3 October 2016

Michael Russell to Outline Ambitions for Economic Links with Europe

03/10/2016 (EDAS) - Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, Michael Russell, is to outline the Scottish Government’s ambitions for retaining strong economic links with Europe in forthcoming negotiations between the UK and EU.

Mr Russell will this Tuesday give an address stating the Scottish Government’s position on economic matters following the EU referendum. Speaking to an audience of senior figures from the public, private, academic and third sectors, he will also touch upon the potential economic ramifications of Brexit for Scotland.

Mr Russell said:

“Scotland’s economy has benefitted tremendously from our EU membership in terms of trade, skills, funding, policy and networking. Remaining a member of the single market is crucial to businesses and communities in Scotland and across the UK, and the trade benefits and social protections of single market membership are an integral part of our vision for Scotland’s economy.

As the UK Government grapples with responding to the referendum, we’re doing everything we can to ensure the UK approach delivers the least damage to our economy and our interests. As part of this, we have injected a further £100 million for capital projects that support and create employment this financial year.

“It’s important I hear first-hand the concerns and views of Scotland’s economic development practitioners following the EU referendum. Given the uncertainty it has raised it’s crucial that we collectively work to maintain the capacity of Scotland’s economic development organisations in delivering a successful, productive and inclusive economy – one that is outward-facing, and maintains strong links with our trading partners in the EU and beyond.” 

The Minister will be joined by the Chair of the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe, University of Glasgow’s Principal Professor Anton Muscatelli. Professor Muscatelli will give a keynote address on the potential economic implications, challenges and opportunities presented by the Brexit vote for Scotland.

Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist and Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre in Brussels, will explain the view of key EU institutions toward Scotland and the UK in light of the UK decision to leave the EU.

Hosted by the Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS) at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, the aim of the event “Scotland’s Economy & Brexit” will be to gain insight into the shifting landscape for Scotland’s economic development following the Brexit vote in June.

A survey of EDAS members following the referendum, which heard from a diverse range of economic development practitioners, highlighted that among the profession there are a range of uncertainties regarding current funding streams for economic development, regeneration and rural development and the implications that new trade and migration rules will have on the national and local economies, both urban and rural.

Robert Pollock, Chair of EDAS said:

“The vote for the UK to leave the EU has profound implications for Scotland's economy and for economic development practitioners whether working in the public, private and third sectors, both in urban or rural settings.

“However, even with the negotiation and implementation of a Brexit settlement likely to take several years, consideration is required as to the consequences, challenges and opportunities presented by a shift in the relationship with the EU. No matter where you turn in Scotland from city centres, to industrial and commercial parks, university labs or rural communities, the positive impact of EU funding and policy is evident.  

“Together with its members, EDAS is committed to bringing as much possible clarity to the scale and parameters of the coming challenge and highlight the issues that need addressed to promote economic development and enhance the performance of Scotland's economy”.


Note to editors

The event “Scotland’s Economy and Brexit” will take place on Tuesday 4th October, 5pm - 7pm and the Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh.

For more information about the event and booking information, please see the event page: 

Any direct enquiries, please contact Elaine Bone:, 07801 354591.

About EDAS

EDAS is Scotland’s foremost membership driven association for all organisations and individuals with an interest in economic development.

With 2500+ members from across the public, private, academic and third sectors, we aim to facilitate a substantial improvement in the effectiveness of economic development activity in Scotland by helping to raise the knowledge, skills and networks of those involved in all aspects of economic development. Our activities include networking seminars on key economic development issues; independent, collaborative policy work; CPD training courses in economic development; and larger events and conferences.

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