Tuesday 24 January 2017

Sturgeon sees post-Brexit unity benefiting Ireland and Scotland

Gavin White

Published 28/11/2016 | 02:30

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Picture: PA
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Picture: PA

Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated Scotland's commitment to European solidarity ahead of the Scottish First Minister's visit to Ireland today.

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Sturgeon wants to expand business, cultural and political links between Scotland and Ireland in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"I'll be stressing the Scottish government's commitment to the principle of European solidarity and the benefits Scotland receives from membership of the European Single Market," Ms Sturgeon said.

The first minister will meet with President Michael D Higgins, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Charlie Flanagan and 120 CEOs and representatives from major businesses at IBEC during her visit.

"I look forward to meeting with political and business leaders to discuss how we can work together to protect and strengthen our shared interests," Ms Sturgeon said.

Ms Sturgeon will also be visiting the Scottish government's Innovation and Investment Hub in Dublin.

The hub was set up to work on economic, academic and innovation partnerships between Scotland and Ireland.

"Our hub is working on a range of issues including economic development, strengthening links on research and innovation, co-operation on energy and the development of renewable technologies, and supporting government-to-­government links," she said.

SSE Airtricity is amongst the 120 businesses meeting with Ms Sturgeon this week.

It will be "celebrating the collaboration and growth" between the two countries which has involved the Irish firm's parent company, SSE PLC, ­investing €2.2bn over eight years in Ireland.

SSE Airtricity will also be launching its new Galway Wind Park project which will bring "economical, environmental and social" benefits to the area.

Scottish exports to Ireland are worth £1.125bn (€1.3bn).

"The relationship between Scotland and Ireland is more important than ever," Ms Sturgeon said.

"During my visit to Ireland, I look forward to further developing these areas of common interest to ensure deeper collaboration between our governments to deliver greater economic prosperity for both countries."

Irish Independent

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