Saturday 17 February 2018

Sturgeon has admitted that Brexit is the 'backdrop' to her visit to Ireland

Nicola Sturgeon Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Nicola Sturgeon Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that Brexit is the 'backdrop' to her visit to Ireland in a bid to build firmer ties between Scotland and Ireland.

But she said the matter of a possible bid for Scotland to again seek independence is "a matter for the Scottish people."

After dropping in to see President Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain, the First Minister visited the Irish headquarters of leading energy provider SSE, a Scottish based company, at Sandyford in Dublin.

Along with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughton, she unveiled a report showing that the Galway Wind Farm has already contributed €88.7 m to the Irish economy.

The project is the largest of its kind in the country and is being jointly delivered by SSE and Coillte the State forestry industry.

Some 1,700 people in this country are employed by SSE - which took over Airtricity in 2008.

Ms Surgeon said Scotland and Ireland share many things in common, with both sharing a "huge potential" in terms of natural energy.

Asked if both share an interest in trying to keep the UK within the single market, she said it was fair to say there is "a meeting of minds in that regard."

However a report last month had already shown the implications of Brexit with lower growth and living standards.

She explained that she was in Ireland to seek to enhance long-standing links between our two countries and said they can work together constructively.

Meanwhile she said that seeking support for Scottish independence was not the purpose of her trip.

"I support Scotland as an independent country but that's a matter for Scotland," she insisted.

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