These are designed to counter “isolationist Brexit Britain” but Scots online have decried them as a “waste of money” funded by “the SNP’s magic money tree”. According to nationalist publication The National the Scottish Government is looking to create two new trade and investment hubs, one in each of Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
These would add to teams it already has in place in London, Brussels, Dublin, Paris and Berlin.
Some of the current projects operate out of British embassies whilst others share offices with VisitScotland and Scottish Development International.
Speaking to The National Jenny Gilruth, the SNP’s minister for Europe and international development, said: “Scotland is looking to build bridges with our partners and taking steps to expand our influence.
“The Scottish Government has already established trade and investment hubs in a number of different major cities, and, if re-elected, the SNP will go further and expand our presence by locating at least one hub in one of the Nordic nations and in one of the Baltic nations.
“These hubs are vital in promoting Scottish interests, and by continuing that momentum our ambition is to boost our political, cultural and trade links with our Nordic and Baltic partners.
“In stark contrast to Scotland’s internationalist approach, Boris Johnson’s Tory government has instead been taking steps to downgrade the UK’s reputation on the world stage by refusing to grant full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador to the UK.
“The choice of two futures could not be clearer – the long-term damage of Brexit under an insular Tory government, or the opportunity to secure our place in Europe, strengthen our international standing, and secure a green recovery as an independent country in a post-pandemic referendum.”
Scotland goes to the polls on May 6 to elect its next parliament.
“Meanwhile we have the worsening child poverty, record drug deaths, declining educational standards, failing infrastructure projects.”
In a separate comment he added: “The SNP’s magic money tree.”
Another Twitter user from Perth posted: “It’s not as if they haven’t enough self-made disasters to sort our in Scotland first.”
A third commented: “The SNP should be nowhere near any trade centres or deals – everything they touch turns to s**t.”
Boris Johnson has vowed to block any second referendum on Scottish independence.
He argues the next Scottish government should focus on recovering from the coronavirus pandemic rather than constitutional issues.
Senior SNP figures have suggested they could organise a referendum even without the UK Government’s consent.
Should this happen Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, is urging unionists to boycott the poll.
In October the Scottish government’s Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell suggested new Scottish trade hubs should be built across Europe.
He said: “I’d love [them] to be open in every capital.”
Published at Fri, 16 Apr 2021 14:18:11 +0000