As we hurtle toward the Brexit cliff with the likelihood of damage to our economy, the SNP Government is attempting forge stronger economic, cultural and social links with the Scandinavian and Baltic countries. Scotland, of course, has a long history of such links going back centuries so this development is welcome. On this, see
Cargoes and Commodities. Aberdeen’s Trade with Scandinavia and the Baltic, c1302-c.1542 by David Ditchburn at: https://ssns.org.uk/resources/Documents/NorthernStudies/Vol27/Ditchburn_1990_Vol_27_pp_12_22.pdf
The Scottish Government is developing a policy statement with a view to strengthening connections in the environment, fishing, tourism, education and energy to at least, in part, compensate for a hard Brexit.
The full statement can be read here: Nordic-Baltic Policy Statement.
The gov.scot news report mentions the following possibilities as examples of areas of fruitful exchange:
- Norwegian expertise in carbon capture and storage
- Sweden’s bottle return scheme
- Finnish action on the attainment gap
- Estonia’s approach to digital transformation
The Europe Minister said:
‘Scotland wants a continuing close relationship with the rest of Europe, particularly our northern neighbours, and I believe this new Nordic-Baltic statement can help articulate and secure many important connections in the future.’
As the Auditor General for Scotland said recently of the Scottish Government’s performance – ‘sound’, ‘effective’.