Scottish Government makes 200 European links in effort to counter damage from Tory hard Brexit. BBC Scotland says: ‘eh, what, when?’



I’ve already reported on individual initiatives by the Scottish Government to reduce the impact of Brexit and to protect Scotland’s vital trade and cultural links with, especially, Scandinavia, the Arctic Circle, the Baltic and Ireland. See:

Scotland to strengthen links with Ireland as well as Scandinavia and the Baltic as SNP Government prepares for Brexit

Scotland moves closer to the Arctic Circle

SNP leadership on hectic northern hemisphere mission, from the Baltic to Canada and a’ pairts atween thaim, to save Scottish Economy from Tory incompetence

It’s now clear that, in just over a year, from early 2017, they have completed more than 200 such engagements. See this:

‘More than 200 engagements between Scottish Government ministers and European governments, institutions and organisations have taken place since the start of 2017. The ‘strong desire’ to connect with Scotland and listen to our views signals that the EU continues to see Scotland as an important partner – according to External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop. In just 16 months, Scottish Government ministers have initiated or accepted more than 200 meetings and visits with European partners, which on average means a European engagement has taken place at least three times per week.’

Some of the more notable engagements have included:

  1. The opening of Scottish Government Hubs in Berlin and Dublin
  2. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s visits to Dublin, Bonn and Utrecht
  3. Engagements by the First Minister and Michael Russell in Brussels
  4. High level meetings by Fiona Hyslop in Paris, The Hague and Berlin
  5. Engagements by Europe Minister Alasdair Allan in Oslo, Riga and Bratislava
  6. Hosting an Arctic Circle gathering in Edinburgh
  7. Hosting visits by delegations from EU member states and institutions to Scotland
  8. Co-hosting in Edinburgh the OECD Rural Development Conference
  9. Briefing sessions with the Scotland-based Consular Corps
  10. Meetings between Scottish Ministers and EU Ambassadors

Isn’t this kind of impressive? Yet, somehow, much of it has been invisible to BBC Scotland and the British press in Scotland.


10 thoughts on “Scottish Government makes 200 European links in effort to counter damage from Tory hard Brexit. BBC Scotland says: ‘eh, what, when?’

  1. John May 10, 2018 / 9:08 am

    Yip John , BBC blinkers well and truly fixed when it comes to their reporting of any of the SNP’s positive engagement with other countries , being the state broadcaster that is no surprise , the Scots are used to it , that is why blogs like yours are so important . If Theresa May or any of her Tory lapdogs on the front benches were to take a big look at what is happening in Scotland it would help them understand that you have to communicate with people to get things done ,tragically for us they don’t do communications , as we well know ! .


    • Alasdair Macdonald May 10, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      It is not just the BBC and the unionist media which generally ignore such initiatives, the unionist parties largely do, too. The other line of attack is to sneer at this and to portray it and disparage it as ‘posturing’ and ‘junketing’. They use the old ‘know-your-place’ trope of “Ah kent yer feyther”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holebender May 10, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    That’s a rather distorted map, especially in its depiction of the Arctic Circle. There’s a considerable chunk of Norway north of the Arctic Circle but your map shows the whole of Scandinavia south of the circle.


  3. Contrary May 10, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the short list John, I meant to start one for my own reference a while ago, but never got round to it, of course. 200 meetings is a lot though, so kind of glad I didn’t try. That’s just the EU as well, the SNP are making a big effort internationally as well are they not, Canada, china, California,,, I’m constantly surprised by how much they are doing, but that is because our news outlets report so little of it. Oh to have our own Scottish media and to actually know what our politicians are up to – they ARE running the place FOR us after all (opinions may differ).

    Big independence marches, that’s the way to go definitely. Nicola Sturgeon said sometime back, that if you want it, you’d better shout for it – severely paraphrasing and interpreting here – and I think she’s right. The SNP are a political party, they have to play that game by those rules – but they are offering an opportunity if enough of us ask for it – to my mind the passive sit back and wait and see just allows those in power to impose their rules and I’m quite impressed that the SNP aren’t just going to shove it down our throats – we have to get away from the colonial mindset where we just put up and shut up. Soon, in an independent Scotland, we are going to have a lot more say and influence, as individuals, on how things are run so we need to get used to having our voices heard. Bodies out marching for the one thing we need first is surely the way to go. I’d prefer to just sign a petition and have done with it myself, but that’s not going to work here – words always seen to turn into complexities of nuance and hidden (or invented) subtleties – but the simplicity and overwhelming singular message you get from adding to the numbers walking for independence cannot be argued with. The numbers are always going to be small (and disputed??) compared to the population, but should be extrapolated the same way opinion polls are (I would take a marchers:counter-marchers ratio myself, but doubt it works like that!). Well done and thank you to AUOB for organising that last very successful independence March.

    Huge rambling paragraph there, no idea how to split it up, don’t even know what prompted me to write it – was just musing, but I know John will make the effort to read to the end… I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Contrary May 10, 2018 / 8:43 pm

    Well, it’s not often someone else spots good news that has been deliberately missed by the MSM (?) before John, but weegingerdug has found an article by the Fraser of Allander etc that has NOT been quoted by the BBC, he claims, – why on earth would that happen?! (There is a good chance Ludo might find it squirrelled away somewhere on their website, hence ‘claims’ )

    It is an excellent article, though not to the same level of analysis as we are used to here 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brian Powell May 11, 2018 / 11:06 am

    Less invisible, more deliberate. It would be good to find out who it is, the individuals or teams or individuals in the teams, at the BBC who create the dis-information, the lies and the gross distortions.
    Any insiders here?


    • Brian Powell May 11, 2018 / 11:08 am

      The point is we need to expose to the light of public scrutiny who the individuals are.


  6. Robert Graham May 11, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Oh the sneaky bar-Stewards acting like a government behind the backs of the Unionists and Westmonster , how dare they ,that’s not cricket now is it ,

    It is about time the Scottish government cut off all contact with the BBC followed shortly after by Westmonster , both don’t listen so what’s the point .

    A short factual statement to the media informing them the Scottish government will shortly announce the date of the election .

    The SNP will go into this election on a platform of a majority of SNP MSPs Elected will trigger the desolation of the Union , End of statement .


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