London, June 28 (IANS) Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set up a “standing council” of experts to provide her with advice following the Brexit vote.
She was speaking at Holyrood after last week’s UK referendum resulted in voters backing to leave the European Union (EU) by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, BBC reported.
Sturgeon, who will travel to Brussels on Wednesday for talks, said she was “utterly determined” to protect Scotland’s relationship with Europe.
She will meet European Parliament President Martin Shulz and was hoping to talk to European Council President Donald Tusk, but he said it was not appropriate at this time.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sturgeon told members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) that “all the impacts” of the referendum result needed to be set out and evaluated, and “all of the options” open to Scotland in securing its relationship with the EU needed to be looked at.
Scotland’s leader said the expert council would be chaired by Professor Anton Muscatelli, Glasgow University’s principal and vice chancellor, and would have 17 members, including politicians, economists and constitutional experts.
Sturgeon explained: “Members will consider the impact of proposed changes to the UK’s relationship with the EU on Scottish interests and advise ministers throughout our negotiations on the best way to secure Scottish interests and objectives.”
The Scottish National Party leader also said that while she was not seeking endorsement to hold a second referendum on Scotland’s independence “today”, she would put the option forward if it emerged as the only or best way to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.