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Author Topic: Statement on #EUref result and it's implications for Scotland - The SNP  (Read 244 times)

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Thank you for joining me this morning after a long night - and a long few months - for all of us.

Yesterday, Scotland - like London and Northern Ireland - voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.

We voted to protect our place in the world's biggest single market - and the jobs and investment that depend on it.

We voted to safeguard our freedom to travel, live, work and study in other European countries.

And we voted to renew our reputation as an outward looking, open and inclusive country.

It is significant - in my view - that we did so after a campaign that was positive about the EU and about the benefits of migration.

Indeed, I want to take the opportunity this morning to speak directly to citizens of other European countries living here in Scotland - you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.

Unfortunately, of course, yesterday's result in Scotland was not echoed across the whole of the United Kingdom.

That UK wide vote to leave the EU is one that I deeply regret.

It remains my passionate belief that it is better for all parts of the UK to be members of the European Union.

But the vote across England and Wales was a rejection of the EU.

And it was a sign of divergence between Scotland and large parts of the rest of the UK in how we see our place in the world.

But this vote wasn't just about the EU - it was also a clear expression of the disaffection with the political system that is felt in too many communities.

Communities taken for granted by Labour for generations and punished with austerity cuts by the Tories for a financial crisis they didn't cause, used this referendum to make their voices heard.

The Westminster establishment has some serious soul searching to do - and I hope that it does it.

But as First Minister of Scotland I have a duty to respond - not just to the outcome across the UK - but also and in particular to the democratic decision taken by the people of Scotland.

As things stand, Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our will.

I regard that as democratically unacceptable.