Scotland politics

Holyrood cross-party Brexit group approved

Flags outside Holyrood Image copyright PA

The Scottish Parliament has set up a cross-party group on Brexit.

The group is to "remain neutral" on the issue, but will "act as a watchdog" over the process and contact other European countries and institutions to examine "the best ways forward".

The eight-member group will be headed by SNP MSP Alex Neil, who has spoken out about his backing for Brexit.

Holyrood's standards committee agreed to approve the group on the condition its membership is reviewed annually.

The group will be led by Mr Neil, with another Brexiteer, Tory Oliver Mundell, as secretary.

The deputy conveners will be Labour's Johann Lamont and Lib Dem member Tavish Scott. The remaining MSPs making up the group are Labour's Neil Findlay and Pauline McNeill, Tory Murdo Fraser and Lib Dem Liam McArthur.

'Genuine forum'

Mr Scott told a meeting of the standards committee that the group wanted to act as a "genuine forum" for people to bring forward views that have not been heard outside other parliamentary discussion on Brexit.

He said the group would look to add external members as well as MSPs, and would look to bring in a high calibre of speakers from Scottish and international forums.

Patrick Harvie questioned the group's balance of activities, asking whether the group would be restricted to accepting that Brexit is happening.

Mr Scott said members like himself who campaigned for Scotland to remain in the EU would make sure that was not forgotten about.

SNP member Clare Haughey also asked for more information before the group was approved. Committee convener Clare Adamson said the membership of the group could be reviewed on an annual basis, and the committee agreed the proposal on that basis.

The committee also approved applications for cross-party groups on health improvement and nuclear disarmament.

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