The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, today addressed the College of Europe in Brugge to outline ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’.

The First Minister addressed the prestigious College of Europe, to which the Scottish Government funds three scholarships every year for outstanding students from Scotland.  Current students and interested observers were in attendance, including SNP European election candidates Ian Hudghton MEP and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

Alex Salmond said, “The case for independence rests on a simple but overwhelming truth - that the best people to take decisions about the future of Scotland are the people who live and work in Scotland. That applies to domestic policy – how we create a fairer and more prosperous country. And it applies to international policy, how useful Scotland can be to the world– including decisions about when we pool sovereignty with others.

“Scotland’s vast natural resources and human talent make it one of the lynchpins of the European Union. We have a key role to play in providing energy security for Europe. As one of the wealthiest countries, Scotland is a net financial contributor to the EU and will remain so as an independent member. We have more top universities, per head, than any other member of the EU and our academics collaborate with partners across Europe. We have one of the largest national shares of Europe’s total fishing grounds. The EU’s fisheries policy would unravel without Scotland.

The full text of the First Minister’s speech can be read at the following link - http://news.scotland.gov.uk/Speeches-Briefings/Scotland-s-Place-in-Europe-bdf.aspx

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