Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talks Brexit in Berlin | News | DW | 09.08.2016
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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talks Brexit in Berlin

Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has traveled to the German capital to meet with Germany's Europe Minister, Michael Roth. Top of the agenda was the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Following the meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said she had laid out Scotland's perspective on June's EU referendum, adding that she aimed to strengthen Scotland's EU-relations. Some 62 percent of Scots voted in favor of remaining in the EU on June 23, while the UK overall voted 52 percent in favor of leaving.

"Today's discussion has been a welcome and constructive opportunity to strengthen our relations, to discuss the way forward for the European Union and how all voices can be heard in that process," Sturgeon said on Tuesday.

"The solidarity shown toward Scotland as an enthusiastic part of the EU - demonstrated once again in today's talks here in Berlin - has been very welcome," she added.

Talking to German broadcaster ARD, Sturgeon said that there was a real concern, "not just in Scotland, but in other parts of the UK, about the damage that leaving the European Union is going to do to our economy, to our society, to our culture, to our population."

'Dedicated pro-Europeans'

Echoing Sturgeon's positive outlook on the talks, Germany's Europe Minister, Michael Roth, said Tuesday's meeting had been a "very pleasant and constructive conversation between two dedicated pro-Europeans and has demonstrated once again that a degree of Europe's strength lies in its diversity."

"I hope that the UK finds a way forward that will benefit Europe as a whole in the end," Roth said.

In a speech last week, Sturgeon said the result of June's EU referendum had left Scotland in "uncharted waters," insisting that "bespoke possibilities" should be on the table.

"There's no black and white," Sturgeon said. "Let's consider all the options with an open mind and work to develop the right outcome for Scotland."

Within hours of the Brexit result on June 24, Sturgeon warned that a new referendum on independence for Scotland had become "highly likely," although the ultimate decision on whether or not to grant one, rests with Westminster.

According to an opinion poll published by YouGov on Saturday, however, the result does not appear to have shifted Scottish public opinion in favor of independence particularly, with 53 percent of participants saying they would prefer to remain a part of Britain, even if it leaves the EU as planned.

In September 2014, Scotland voted 55 percent against becoming an independent country and leaving the UK. Back then, one of the threats issued from Westminster was, that a vote for independence would jeopardize Scotland's EU membership.

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