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Minister fears Brexit risk to £2bn Dutch export market

Government data showed the Netherlands was Scotland's second main export destination.

Fiona Hyslop: Set to meet Dutch ministers on Thursday (file pic).
Fiona Hyslop: Set to meet Dutch ministers on Thursday (file pic). Scottish Government

Scottish exports to the Netherlands worth more than £2bn are at risk because of Brexit, the external affairs secretary has said.

Fiona Hyslop highlighted the trading relationship between the two countries during a series of engagements in The Hague on Thursday.

She was due to hold meetings with the Dutch vice-minister for European affairs, Thijs van der Plas, and Marjan Hammersma, secretary general of the ministry for education, culture and science.

The Scottish Government said the latest data shows that in 2015 the Netherlands was Scotland's second main export destination, worth £2.3bn and representing 8% of the export total.

Ministers argue the UK Government's plan to leave the European single market and customs union threatens such trade.

Ms Hyslop said: "Scotland has close cultural links with the people of the Netherlands - and with annual Scottish exports worth in excess of £2bn passing through Dutch ports, our mutually beneficial economic ties are also very apparent.

"As I meet with representatives of the Dutch government I will be emphasising our position that, despite the threat of Brexit, Scotland is open for business and we want to continue to have a strong and positive relationship going forward.

"As set out in our analysis paper, we do not believe Scotland is required to choose between the EU Single Market and continued trading relations with the UK.

"A solution can - and must - be reached that ensures Scotland can continue to benefit from both markets."

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