SNP makes taxpayers fork out £7m on world offices to ‘pretend Scotland is independent’

Scotland: EU 'would consider them to join' says MEP

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Under a deal agreed between the SNP and Scottish Greens, two new Scottish Government overseas offices in Warsaw and Copenhagen will be opened. These offices aim to promote Scotland’s interests in Central Europe and the Nordic countries, which include separation from the UK.

 

But the move has been criticized by the Scottish Tories as a “waste of Scottish taxpayers cash”.

The Draft Bute House Agreement revealed on Friday, says the two new overseas offices could cost taxpayers £1.6million a year.

This is on top of the £5.5m annual costs of running the SNP led Scottish Government’s existing seven international offices, located in Berlin, Washington, Paris, Beijing, Brussels, Dublin and Ottawa.

FOI data revealed the running of the Brussels office where Scottish ministers promote interests north of the border to the EU had the highest individual cost of £2.1 million in 2020/21.

Stephen Kerr MSP, Scottish Tory Chief Whip, said: “The SNP are now stooping so low they want to pretend they’re independent, spending an extra £1.6million with their lapdogs, the Greens.

“And they are quite willing to let the taxpayer foot the bill.

“This and the other £5.7million would be better spent helping schools, our NHS and solving our drink and drug problem.”

Mr Kerr has previously complained in a letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab about the Ministers decision to open the offices.

In the letter, the senior Scottish Tory MSP requested that the UK Government remind First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “of the missions and embassies provided by the UK Government.”

In the letter to Mr Raab, the Central Scotland MSP added: “With the Scottish taxpayer in mind, I would greatly appreciate it if you could contact the First Minister to remind her of the missions and embassies provided by the UK Government.”

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We will set out the cost of the new offices in due course.

“Scotland’s international network attracts investment and creates domestic opportunities and benefits for the people of Scotland.

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“Our international presence is even more important in the wake of Brexit and the damage it is causing to our economy, jobs and trade – and in supporting a green recovery from the pandemic.

“Despite the challenges presented by CovId-19, the work to attract investment by our offices both at home and overseas has helped increase foreign direct investment into Scotland by 6 per cent in 2020, compared to a 12 per cent fall across the UK as a whole.”

 

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