McAlpine expresses sadness at last ever EU presidency event

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South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine, has expressed her sadness after sponsoring what could be the last ever reception for the Presidency of the European Council to take place in the Scottish Parliament.


Ms McAlpine,  who is the Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, was speaking at the reception hosted by the His Excellency, Dan Mihalache, Ambassador of Romania which currently holds the presidency of the EU Council on Wednesday.


The Parliament has hosted these receptions every six months as the presidency rotates between countries of the EU. They will no longer take place once the UK leaves the EU at the end of March when the European office in Edinburgh closes its doors.


Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,


“It was with a lump in my throat that I spoke at what will probably be the last ever reception of the Presidency of the European Council and it was with regret that I noted that Romania’s presidency of the Council will oversee the Article 50 deadline.


“I understand that the European Commission office in Edinburgh will close next month, which will not only be a tremendous loss for Scotland, but also something which will have a significant impact on individual staff who have made Scotland their home. I would like to offer them my sincere thanks and best wishes.


“This should not mark and end to Scotland’s engagement with the European Union – I was reassured to hear the Scottish Government’s Minister for Europe, Ben McPherson, give that reassurance at the reception.”