4 April 2023 | Scotland’s Future
There’s a world out there…and Scotland wants to get on
It’s 1993 and I’m in Brussels with my boss because Scotland has a great idea* which we’re speaking to the Commission about. Naturally we pop in to Scotland Europa which has just set up in Square de Meeus for a chat with Grant Baird, who is there to ensure Scotland makes the most of our EU membership.
30 years on and my eldest daughter is the age I was then. She no longer has the freedom of movement we had, the ability to play a part in a bigger world where Scotland has always done well, the opportunity to live, work or study anywhere in the EU.
The realisation that we have a responsibility to Scotland’s future generations who won’t enjoy the same benefits we had was a key takeaway for the 20-strong delegation who joined our cross-sector mission to Brussels last week.
Representatives from higher education, financial services, the circular economy, tech and data, energy, whisky and salmon, were struck at our reduced ability to shape EU decisions from outside and learnt how we need to change our approach if Scotland is to succeed.
SCDI has a long history in shaping innovative approaches to a prosperous future for Scotland, drawing together expertise and perspectives from across industry and civil society. Ensuring Scotland plays its part in the wider world is in SCDI’s DNA. We ran industry-led cross sectoral international trade missions from the 50s to the 2010s advocating for the setting up of Scottish Development International. We ran the first missions to USSR, China and the States and following the UK’s exit from the EU, we revived our International Business Committee which identified actions to support our economy through trade and cooperation with the EU.
They come from different sectors and industries and all parts of Scotland, but our members share an ambition for Scotland and commitment to ensuring our people and places make the most of the opportunities a global economy affords. Our Blueprint defines SCDI’s vision and where we think we can make a difference but there is no substitute for engaging with our closest neighbours to get a sense of how we’re doing and check we’re still at the races.
Sara Thiam is Prosper’s Chief Executive
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