A Scottish Government history of Scotland’s relationship with the EU has been denounced by critics as a “blinkered and selfish puff piece”.
The administration has claimed the new publication, Scotland: A European Nation “explains the historical, political and legal reasons why Scotland’s voice needs to be heard following the EU Referendum”.
Opposition politicians have ridiculed the “vanity” document, but Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, countered it was designed to “help partners across Europe understand Scotland’s distinct position”.
She added: “Scotland has had a strong and committed relationship with the EU for over 40 years and we want to continue a positive relationship for many more.”
In June’s EU referendum, a majority of Scots voted to Remain, although England and Wales voted to leave.
Nicola Sturgeon claimed that a second plebiscite on independence was “highly likely” in the wake of the vote – and has suggested a strategy for keeping Scotland in the single market will be published in the coming weeks.
But Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie dismissed the publication of Scotland: A European Nation.
He said: “The SNP is doing Scotland no favours with this blinkered and selfish puff piece.
“They have included their loss of a majority last May on the list of the twelve most significant constitutional moments of the last thousand years.
“Yet they have completely ignored the SNP’s campaign to take the UK out of the European Economic Community back in 1975. Or the SNP ducking the Claim of Right in 1989.
“What the Scottish Government needs to do is bin the vanity publishing and get behind the campaign to keep the UK and Scotland in the single market and EU.”