Nicola Sturgeon's US trip: Criticism by opposition politicians is utterly hypocritical – Angus Robertson MSP

The First Minister is doing an excellent job strengthening the Scotland-USA relationship, promoting Scotland in the world and boosting our inward investment prospects.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Nicola Sturgeon's visit to the US is designed to help Scotland's economy (Picture: Russell Cheyne/PA Wire)
Nicola Sturgeon's visit to the US is designed to help Scotland's economy (Picture: Russell Cheyne/PA Wire)

Her visit to the USA has been welcomed by politicians, think-tanks and other key Washington institutions.

Representing Scotland and seeking economic opportunities is not an add-on to the First Minister’s role. It is a fundamental part of our economic success.

Indeed, Scotland’s foreign direct investment performance has outpaced Europe and the rest of the UK for years. Scotland is the most attractive location for inward investment in the UK outside of London – a position it has held since 2014 – with a 5.9 per cent increase in inward investment projects. The USA is Scotland’s biggest source of overseas inward investment.

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Beyond economic links, the First Minister is continuing to advance the world climate agenda following the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Sadly, other parties in the Scottish Parliament have chosen to criticise the First Minister for taking this trip to the United States, in spite of the clear economic and reputational benefits for Scotland.

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It is also odd unless they also think the First Minister is not Scotland’s representative at home and to the wider world.

Clearly, their attacks are sheer political opportunism. They are also utterly hypocritical – Labour’s First Ministers travelled abroad to promote our nation, as have Conservative Scotland Secretaries prior to devolution.

The First Minister’s visit to the United States highlights Scotland’s ever-greater role in the world, and this should be supported by all parties.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary