Scotland has a friend in France’s new Foreign Affairs Minister – Angus Robertson MSP

Scotland has just bid au revoir to a great friend to our country.

Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Catherine Colonna, seen with Angus Robertson, has become the new French foreign affairs minister
Catherine Colonna, seen with Angus Robertson, has become the new French foreign affairs minister

Catherine Colonna, French ambassador since September 2019, is returning to Paris following her appointment as France’s new Foreign Affairs Minister in the government of France’s second female Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne. A government, like Scotland’s, that is gender-balanced, committed to Europe and determined to tackle climate change.

Following on from the work of Sylvie Bermann – French ambassador at the time of the Brexit vote – Ambassador Colonna led France’s diplomatic efforts through a period of cross-Channel relations marred by post-Brexit tensions and problems posed by the pandemic.

It has been a great honour to work with both her and Edinburgh-based Consul General Laurence Païs on strengthening links between Scotland and France.

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France is Scotland’s largest export market in continental Europe and is the largest European investor in Scotland. The economic ties which bind Scotland and France are of utmost importance to us.

Scotland is also very dear to France and is home to 160 French-owned business corporations with a turnover of more than £8 billion and 28,650 employees across the country.

Beyond business, our common European identity and joint drive to urgently tackle the climate crisis adds an evermore modern tilt to the Auld Alliance which Charles de Gaulle called “the oldest alliance in the world” while visiting Edinburgh in 1942.

I wish Catherine Colonna the very best in her new role and look forward to continuing our close work together as my counterpart in the French government.

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