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17 July 2016, 06:00
MSPs will head to Brussels this week in a bid to find out what Brexit will mean for Scotland.
Members of the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee will meet ambassadors from the EU and the European Free Trade Association during the visit on Tuesday.
Later this month the committee will hold an evidence session, hearing from businesses and the public sector likely to be affected by Brexit.
Joan McAlpine MSP, European and External Relations Committee convener, said: "Sixty two per cent of voters in Scotland voted to 'remain' in the EU. For that reason alone, it is important to understand what the possible options are to safeguard Scotland's place in Europe.
"Our meetings in Brussels will seek to open channels with key European decision makers to discuss how Scotland's interests can be represented as discussions go forward.
"Our session later this month provides us with an opportunity to hear from key sectors, including higher education, finance and industry. We will raise the questions and concerns of those sectors in our meetings with the Scottish and UK Governments.''
The evidence session will be held on July 28 and witnesses are expected to include members of the Scotch Whisky Association and Virgin Money.
The committee also plans to hold further evidence sessions with Nicola Sturgeon and UK Government ministers, on dates yet to be confirmed.
Members will also commission research on the implications of Brexit and hold a public consultation on what Scotland's residents feel about leaving the EU.