MIKE Russell has told an audience of academics in Dublin that Ireland and Scotland must co-operate closely as he underlined the Scottish Government’s ambition to remain in the single European market.

He said staying within the single market and customs union will help ensure Scotland’s relationship with Ireland can continue to flourish.

The minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe was speaking at a conference of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies in Dublin, and warned of the threat to jobs and wages from Brexit.

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“Scotland and Ireland have deep ties that cross our economy, our heritage and our culture. We want to see these links continue to flourish in the future,” he said.

“We want Scotland to remain within the EU. However if Brexit takes place, we must, as a minimum, remain in the single market and customs union.

“I believe that is the best way to protect our economy and communities but also the future of these valuable shared links with one of our closest neighbours.”

He added: “The threat of Brexit to jobs and wages is clear and I will continue to press the UK Government to secure an outcome that safeguards our economy, society and relationships with our European friends and neighbours such as Ireland.”

The issue of protecting the Good Friday Agreement, and the keeping of an open Border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, have become a stumbling block in the Brexit negotiations between the UK Government and EU leaders.

Theresa May wants the talks to move on to discussing a post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK at the European summit in December.

But the EU27 have insisted there can be no such progress until the exit terms are agreed, which include resolving the question of an open border in Ireland, as well as the financial settlement and citizens’ rights.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, has asked May for a written guarantee that there would be no return to the “hard border” of the past between Northern Ireland and the Republic as the price of his support for the second phase of the negotiations beginning. So far, no such guarantee has been given by May.

So far, Scottish ministers have received no information from the UK Government about the impact of Brexit on Scotland – despite promises made by Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Brexit Secretary David Davis last month.

Responding to a freedom of information request, the Scottish Government confirmed to The National earlier this week “that the UK Government has not provided to the Scottish Government any economic modelling of the impact on either Scotland or the UK as a whole”.

On October 24, Mundell told the members of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee that Brexit impact analysis “would be shared between governments”.

That was confirmed the next day when Davis pledged to share Scottish impact analysis with his counterparts in Edinburgh.

Then, on November 1, Russell wrote to Mundell asking again to see the sectorial analysis on which his department had worked. However, three weeks later, the Scotland Office has still not shared anything with the Scottish Government.