THE UK Government has been urged not to withdraw from several EU committees and working groups.

In a letter to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Scotland's External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said leaving them would "surrender any ability to influence EU business" despite still currently being a member.

Hyslop made clear the Scottish Government would "object in the strongest possible terms" to the removal of the UK from such meetings and groups.

The reported move, she says, comes at a time when important discussions are still being made in the EU about areas including budgets, fisheries negotiations and foreign affairs – all of which would continue to affect Scotland post-Brexit.

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Hyslop wrote: "It is clear beyond any doubt that the UK Government should not take a decision on this possible step without proper involvement of the Scottish Government or other devolved administrations.

"Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the UK Government must involve the devolved governments as fully as possible in discussions about the formulation of the UK's policy position on all EU and international issues which touch on devolved matters.

"As the MoU establishes, we have a particular interest in those many aspects of European Union business which affect devolved policy."

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She added: "More broadly, I wish to make absolutely clear that the Scottish Government would object in the strongest possible terms to the removal of the UK from EU working groups and meetings.

"To take such an approach would be to surrender any ability by the UK to influence EU business – despite the UK still being an EU member state."

The UK is expected to leave the European Union on October 31 but a Brexit deal is yet to be agreed by MPs.