THE European flag should be flown alongside the Saltire on all Scottish Government buildings as a visible demonstration of the nation’s pro-EU stance, a leading expert has suggested.

Anthony Salamone, a former academic at the London School of Economics who has set up Edinburgh-based political analysis firm European Merchants, has called for the move as part of a package of measures he believes could help protect Scotland’s European relations from Brexit.

In pro-EU Ireland the EU flag is flown from all government buildings alongside the Irish flag and even stands next to the framed proclamation of the Republic in the Irish Parliament, the Oireachtas.

In his St Andrew’s Day report Salamone also urges ministers to establish Europe Day – on May 9 – as a Scottish bank holiday, the creation of a Citizens’ Charter of commitments, values and rights for European nationals in Scotland and the launch a European Friendship Year initiative celebrating Scotland’s links with a different European country or region annually.

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Launching “Scotland and the Spirit of Europe: Protecting Scotland’s European Relations in the Face of Brexit” he also calls on the Scottish Government to build stronger links with the Scottish diaspora in Europe, including with prominent graduates who studied in Scotland and for the creation of a mission statement by the Scottish Government on Scotland as a European Nation.

“Scotland’s pro-EU stance and opposition to Brexit have become widely known in the rest of the EU,” said Salamone. Although the outcome of Brexit remains uncertain, Scotland will be affected even if it were to become independent – as Ireland demonstrates. Should Brexit take place, the risk is that Scotland will lose access to the EU and relevance in Brussels.”

He added: “The Scottish Government and wider Scotland have prepared extensively for Brexit. But there is more to do to protect Scotland’s European connections. Scotland will have to be proactive to keep its links with the rest of the EU. This report recommends steps the Scottish Government can take to make Scotland’s voice heard more clearly and to show Scotland’s continued desire to remain close to the EU.

“Measures like a European Citizens’ Charter, a National Conversation on Europe and engaging with the Scottish diaspora in Europe would all reinforce Scotland’s EU connections. However Brexit develops, implementing these recommendations would stand Scotland in good stead, including under no Brexit or independence. It remains in Scotland’s overriding interest for Brexit not to happen.”

Scots voted by 62% to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum but face being taken out in January if Prime Minister Boris Johnson forms a majority Conservative Government following the General Election on December 12.