ANGUS Robertson will be in Brussels on Tuesday in an effort to forge closer links between Scotland and the European Union.

The Constitution and External Affairs Secretary will be involved in a series of meetings with MEPs, diplomats and officials, talking up the value of Scotland's relationship with the bloc.

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon spent two days in Washington DC earlier this month as efforts continue to build up Scotland's profile on the world stage ahead of a planned independence referendum.

Sturgeon has repeatedly said she wants to hold a vote on leaving the UK by the end of next year and take an independent Scotland back into the EU if the country votes Yes. 

While discussing Scotland's relationship with the EU, Robertson is also set to make clear his opposition to the UK Government making changes to the Northern Ireland protocol - which sees checks on goods into the region which is more closely aligned with EU rules than the rest of the UK.

Boris Johnson's Tories are planning to bring in legislation to override the protocol -  which formed a key part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement - amid opposition to it from the Democratic Unionist Party who dislike like how Northern Ireland is being treated differently to the rest of the UK. 

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During the 2014 referendum Scots were told by unionist groups the EU would not accept Scotland as a member as it would strengthen the case for Catalan independence in Spain.

But since the UK left the EU, multiple European politicians have spoken about being open to the idea including Sylvie Brennan, the former French ambassador to the UK. 

She told the Herald on Sunday: "We’ll welcome it. “It was more difficult during the referendum on independence because of the reaction of Spain [due to the issue of Catalan independence].

"So at that time maybe it wouldn’t have been so popular but I think the situation has changed because there’s been Brexit.

"There’s no reason why if there’s this referendum which is accepted that we shouldn’t want to have Scotland – we’ll be very happy.”

Commenting on Robertson's visit to the Brussels, Dr Kirsty Hughes, an expert on the European Union and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said: "Strengthening networks in Brussels is important, not least when the UK government is so at odds with the EU. The challenge will be to find concrete ways to engage."