THE First Minister has used a major speech in Brussels to tell political and business leaders that “Scotland views itself very much as a European nation”.

Speaking at the European Policy Centre during his visit, Humza Yousaf told senior figures of Scotland’s important role in areas like renewable energy, the wellbeing economy, and science and innovation.

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Elsewhere in Brussels, Yousaf has held meetings with leading foreign investors into Scotland – promoting the nation’s position as a place for trade.

He also sat down with Minister-President of Flanders Jan Jambon, where they both signed a Memorandum of Understanding on trade, research, culture and the environment.

Yousaf is now set to meet with members of the EU Commission.

It comes after the SNP leader used a speech at the SNP’s Independence Convention to reveal that should the party win the next General Election, the Scottish Government will establish a diplomatic presence in Brussels.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Yousaf reiterated his commitment to Scotland’s place in the EU. Some 62% of Scots voted to remain in the bloc during the 2016 referendum.

“Scotland has been taken out of the EU despite voting to remain, and the UK Government’s Brexit deal is making it harder for Scots to travel, work, trade and do business in EU countries,” he said.

“During this visit, I will set out Scotland’s vision for a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship with the European Union, highlighting what Scotland can contribute to support the ambitions of the EU.”