THE First Minister has accused the Foreign Secretary of being “really petty and frankly misguided” as he threatened to revoke UK Government support for Scotland’s overseas activities.

It comes after David Cameron sent a letter to Scottish Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson after Humza Yousaf met with the Turkish president at COP28.

He claimed the meeting breached devolution protocols as a UK official was not given “sufficient advance notice” of the meeting – a claim the Scottish Government has denied.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Yousaf said: “First of all, let’s be clear – the approach from Lord Cameron is really petty and frankly misguided.

“Scotland is the part of the UK, outside of London, that has attracted the most foreign direct investment for eight years in a row, that happens because the Scottish Government’s international engagement is valued (and) has impact.

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“To threaten to curtail that, to stop that international engagement – the international engagement from the elected Scottish Government from an unelected lord – I think is misguided and petty.”

A number of SNP parliamentarians have already criticised Cameron (below)– who was appointed Foreign Secretary following the sacking of Suella Braverman – for his approach.

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He said in his letter the UK Government would “need to consider the presence of Scottish Government offices in UK Government posts”.

The FM said his meeting with the Turkish president had been rearranged at short notice but that he would have “no problem” with a UK official – or even Lord Cameron himself – attending.

“It was rearranged at short notice by the president’s team, the (Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office) chose not to stay with the Scottish delegation the whole day, and because of that they ended up missing the meeting,” he said.

“Nothing was discussed that hadn’t been discussed at other meetings, such as the climate crisis, and in this particular meeting the issue of the Israel-Gaza conflict.”

Yousaf also explained that a UK Government official was at the “vast majority” of meetings he had during the climate summit.

The First Minister added that revoking support from the Scottish Government abroad would negatively impact the country’s economy.

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“Most importantly, it will affect Scottish business, affect the Scottish economy. Our exports are worth over £6 billion in whisky alone over the last year showing how important exports, how important international engagement, is to Scotland’s economy.

“For Lord Cameron to say he’s basically going to stop Scotland’s international engagement because of one meeting, where one FCDO official wasn’t able to attend – because, of course, at events like COP, diaries can change quite last minute – is really petty, really misguided.  

“I suggest to Lord Cameron that next time, if he has an issue like that, he should just pick up the phone, I’m sure it can be resolved.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “Foreign affairs is reserved under the Scotland Act and in such turbulent times, the need for the UK to speak on the world stage with one consistent voice is more important than ever.

“Our embassies and high commissions overseas have a strong track record of working collaboratively with the Scottish Government to promote the interests of the whole UK.

“We hope that we can resolve this without the need for further action, including the possibility that we no longer host Scottish Government offices in UK Government posts.”