IN ANSWER to opposition party concerns about the next SNP leader, the First Minister last week informed Parliament SNP members would elect her successor as party leader, with Holyrood then voting for the First Minister.

Ms Sturgeon reminded MSPs that, since 2014, Scotland has had eight opportunities to vote on her leadership, her party and her policies, and each time they have backed her but she’s now standing down.

In the meantime, it’s ‘business as usual’ as Holyrood deals with matters impacting on East Lothian and elsewhere. To a question about the national undertaking of ‘the Promise’ ensuring that children and young people growing up in care know that they are ‘loved, safe, and respected’, the First Minister emphasised her personal commitment to all young people reaching their full potential, regardless of circumstances.

Ms Sturgeon vowed to hold her successor to account in protecting society’s most vulnerable – an ambition to be proud of and a standard by which a society should be judged.

I raised the urgent issue of climate change, requesting an update on the Government’s five-year action plan for developing a hydrogen economy.

This will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a just transition to clean energy, particularly relevant given East Lothian’s commitment to wind energy and the county’s risks from climate-related river and coastal flooding. I wanted assurances about agencies (Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, and universities) interacting with local authorities in developing capacity in the supply chain, impacting on local jobs. In March, I will be hosting a meeting looking at hydrogen opportunities for East Lothian.

Angus Robertson, cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture, responded to reports that £29 billion has been lost to UK investment due to Brexit, which imposes challenges, barriers and trade costs for Scottish businesses. Investment in Scotland long term could be down by 7.7 per cent.

Asked to name one Brexit benefit, Mr Robertson maintained that Brexit, imposed on Scotland against its democratic will, had no advantages, only the economic and social harms that the Scottish Government had warned against – and East Lothian recognised by voting to remain in the EU.

No matter who is First Minister, only one party has identified Scotland’s route back to prosperity as an independent country in Europe. That’s in your hands.