In 2016, 65 per cent of people in East Lothian voted to stay in the European Union (EU). Every region in Scotland voted to stay.

Yet we are now out of the EU as a consequence of remaining in the UK. Last week, the Scottish Government announced the seventh paper in the “Building a New Scotland” series.

The paper is called “An Independent Scotland in the EU” and sets out a clear pathway for Scotland to rejoin the EU following independence.

The implications of Brexit have been felt acutely by the people of East Lothian, who have lost their right to live, work and study in the EU.

Our economic prospects have been harmed as we are no longer part of the European single market, and can no longer use the EU’s trading relationships across the world. Supply chains have been strained along with increased tariffs and bureaucratic red tape.

Our important agricultural sector in East Lothian has faced hurdles to access European markets. Rejoining the European Union would be better for East Lothian.

Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union establishes how a new country can join the EU. The Scottish Government would apply as soon as possible after independence and would follow the normal process set out for countries to join the EU on a merit basis.

Having already been a member of the EU for 47 years, Scotland is in a unique position to be eligible to join and would be expected to move quickly through the accession process. The average time to join the EU is under five years.

While we have a lot to benefit from joining the EU, Scotland has so much to offer in return.

In areas such as research and development, renewables technology, and education, our contribution is valuable. Scotland has shared values on social justice issues with the EU.

Supporting independence is the lifeline for Scotland’s return to the EU’s single market and customs union, providing much-needed stability and opportunity for growth.