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Politicians & Professionals 2017

Earlier this week, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, concluded the last of the David Hume Institute’s Politicians & Professionals series. The Young Academy of Scotland supports the series along with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, the Law Society of Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Faculty of Advocates.


This year, the series invited the five leaders of Scotland’s political parties represented in Scottish Parliament to give speeches and take part in an audience Q&A focused on the context of Brexit and the Scottish local elections.

The DHI Politicians & Professionals series provided an invaluable chance for YAS members and members of the public to question the leaders in Scottish politics. YAS members also had the opportunity to speak to Scotland’s leaders and audiences about the work of the Young Academy.

Below are a selection of photos from the events, and some quotes from each of the speakers on Brexit and Scotland’s relationship with the EU.

You can find full transcripts and recordings of all 5 speeches and Q&As on the David Hume Institute website here.

Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour Party – 16th January

“Our relationship with Europe isn’t just a transactional one. It’s about identity. My own and that of so many Scots.”

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green Party – 23rd January

“[In reference to Brexit] These are fundamentally challenging crises… but crisis can be a spire for change, a moment to turn a challenge into an opportunity to something better.”

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservatives – 31st January

“The message I am getting from people in Scotland is pretty clear. Try to make Brexit work. And, please, do not add to the uncertainty that we are already facing”

Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 20th February

“That is why I will stand for Scotland in the UK as much as the UK in the EU. I will not compromise on deep rooted principles of internationalism, openness and liberalism.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, Scottish National Party – 28th February

“One possible reason why the result of the EU referendum was different in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, is that we have been able to demonstrate a more progressive, inclusive approach to social and economic policy.”


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Kezia Dugdale and YAS Member Nasar Meer


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Patrick Harvie and YAS Member James Blake


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Ruth Davidson and YAS Members Stuart Reid and Paul Brennan


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Willie Rennie and YAS Members Karly Kehoe and Stella Chan


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FM Nicola Sturgeon and YAS Members Victoria Martin and Stella Chan


DHI Institute Director, Ray Perman.