Scotland gets sympathetic hearing on staying in EU from member states -Ewing

LUXEMBOURG, June 27 (Reuters) - Scotland has had a sympathetic hearing in informal talks with French, German and Irish agriculture ministers aimed at maintaining its European Union membership in some form, devolved Scottish government minister for farming Fergus Ewing said on Monday.

Scotland wanted to explore all the opportunities available, he told Reuters, including taking up the United Kingdom’s European Union membership after Britain’s decision to leave the EU in last week’s referendum.

In Scotland, the vote was strongly against leaving the EU, and the devolved government has pledged to do what it can to stop Scotland being ousted, including holding another Scottish independence referendum.

“What I found today speaking to colleagues, Mr Le Foll from France, Mr Schmidt from Germany, Mr Creed from Ireland was a sympathetic hearing. We had constructive talks and we are keen to continue a dialogue with those member states over the coming weeks and months,” he said.

He said he was encouraged by other indications of support within the EU.

“Over the past 24 hours, senior officials in Europe have said they would like to see Scotland as the 28th member state,” he said, declining to give names.

Reporting By Sybille de La Hamaide; writing by Elisabeth O’Leary; editing by Stephen Addison