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  1. ITV Report

Sturgeon: Scotland to seek 'immediate' discussions with Brussels

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said her government will seek to enter into "immediate discussions" with Brussels to "protect Scotland's place in the EU" in the wake of the Brexit result.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Speaking outside Bute House - her official residence in Edinburgh - following a meeting of the Cabinet, Ms Sturgeon said "deep disappointment" had been expressed by members at the UK-wide result.

She said she would establish an advisory panel with experts to advise her on legal, financial and diplomatic matters as she seeks to continue Scotland's membership.

Her cabinet had agreed to begin work on legislation that would allow for the option of a second independence referendum, she said.

We are determined to act decisively but in a way that builds unity across Scotland about the way forward.

As I said yesterday, a second independence referendum is clearly an option that requires to be on the table and is very much on the table.

To ensure that that option is a deliverable one within the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place. Cabinet this morning formally agreed that work.

– Nicola Sturgeon

Praising the Scottish people for voting decisively to remain in the EU, she said "all possible options" would be considered to "protect Scotland's interests".

A programme of reassurance has begun to tackle those concerned about the result of Thursday's referendum.

"Scotland is, and will continue to be, an attractive and stable place to do business," she said.

"One particular group we are anxious to reassure is the community of EU citizens living here in Scotland. I said yesterday that people from other EU countries, to have done us the honour of choosing to make Scotland their home, are welcome here. And I repeat that again today.

"I want to make sure that is a message we get across strongly in the weeks and months ahead."

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