IN a rare moment of unity in the Scottish Parliament, MSPs have unanimously welcomed the publication of a framework which seeks to strengthen ties between Scotland’s global diaspora.

Published in April, the Scottish Connections Framework seeks to “build a more vibrant, visible and connected Scottish community around the world”.

The framework takes a broad view of who it considers to be contained within the Scottish diaspora, including anyone who has or wants to have a connection with Scotland.

“Estimates suggest that upwards of 40 million people around the world consider themselves to have Scottish ancestry,” the framework reads.

“Many more will be unaware of their heritage, and some – for good reason – will have complex views about it.

“But our diaspora goes beyond bloodlines. We value anyone who has, or wants to have, a connection with Scotland.”

External Affairs and Culture Secretary, Angus Robertson MSP, led the debate welcoming the framework in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

He said that the government would be improving its digital offering to allow anyone within the Scottish diaspora to make connections globally.

“The Scottish Government will take concrete steps to engage as many of our diaspora as possible.

“We will improve our digital offering, [because] connecting digitally provides us with an opportunity to reach new members of the diaspora wherever they are in the world.

“This year we will launch two new online resources for the diaspora.

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“We will create a digital directory, promoting hundreds of Scottish organisations worldwide.

“Any member of our diaspora will be able to find out about networks, organisations and services near them, forming a touchpoint for Scots new to a country or already there who want to connect with a community.”

“The directory will also be a resource for organisations in Scotland who want to expand their international reach, whether they be businesses or performers looking to take their services abroad.”

Robertson also announced that the Scottish Government is creating a way for diaspora members to register themselves as a part of Scotland’s international community, which is expected to be live by St Andrew’s Day.

MSPs voted unanimously to welcome the publication of the Scottish Connections Framework.

Conservative MSP Maurice Golden said: “The aim to build a more vibrant, visible and connected Scottish community around the world is something that should unite us.”