Scotland in Europe Update 11th May 2018

Happy (belated) Europe Day! Frankly, I wish I had better news but to be honest I only have cold fury at everything we’re about to lose. The UK Government continues to bungle from one self-inflicted crisis to the next, seemingly unaware of the damage. I won’t linger on the activities of the UK Cabinet in detail but for those of you are interested, they appear to be leaning towards the ‘technically impossible and already rejected by the EU’ option rather than the ‘utterly unworkable and already rejected by the EU’ option. By next week, who knows?

Meanwhile in Brussels, everybody is watching the UK with blank incredulity. How after all this time (remember there are only 322 days until we leave the EU) does the UK still not have a customs policy?

Back in Edinburgh David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, appeared before the European Committee and was asked a number of times (I stopped counting) by the convenor of the committee Joan McAlpine to confirm whether the UK Government intends to impose the Great Repeal Bill onto the Scottish Parliament. You can watch the exchange here:

He obfuscated rather than enlightened in his answers but did later indicate that the deal done with the Welsh would be imposed on Scotland without consent. It is worth emphasising that this is also against the wishes of the Constitution Committee of the Parliament who published this report on the same day:

All the parties except the Tories support this stance; the Tories are alone in undermining devolution. Next Tuesday the Parliament will have its say and we will see what the UK Government does in response.

The Electoral Commission has fined Leave.EU and referred its chief executives to the Metropolitan Police for multiple counts of breaking electoral law during the EU Referendum campaign.

The House of Lords has voted in favour of remaining in the Single Market. Over to the House of Commons and the Labour Party!

Speaking of which, the Fabian Society have produced an excellent breakdown of the EU’s positions on nationalisation and our domestic industries. It shows that Jeremy Corbyn could still carry out his programme for government inside the EU.

And Labour MP Chuka Umunna has written this persuasive piece arguing in favour of staying in the Single Market. This has been the Scottish Government’s policy from the very beginning.

92% of the population of the Republic of Ireland support EU membership. The Brexiter delusion that Ireland would choose the UK over EU is being comprehensively rejected. Scotland could aim for the big league too.

William Keegan has written an important piece arguing (rightly) that a hard Brexit will create far more anger than remaining in the EU.

The court case on the revocability of Article 50 (for which I am a plaintiff) will have a hearing before the Court of Session in Edinburgh on May 22.

More legal dates for your diary: July 24 and 25, when the UK Supreme Court will rule on whether the UK can kill off the Scottish Parliament’s continuity bill.

A group of MEPs, including me, have written to Jeremy Hunt expressing our concern that those with long term health issues will have their access to safe travel severely restricted by the loss of the European Health Insurance Card after Brexit. He must “stand up for dialysis patients, who on top of struggling to comprehend their diagnosis, now risk losing the freedom that the EHIC card permits them”.

The Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament has published a report on the impact leaving the European Union will have on health and social care in Scotland.

Airbus has warned that its contract for work on satellites and other space technology will move to the continent because of Brexit.

The UK Government has threatened to launch its own GPS satellite system, but this simply doesn’t make sense.

As the UK slides into irrelevance in the new digital world, the USA is contemplating whether to follow the EU or China for its regulations of the internet.

The Scottish Government has set up a £150,000 fund to help groups make plans for the split.

Tony Connelly over at RTE has produced a good summary of where the UK’s internal negotiations are.

Windrush may be out of the news but the Home Office is still destroying the lives of migrants in the UK.

Finally, on Wednesday the Europe Day celebrations in Glasgow were fantastic, thank you to everyone who came along! I’ll end this week with a short clip of the Official Piper of the Scottish Parliament, Stuart McMillan MSP, piping "Ode to Joy".