Scotland in Europe Update 12th May 2017

This week in the European Parliament there was an important joint hearing organised by the committees of Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions. Many MEPs have emphasised the “moral duty” on all sides to end the uncertainty created for both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.

What we need to change the weather on this is a unilateral act of generosity. On past record of Theresa May as Home Secretary and indeed as Prime Minister, I don’t think we’re going to see that from the UK Government. 

If we agree that that act of generosity is in the interest of our citizens, surely the call should come from our parliament for that unilateral act of generosity to guarantee the rights of UK nationals across the EU.

That will put, I hope, intolerable pressure on the UK Government to change its tone, to change its rhetoric, and to match that ambition and generosity.

You can see my contribution here:

and watch the interview with me afterwards here:

Earlier in the week I was delighted by the result over the weekend from France, where Centrist Emmanuel Macron won a decisive victory over the Front National’s Marine Le Pen in the French Presidential election, 66% to 34%. This was good news for Europe and bad news for the fascists, even if the fact they were in the second round at all should give us pause.  But a win is a win is a win, and after the seemingly endless gut punch that was 2016, we can be forgiven for focusing on a bit of cheery news for a change.

As always, I hope you continue to find these emails useful, and please do feel free to share this update and encourage people to register for more at

Yours aye,




The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have been contemplating Brexit and the Third Sector.

I was happy to host their evening reception in Brussels this week, where MEPs joined us to discuss Scotland's place in Europe post-Brexit

The European Parliament Research Service has put together a handy guide to the Outlook for the Brexit negotiations.

The full breakdown of results from the French presidential election can be found here.

As I said in my column, this was good news for Europe, and bad news for the fascists

Cheddar is under threat from Brexit. Ireland provides 82 percent of all of Britain’s cheddar imports - a third of all the UK’s cheddar.

More than a quarter of major UK financial services could move staff abroad because of Brexit.

The law firm Freshfields conclude that "firms are applying a base-case of Brexit in two years from March 2017... with no equivalence and no special passporting or access rights agreed."

The UK should aim to remain part of the EU energy market in the case of a transition deal, according to Chatham House.

Danuta Huebner, head of the European Parliament’s constitutional-affairs committee, has warned that “There is a creation of expectations that might not be fulfilled” by the UK Government.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker was again forced to warn many in the UK still had illusions about what Brexit will entail.

Fewer EU citizens are wanting to work in Britain.

Parents of children with EU citizenship can receive EU residency if they are their main carers, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled.

British passport applications from EU residents have risen by a third.

88 per cent of Irish respondents agree with the statement “Ireland should remain part of the EU”.

We are in this negotiation together and a united EU will be here for you” was the message from Michel Barnier when he addressed the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas (the Irish Houses of Parliament)