Scotland in Europe Update: 12th October 2018

Party Conference season is always a strange, surreal time – rushing between fringe meetings and votes, a whirlwind of media appearances and chats with journalists, policy being presented and debated by the members – but this week’s SNP Conference has brought a welcome beacon of clarity. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that, if there is a proposal for another EU referendum, SNP MPs will vote for it.

At Conference, I held three Fringe meetings, where members are free to come along and put questions to the panel. On Monday, one of our EU Scots quietly told the room that she has to take sleeping tablets at night because she’s so worried about her right to stay in Scotland. This is not fair, it is not right, and it is not something we should accept as a by-product of a dishonest and mean little campaign.

Our members urged the Scottish Government to insist on ring-fencing citizens’ rights from the Brexit negotiations, so even in the event of no deal, EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU would have their rights enshrined in a legally-binding agreement. This is the Scotland I recognise, in stark contrast to a UK which seems increasingly alien.

As I said this week, if you’re here, you’re one of us, and be assured that we’re looking out for you. Scotland rejected the Leave vote, and we won’t let the Brexiters drag us down with them.



This exclusive from Open Democracy notes that police still aren’t investigating the Leave campaigns, citing ‘political sensitivities’.

The Scottish Government has established an advice service for EU citizens.

Here’s the text of Michael Russell MSP’s excellent speech to SNP Conference. The SNP will not be the midwives of Brexit.

Theresa May’s “dangerously obtuse” attitude to Scotland and Northern Ireland has not gone unnoticed.

Hilary Clinton spoke at the University of Belfast and warned that “It is crucial that however it comes out, Brexit should not be allowed to undermine the peace and prosperity that has been so dearly won here.”

But 87% of Leave voters in Northern Ireland would be willing to see the peace process collapse.

Karima Delli, Chair of the European Parliament’s transport committee, has warned of the ‘disastrous’ consequences of a hard Brexit.

Persistent uncertainty surrounding Brexit has contributed to a slowing of the eurozone’s economic growth.

80-85% of the draft Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed with the UK, says Michel Barnier.

But the EU is standing firm on Northern Ireland.

And the DUP is ready to derail Theresa May’s Budget.

Germany is planning to allow thousands of German-based British businesses to switch from being British to German firms after Brexit.

Imperial College London is planning an interesting post-Brexit arrangement with the University of Munich that will see ‘shared academics’ appointed jointly by both institutions, thereby keeping access to EU research funding for UK academics.

In my National column this week, I praise the real leadership shown by Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, as he condemns Brexit.

Independence in Europe is the SNP’s North Star, but opposing Brexit transcends party differences. I’ll continue to work with anyone and everyone to fight the myopic damage being done to Scotland and the UK.