Scotland in Europe Update: 13th September 2019

The UK’s Parliament is not sitting. In the midst of arguably the greatest crisis that the UK has faced since the 1930s, the UK Parliament has been closed down because the democratically-elected representatives of the people have views that Boris Johnson finds inconvenient.

Fortunately, the law in Scotland says something else. The Court of Session found in favour of a cross-party group of politicians led by Joanna Cherry MP and Jo Maugham QC. Obviously, this is not the end and the UK Government’s appeal against the ruling will be heard by the Supreme Court in London next week. If you want to read the full judgement you can do here:
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On the same day we finally got to see the UK Government’s plans for a no deal Brexit: Operation Yellowhammer. The news is not surprising, but still shocking. The UK Government is actively choosing a course of action that will:

  • mean low income groups are “disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel,”
  • result in medicines supplies facing delays and shortages,
  • cause rising food prices as the “fresh food supply will decrease,”

The full horrors can be read here.
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Meanwhile back in Brussels, Phil Hogan – Ireland's European Commission nominee – has been nominated as the EU's chief trade negotiator. His appointment needs approval from the European Parliament but it shows the influence a small country can have.

In contrast, the Scottish Government has not been given any real power over the future of UK trade policy.

The contrast is stark. If we get a choice, the direction we should take is clear. Independence in Europe and a seat at the top table.

 


 

Andrew Tickell has written a piece on the Scottish court judgement, and it’s well worth a read to get your head around some of the nuances.
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James Cook's summary of the judgement is also worth a look.
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Ian Blackford MP wrote to the Prime Minister asking for Parliament to be reopened in light of the judgement.
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The five week (will it last that long?) suspension of Parliament began with scenes of chaos as MPs protested at the shut-down of the chamber.
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France watched the suspension of parliament with incredulity.
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Canada was also horrified.
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Boris Johnson visited Ireland and managed to look decidedly second-rate next to Leo Varadkar.
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Miriam Lord also wrote a scathing piece arguing that Boris looked like he stepped off a roundabout looking dizzy, “like a dishevelled Dougal”.
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Christian was once again in French press making sure Scotland’s voice is heard across Europe.
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A further case has been filed with the Scottish Courts. This one aims to use unique powers of the court of session to request an article 50 extension on his behalf in the event that the Prime Minister refuses to do so.
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The former head of DEXEU has warned that there must be radical change in how the UK Government deals with the Scottish Government.
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President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented her proposed team and the new structure of the next European Commission. There is a long way to go before we make a decision on whether or not to approve the appointees but it is a welcome step that the Commission is gender balanced.
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The SNP called for the UK to nominate a Commissioner since “leaving a vacancy would simply reaffirm that Westminster is broken and working in no-one’s interests.”
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In some good news the UK Government has announced a new immigration route for international students. As ever, the devil will be in the detail.
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A Lord Ashcroft poll has found that support for the union in Northern Ireland is waning.
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And finally, a major United Nations climate change summit will take place in Glasgow. The 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26 will be hosted there at the end of next year.
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