Scotland in Europe Update 15th September 2017

So, there it is. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has been agreed in principle by the House of Commons and now moves on to the detailed consideration in the Commons and the Lords. This is despite a clear majority of Scots rejecting Brexit across every local authority in the land, and an even clearer majority of Scotland’s representatives in Westminster rejecting it too.

While I think Scotland can do better independent, I don’t want to see the UK have a bad time. The Bill approved in the early hours of Tuesday morning is offensive to me in almost every possible way.


There was no appetite for consensus and instead the tribalism was there for all to see. Each well-argued, genuine point was dismissed with “well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?” The Tory and Labour born-again Brexiteers, so keen to demonstrate their ideological purity, overlooked every flaw in their own argument. 

For a lot of people Brexit isn’t real yet, so a lot of people are uneasy and disquieted, but not sure what will be best for the future. Well, the implications of this Bill will be felt in the real world soon enough. The devolved powers of the Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish governments are going to be comprehensively rewritten, our laws are going to be changed by junior ministers with less scrutiny than a mediaeval monarch. As people realise in their own lives, in loss of freedoms and in pounds and pence, the significance of what is going on, I remain confident that the mood will turn and opinions will crystallise that independence in Europe is the only durable way out of this mess.




The next round of Brexit negotiations have been delayed.

This follows suggestions that Prime Minister Theresa May is planning a major public speech in Florence next week to reassure businesses and Brussels.  

But will she resist pressure to deliver a hardline speech to the Conservative Party Conference next month? 

Bella Caledonia has published this piece on the Brexit legislation:

EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has reminded the UK that an agreement has to be reached on citizens’ rights, accounts and Northern Ireland before talks can start on customs. 

On that note, this European Parliament research paper covers citizens’ rights for those who have been resident in the UK or EU for less than five years or who have already acquired the right to permanent residence by the time Brexit happens.

The Scottish Government will not ask Holyrood to give consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill in its current form. 

Instead, the devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales will try to amend the legislation.

A good piece here from Dundee’s Professor Kurt Mills on the dilemma Scotland faces in today’s complicated world. Sovereignty, Independence and Brexit 20 years after the vote to create the Scottish Parliament: 

Brexit risks triggering a trade war between Scotland and England unless Westminster takes control of the agriculture subsidies, says Damian Green MP.

Scottish fishermen hoping to be allowed greater catches post-Brexit are likely to be disappointed: 

‘From scaremongering to reality check’ – this is a fine piece on Brexit and the food sector. 

“I worked for Vote Leave, but now I realise Britain must stay in the single market.”

Almost a quarter of Scottish manufacturers have lost or are at risk of losing staff due to Brexit, according the Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2017/18.

James Murdoch has said that regulatory approval of 21st Century Fox’s takeover of Sky should show that the UK is “truly ‘open for business’ post-Brexit.”

Global insurance giant Chubb Limited has announced plans to shift its European headquarters from London to Paris: 

The EU is launching trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand – giving the EU at least a year’s head start compared to the UK negotiators.

Post-Brexit customs checks could cost us £4 billion a year, according to the Institute for Government think-tank.

The report says that the UK Government should offer as much certainty as possible to businesses. 

General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Frances O’Grady has criticised the UK Government’s “criminal lack of preparation” for Brexit, stating that Theresa May should ignore the “Brexit fanatics” and keep all options on the table, including remaining in the Single Market.

A fascinating read here on the implications Brexit will have for the transport industry. “Even if we start now, one year is not enough.”

“The lesson of the Brexit negotiations so far is that the United Kingdom is likely to end up with less – rather than more – control once it leaves the EU.” Politico pulling no punches in this piece on sovereignty:

Leave supporter James Dyson has maintained that no deal will hurt the UK more than the EU.