Sotland in Europe Update 19th May 2017

Sitting in Strasbourg this week debating the future of the EU negotiations whilst watching the UK General Election unfold was a surreal experience. The clock is ticking, we only have two years yet Theresa May has triggered Article 50 and then decided to waste precious time. It is a truly remarkable dereliction of duty.

Obviously, Theresa May could have held the election before triggering Article 50. This would have given her the maximum time to negotiate but instead she is playing politics with people’s lives. Remember – whatever the Tory manifesto asserts – a no deal WTO scenario would be disastrous for Scotland and the UK.


With this in mind, I got on with the job of representing Scotland. I repeated the call for the EU to respect the wishes of the Scottish public to remain within our European family and to act now to protect the rights of citizens.

I also urged EU leaders to be careful with what they say. The Brexiteers are getting in their excuses early to attempt to deflect from their failings and they are trying to misrepresent European leaders in the process. I expect to hear a lot of 'Brexit would have gone great except for those bloody foreigners.' That is the narrative they are trying to spin and I will ensure that it is not done in Scotland's name. You can read and watch my speech here:

Or if you want to watch the full debate you can do so here:

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“…despite the creation of a new trade department, the civil service and ministers are not even close to being ready to negotiate – let alone implement – new global trading relationships” according the Institute for Government

Leo Varadkar will campaign for Northern Ireland to remain in the EU single market if he succeeds Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.

“It’s deeply concerning that the UK is positioning itself as less attractive to overseas students and academic staff” said Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal of the University of the West of Scotland.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, the principal of Glasgow University, warned that a quick trade deal with the EU was a “complete fantasy”.

My National column explains why we cannot trust the Tories to stand up for Scotland’s fishermen.

The First Minister has emphasised that, in order to return to the EU, we may need to have a series of phases if independence occurs after Brexit.

EU trade deals need more national parliament involvement, says the Court of Justice of the European Union. This will make a Brexit trade deal even more complex.

The European Parliament backed a report calling for drastic measures in tackling food waste, aiming to slash levels by 50% by 2030. While the UK Government pursues policies that will lower the quality of life for Scots, the EU is taking positive steps to improve our lives.

Full text adopted:

JPMorgan has purchased a $137 million Dublin Office that will be the home to 1,000 staff.

Ireland is starting to prepare for a tenfold increase in the number of customs declarations after Brexit.

The fall in the pound after the EU referendum result wiped £82 million from first-half earnings of EasyJet.

“We’re prepared to have great transparency on all the negotiating documents that are to be made public,” the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said to the European Parliament

The strategy of Scotland’s government and political parties is discussed in the latest Scottish Centre for European Relations paper by Dr Kirsty Hughes.

Seventy-eight per cent of EU citizens want Barnier’s negotiating team to put EU interests first in the Brexit talks, regardless of the effect on UK-EU relations.

The EU again demonstrated its flexibility by securing a Europol deal with Denmark.

Spain wants to secure a post-Brexit deal on citizens’ rights that will closely mirror the status quo.

Finally, the EU Commission in Scotland have produced this wonderful video of Professor Higgs sharing the story of Higgs Boson.