Scotland in Europe Update: 20th September 2019

This week, in your fully-operational and not-remotely-prorogued parliament in Strasbourg, the SNP MEPs were hard at work and joined by Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Michael Russell.

One of the Resolutions - Motion for a Resolution to wind up the debate on the state of play of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union - gave us all pause. At home, we're being told that we need to get Brexit delivered, we need to get Brexit done, that the people voted three years ago and that's the end of it. In work, we're being told that the EU is sick of the intransigent UK Government nonsense. So are we!

But there is no 'good' Brexit. We represent Scotland, a country that voted against Brexit. A country that voted to Remain in the EU. A country that voted in four MEPs from explicitly pro-Remain parties out of a possible six.

We're not asking the EU to solve our domestic issues for us. We can do it ourselves, but we need more time.

Alyn's speech sets out our position. Apologies for the chuntering Brexiters in the background, but you know what they say about empty vessels making the most noise.

Yours aye,

Alyn, Christian, Aileen.


The main Brexit story in the UK has, of course, been the latest court case. CNN has some excellent coverage here, and we should expect a ruling early next week.

While the EU understandably wants an orderly Brexit, our best Brexit is No Brexit.

Aileen is representing the European Parliament at the UN Climate Summit next week, and has been urging our EU allies to follow Scotland’s lead on climate change.

Christian has been making sure our French friends are fully aware that Boris Johnson’s government does not speak for us.

Don’t pretend to negotiate if you haven’t got any new proposals, says Michel Barnier. 

As Alyn told Barnier, we need more time.

“A day of deadlock ended ignominiously for Boris Johnson” – Deutsche Welle pulling no punches on its coverage of the meeting between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker.

The UK has finally provided some ‘confidential technical non-papers’ to the EU.

And has stressed that it was nothing to do with the Finnish Prime Minister stating the UK had a matter of days to produce formal written proposals.

“We are not stupid… We will never accept a ‘Singapore by the North Sea’. MEPs are not happy about the continued ‘cakeism’ expected by the UK.

Over in Ireland, up to one third of farms could be out of business under a no-deal Brexit. We live in an interconnected world – it’s not just about us.

While the latest Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, has suggested the EU needs to “take risks” with the Irish border, according to the Guardian.

“That headline alone ensures that nobody on the EU side, least of all Dublin, can even start to consider engaging with the non-existent backstop proposals of the UK.”

No-deal Brexit could cut almost 3% from Britain’s economic growth over the next three years – compared to 0.6% from the EU.

Here’s former Prime Minister John Major’s written submission to this week's court case regarding the suspension of Parliament  – and it's a very interesting read.

The First Minister was in Berlin for talks with the German Government and business leaders.

Former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has confirmed that an EU application from an independent Scotland would be “very seriously” considered.

Finally, solidarity to everyone who took place in the #ClimateStrike protests today - especially the young activists in Glasgow who chatted to Aileen about the Green New Deal!