Scotland in Europe Update: 22nd November 2019

Manifestos are being launched and the General Election campaign is starting to take some shape. It is clear that the UK and Scotland are going to have to make a choice between remain and leave. The stakes could not be higher.

Christian has been standing up for Scottish fisherman by looking beyond the immediate noise of the campaign. Irrespective of who wins, the UK will have to take part in this December’s Fisheries Council and these talks are crucial. The scientific advice on certain key stocks is concerning and it is imperative that the UK is represented by a fully focused negotiating team.

These talks will take place immediately after the general election and it is far from certain who the relevant UK minister will be. Whatever the outcome of the election, we already have a Scottish government in office and Scotland makes up by far the largest part of the UK fishing industry. Fergus Ewing has the experience and the political motivation to defend Scotland’s interests – and the UK should allow him to lead the delegation to these vital talks. There is a clear precedent for this as Flemish fisheries ministers routinely negotiate on behalf of Belgium.

Aileen has been in Paris attending the G7 circular economy conference. Crucially she has been linking Scotland into the work being done at an EU level to open up the opportunities that our future Green Economy will need. Scotland has a great story to tell, particularly in textiles and though there is a lot of work to do, we need to keep ourselves linked into EU networks post-Brexit.

The findings of Migrant Voice’s survey of EU was perhaps the least surprising but most depressing news of the week. Nearly half of all those who have applied for the Tories’ settled status found the process difficult and over a third said they faced complications in the application process.

As Alyn highlighted in his National column this week, immigration is great for Scotland. Hardly a contentious statement, or so you’d think based on our enriched communities, ageing population, and the fact that EU citizens contribute billions more to the economy than they use in public services. We need folk willing to bang the drum in favour of immigration, and to show their support to our friends and neighbours. It won’t be easy, especially because the past few years have shown how easy it is to blame ordinary people for the failures of a political ruling class. It’s not going to be pretty but we have to bear in mind the kind of country we want to be, and act accordingly.


Your SNP European Group,

Alyn, Christian and Aileen


You can read Migrant Voice’s report in full here

Catch up with Alyn’s latest column here.

And read the Buchanan Observer’s coverage of Christian’s work here

Inshore fishers have warned they are facing a crisis, rather than a “sea of opportunity”, if the UK finally quits the European Union.

“You can't protect UK farming AND have free trade deals on food”. Richard Wright’s column in the Scottish Farmer is spot on.

The FT have published an excellent piece on the work yet to be done to ‘deliver’ Brexit. The short version is simple: a brutal reckoning that awaits the UK.

Full Fact- an actual fact checker, not the Tory party pretending to be a fact checker - have concluded that most African countries can export goods to the EU tariff-free. Obviously Nigel Farage has been saying something rather different.

Speaking of Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party is under an investigation launched by the Information Commissioner's Office for 'failing to hand over personal data'.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research have defended their work on the Economic impact of Brexit. 

Michel Barnier gave a speech to the EPP on the state of Brexit. The EU regrets Brexit but is ready to negotiate in good faith if that is what the people want. We must all vote to Stop Brexit in the upcoming election.

Open Europe have put together their thoughts on the various
parties' Brexit positions so far.

The European Parliament hopes to vote on a new Commission soon, but the UK has still not put forward a nominee.

The House of Commons have put out a good summary on Brexit and Public Procurement.

Anthony Salamone has put together a thoughtful piece on what a 2020 IndyRef could mean.