Scotland in Europe Update: 27th September 2019

We have said many times over, in this bulletin and elsewhere, that Scotland deserves better than what it gets from Westminster. That has never been more true than this week.

This whole farce - begun when David Cameron called the referendum on EU membership - has been an ongoing exercise in stretching the boundaries of credibility. This week we witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of the UK’s Supreme Court stating, unanimously and emphatically, that Boris Johnson’s government had acted unlawfully in proroguing Parliament, upholding the verdict of the Scottish Court of Session.

Alyn welcomed the verdict on the day: “This is good news, and I pay tribute to my SNP colleague Joanna Cherry QC MP who led the case. The UK Parliament must resume without delay to hold the Tory government to account on its Brexit plans, which threaten to plunge the UK into recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs, and inflict lasting harm on living standards, public services and the economy across Scotland, the UK and the EU.”

It was a victory for democracy and the rule of law, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the current UK government acted in a fundamentally anti-democratic manner. Given their total lack of contrition since the Supreme Court verdict, we cannot rule out the possibility that they will do so again if they get the chance. This is why Johnson must go. We are confident our colleagues at Westminster will do everything in their power to make that happen.

Meanwhile, Aileen was in New York this week to represent the European Parliament and Scotland at the UN Climate Summit, in preparation for the major UN summit on climate change in Glasgow next year.

At the same time, the Scottish Parliament passed the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill, introducing the toughest framework of statutory targets of any country in the world. We’re getting on with our job representing Scotland in the world. In Brussels, New York and elsewhere we can state without fear of contradiction that, when it comes to the defining issue of our time, Scotland is playing a leading role in the world.

This is exactly what we mean when we say Scotland deserves better.



The judgement of the Supreme Court on the prorogation of parliament is available here in video and in text:

Renowned non-legal-expert Boris Johnson has called this week’s unanimous legal decision by eleven legal professionals ‘wrong’.

Paula Sherriff MP, who has faced death threats, pleaded with the Prime Minister to stop using loaded terms like “surrender” and “traitor”. His response? “I’ve never heard such humbug in all my life.”

Johnson’s choice of words is as deliberate as it is dangerous:

“As of tonight, there’s a gaping moral vacuum where the office of Prime Minister used to be.” Well said, First Minister.

As Stephen Bush wrote in the New Statesman, for Boris Johnson it will always be someone else’s death threat.

And Mhairi Black showed the House of Commons how to cut through the Johnson bluster.

Musing on whether spending time with Trump this week influenced the Prime Minister's appalling behaviour in Parliament on Wednesday, the New Yorker concludes: “Trump probably didn’t have a sobering effect. And yet it may be more likely that the men share a certain character—mendacious, narcissistic, destructive—than that one influenced the other."

Michael Segalov in GQ wonders whether the UK is – at long last – about to realise the difference between verbosity and competence.

Britain and Britain alone will be responsible for a no-deal Brexit, reiterates Commission President Juncker

Brexit uncertainty has pushed the UK economy to the brink of a recession, according to the Guardian.

A rare legal victory for the UK Government this week, as the Court of Appeal in Belfast rejected the McCord appeal.

Brussels is wearily getting ready to grant the UK yet another extension.

A view from Germany: "The drama shocks those watching in Brussels. With each step Johnson takes, the chances of a deal fall. The man is not only unscrupulous, he is dangerous - for Britain and for the EU."

Trade and customs adviser Dr Anna Jerzewska states: "Nowhere else on earth can you find a border that looks like the one they are trying to create in Northern Ireland"

Christian has found out that the UK has not sought a derogation from Export Health Certificate requirements.

Aileen was flying the flag for Scotland at the UN Climate Action Summit this week.

And shortly afterwards, we saw the UN’s Patricia Espinosa praise Scotland’s new Climate Change Bill as “an inspiring example of the level of ambition we need globally.”