Scotland in Europe update 28th July 2017

So the cat is out of the bag. Remember how many of you were active in the campaign against TTIP (and a few folk even voted Leave over it)? Well, the UK Government is now cosying up to Donald Trump to secure just such a deal.

Whereas the EU was accountable – and ultimately decided against such a deal because the US would not make concessions – the UK will simply sign up to it all. As I argued during the referendum campaign, at its heart the EU is a democratic organisation and TTIP could be (and was) rejected. The European Parliament has a binding vote on any such deal, as it will on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU.

In a further display of democratic accountability, the Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group released a statement on the negotiations. To sum it up: nowhere near enough progress is being made.

I wholeheartedly agree with their promise to “remain vigilant regarding citizens’ rights” and to defend the core values of the European project. 



"As a British EU negotiator, I can tell you that Brexit is going to be far worse than anyone could have guessed" begins this piece by Steve Bullock, who worked at the UK Representation to the EU from 2010-2014.

The UK negotiating team cannot afford to dodge the ‘Brexit bill’ debate for fear of halting negotiations.

Jeremy Corbyn repeated his line “the single market is dependent on membership of the EU” – surely news to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway!

Scottish and Welsh ministers have met to discuss opposition to UK Brexit legislation. Two different governments – SNP and Labour – working to a common agenda. All of us who can work together must work together to make sense of Brexit.

The UK Government has finally commissioned a serious study on the future of EU migration but the results won’t be known until eight months before the UK leaves the EU. This leaves almost no time to assess and implement its findings.

Fabian Zuleeg of the European Policy Centre has written an important piece explaining how the Brexit negotiations are seen from outside the UK:

“What is missing in these discussions is a real appreciation of the view from the other side of the channel. The assumption that the EU27 are willing to accept any deal to avoid Brexit is misguided. Not only are there red lines that they will not cross, but the clock is ticking as well. The time left to strike a deal is limited. It is for the UK to come up with workable solutions as otherwise the UK will end up with no deal at all. While this is also negative for the EU27, it is seen as the UK’s choice and not something that needs to be avoided at all costs.”

Aberdeen will be the city worst hit by a hard Brexit, according to a new report from the Centre for Cities and the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics

“Brexit poses real risks to the cost, availability and quality of the UK's food supplies, which the Government has shown little sign of addressing”, warn food policy specialists.

Leaving the European Arrest Warrant without having a suitable replacement ready would pose an “unacceptable risk” according to the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee.

Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, has said there is 'no need to leave the single market'.

The western German state of Hesse has set up an English language website and phone line to encourage bankers to move to Frankfurt.

The UK is losing its role in European aerospace with Airbus about to downgrade its UK representation.

Australia has emphasised the importance of immigration to any future relationship with the UK.

Barcelona has formally launched its bid to host the European Medical Agency.

Bank of America has chosen Dublin to be its main EU base post-Brexit.

MarketAxess has chosen Amsterdam as an EU headquarters after Brexit.

Ireland has started to assess its post-Brexit energy options.