Scotland in Europe Update: 30th August 2019

First things first, the behaviour of the UK Government this week is completely outrageous.

There is no way to get around the fact that an executive that was elected by a small minority of Tory party members is trying to stifle a UK Parliament that was democratically elected.

Having said that, we all need to keep our heads and work this through. The mechanics of this are unchanged. The options remain: deal, no deal or revoke. Our preference is for the latter but whatever happens one of those three must be picked. Extending Article 50 is an option, and may be necessary to avoid no deal, but it is not a longterm answer.

The backdrop to this decisions is also unchanged. The House of Commons is still where it was under Theresa May, and a new Prime Minister has not magically changed that. Equally, the actions of the government this week make it more difficult to counter the government but not impossible. MPs can still stop no deal, there is time. If you want to read more about how then Ian Dunt’s thoughts are about right on this:

The SNP will work cross-party to this end, as we have throughout. Some issues need like-minded politicians to put party differences aside, and so next week in Brussels, UK MEPs will be meeting to coordinate our next steps. We have worked together since the 2016 referendum to fight Brexit and will continue to do so.

The UK Government is not strong, it is weak, and the options are the same. There is work to be done but this can still be fixed.

Your SNP European Group,

Alyn, Christian and Aileen.


P.S. A number of EU27 citizens have been in touch asking about the UK Government’s settlement scheme. The Scottish Government has put together a service delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland. This includes a national helpline available on: 0800 916 9847. Lines are open 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday. More information is available at:

The Scottish Government has demanded clarity on the economic and financial impact of a no deal. With just weeks to go until Brexit, the UK Government is still not giving an honest assessment of  the economic consequences, making it difficult for the Scottish Government to prepare for the additional pressures we may face.

The current financial arrangements between the UK Government and the devolved administrations are not fit for purpose, according to finance ministers from Scotland and Wales, particularly in the face of a no deal Brexit.

The UK Government has again been threatening not to pay the financial settlement that it owes the EU. To be clear, if the first thing that Brexit Britain does is not honour its obligations, then why would any other country sign a deal with it?

While we are dealing with myths… Simon Coveney the Irish Deputy PM has again confirmed that the deal cannot be renegotiated in the time remaining before Brexit.

The UK Government has confirmed that they do not know whether or not European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will be valid after October 31st.

Senior members of the UK Government have previously come out against proroguing parliament but now are staying quiet. The Guardian has put together a list of who said what.

David Howarth of the University of Cambridge assesses the options available for those wishing to oppose proroguing and enable the Commons to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

A Scottish judge has said that he will not rule on the legality of Boris Johnson proroguing parliament until after a full hearing next week.

Meanwhile, Gina Miller has launched a separate case also challenging the Government.

And former Tory Prime minister John Major has joined the case against the current Tory Prime minister.

Alex Wickham of Buzzfeed is right. The worrying thing from this week is that Boris clearly is planning more extreme measures to force through Brexit.

Politico have put together this good analysis on Boris Johnson’s G7 adventures.

The UK Government has confirmed they are going to refuse to nominate a Commissioner to the EU.

The House of Commons Library have gathered together the existing research on Brexit and state pensions.

Less than a quarter of EU 27 nationals in Scotland have registered.

There are currently 325 of UK firms are in talks with the Dutch about moving to the Netherlands.

In case you thought Brexit was all that was happening, it is worth remembering that the EU is actually focussed on two things now. Firstly, events in Italy where a new government excluding Lega has been formed.

Secondly the Commission is focussed on personnel and structures for after 31stOctober when the new Commission will take office.

Finally, Boris Johnson was caught out telling porky pies about pork pies earlier this week. If you fancy something to make you smile, listen to the head of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association systematically explain why Boris Johnson was wrong.