Scotland in Europe Update: 30th November 2018

Last weekend, Theresa May’s “deal” was signed off by the Council of the EU. Be in no doubt: Mrs May’s so-called deal will leave us all poorer. It answers no questions about the future and is the worst of all worlds.

The Bank of England, the Scottish Government, various academic institutions and even the UK Government agree, we are all going to be poorer from Brexit. Less wealth, less democracy and Scotland part of a UK hell bent on cutting immigration whatever the consequences.

But there is hope on this fine St Andrew's Day. We are close to establishing that MPs at Westminster should not be forced into an entirely false choice between two bad options: no deal or her “deal”.

On Tuesday Jo Maugham QC, Andy Wightman MSP, Ross Greer MSP, Catherine Stihler MEP, David Martin MEP, Joanna Cherry MP and I finally saw our case on the revocability of Article 50 heard by the European Court of Justice. You can read more about the case here and here

That this case made it to Luxembourg in the teeth of vigorous and sustained opposition from the UK Government was a big win for us. Nobody in any of the submissions from the UK Government or the EU denies that Article 50 is open to revocation which means the UK can reverse Brexit. All that remains are technical questions about what that process will involve.

The ruling, when it arrives, will give us clarity from the highest court in the business, and a roadmap out of the daft place we all find ourselves in. It will give MEPs, MPs and MSPs the confidence to approve or reject Mrs May’s disastrous deal with all the facts available.

The ECJ understands the need for haste and therefore the Advocate General will give their verdict on the first day of the debates on the deal in the House of Commons. Nine times out of ten the court agree with the Advocate General and hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for their final ruling.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us financially and to our fantastic legal team. It has been a long road!



The UK Government economic analysis of the scenarios we face, concludes that every nation and region of the UK will be poorer under all Brexit circumstances. All of those brilliant new trade deals will be worth around a 0.1% increase in GDP vs a 7.6% drop from a no deal scenario.

Separately, the Bank of England warned that, in a no deal scenario, GDP would be lower by between 7.75% and 10.5%.

The Scottish Government also released analysis which agreed with the UK Government's. By 2030 we are all going to be £1,600 worse off than if we stayed in the EU.

Jonathan Portes put together a good summary of all this economic analysis and the message is clear: Brexit makes us all poorer no matter how we do it.

Kirsty Hughes also gives an excellent critique of the deal in the FT.

Theresa May and Jeremey Corbyn will have a debate on the deal which excludes any representative of Scotland or supporters of Remain. You can sign the SNP’s call to include Nicola Sturgeon here:

Every party in the Scottish Parliament, except for the Tories, will vote against the deal.

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report on the Department for Transport’s implementation of Brexit has a number of concerning conclusions, including that:

“The lack of detailed information provided to businesses to help them prepare and the secrecy surrounding discussions through the use of non-disclosure agreements is hampering businesses’ ability to plan.”

The prime minister was challenged by the SNP for not understanding that the end of free movement also means the end of the rights of people in Scotland to go to Europe. Not just the other way around.

The EU has ruled out a UK role in foreign affairs and defence decision making post-Brexit.

Anna Fowlie, the Chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, has written an open letter asking for the UK’s Article 50 letter to be revoked.

Michel Barnier addressed the European Parliament on the Article 50 deal with the UK.

The US and UK have reached a post-Brexit 'Open Skies' deal on air services which – to nobody's surprise – is worse than the deal we enjoy now as a full EU member.

Tragically, EU net migration is now negative, as more EU citizens leave the UK than arrive.

Finally, applications for Irish citizenship from Scotland have greatly increased since the EU referendum. In the first 10 months of this year alone there have been 847 applications, almost 19 times as many as in 2013.