Scotland in Europe Update 4th August 2017

Last week the UK Government looked at undermining our farmers and food standards through a TTIP style US trade deal; this week Michael Gove began selling out Scottish fishermen.

(And coverage in English:

In a marked contrast to the rhetoric of Leave in Scotland it seems that foreign boats will continue to access Scottish waters after Brexit. I am not sure many will be surprised by the volte-face but the audacity of it all is breath taking.

What we need is an honest and open debate about the choices we face. This week I have been arguing for this in the context of freedom of movement and immigration. There are reasons why so many folk are working harder for less, in more precarious jobs - Tory policy.

Brexit was, successfully, misrepresented by the Leave campaign as the snake oil to cure all ills.  

It is hardly surprising that some folk have concerns about immigration and voted leave - the right wing press tells us on a daily basis that we’re being “swamped” (Daily Mail) by “swarms” (David Cameron) of people. But that means it is all the more important that we face down prejudice and inform the debate, not pander to the worst in people. You can read my full column here: 

Yours aye,




Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the EU, has warned that it is unlikely sufficient progress will be achieved by October to enable discussions of a future trading relationship to commence.

The UK’s Brexit strategy “beggars belief,” in the words of EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Former EU negotiator, Steve Bullock gave an interview to talkback on BBC Radio Ulster, outlining the challenges the UK faces and expressing concern about how the EU is conducting the negotiations.

Current and former senior civil servants are frustrated that Theresa May has wasted time during the negotiations.

Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland, has floated the idea of making the Irish Sea the border between NI and the UK to protect the peace process.

Today, in Northern Ireland, he emphasised that he “does not want [an] economic border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland or Ireland and the UK.

He has also expressed that he is “still hopeful Brexit won’t happen”.

Former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said Ireland won’t be leaving the EU: “we’re mad, but we’re not that mad”.

Ireland's departing UK ambassador, Dan Mulhall, has expressed his sadness about Brexit.

Ireland launched its bid to host the European Banking Authority.

The European Commission announced that a final decision on a new home for the European Medical Agency and Banking Authority will be made in November 2017.

Kirsty Hughes of the Scottish Centre for European Relations has analysed ten key questions for any Brexit transition deal.

There is a great interview and a lot of good sense from David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland, in the impressive Cable Magazine.

The City of Amsterdam has launched a Brexit information point and has emphasised that it “gives high priority to safeguarding their [UK citizens] current legal position in the EU after Brexit.”

“We estimate the impact of such a scenario [enforcement of tariffs for goods from the single market] to be at least £1bn per year. This is an extremely conservative estimate—it does not account for the economic costs of the uncertainty involved, the extra staff needed (for hauliers, ports and customs officials), the congestion associated with calling Operation Stack (put at £1bn over four days in a recent study by Conservative MPs[7]), the land required for the additional customs checks, or of the wider economic impacts of jobs moving overseas due to uncertainty over the operation of just-in-time logistics. The full cost is likely to be much higher.” Is the conclusion of Oxera an economics think tank.

The Welsh Senedd has also unveiled a report expressing “a number of concerns about the preparedness of our ports for when the UK leaves the European Union.”

Boris Johnson travelled to Australia attempting to sell post-Brexit Britain but it seems the Australians aren’t interested.

English and Welsh local Authorities need £8.4 billion of EU funding replaced after Brexit. This is vital to “create thousands of new jobs, roll out broadband and build new roads and bridges.”

The Russell Group of top universities are concerned that the Government has created “a significant degree of uncertainty” for EU nationals which must be addressed.

UK students may be barred from Erasmus after Brexit because of the UK Government’s desire to end free movement of labour according to Paul James Cardwell, professor of law at the University of Strathclyde.

The Anguilla Government has submitted written evidence to the House of Lords emphasising that despite Anguilla sharing a direct border with an EU member state Anguilla was not consulted prior to the EU Referendum and was not given a vote.

Funds Europe has raised concerns that Brexit could destroy tens of thousands of jobs in the City of London.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is planning an Amsterdam hub to enable it to continue to trade within the EU post Brexit.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan’s biggest bank, also plans to use Amsterdam as a post-Brexit EU centre.

“No Dunkirk Spirit Can Save Britain From Brexit Defeat” is the view of Jenni Russell in the New York Times.

And finally, Steve Coogan has revealed that Alan Partridge is a Hard Brexiteer!