Scotland in Europe Update: 6th December 2019

Next week the most important general election for as long as any of us can remember will take place. Its outcome will define Scotland and the UK for years to come. For all the noise, misinformation and – at times shrill – arguments the consequences of this election are refreshingly simple.

If Boris Johnson and the Tories get a majority across the UK then Scotland will be dragged out of the EU against its will by the end of January. If they don’t then there will be another extension and we won’t.

It is that simple.


If we can stop the Tories then who is in charge of events will be defined by which parties have which seats. This means that stopping the Tories from pulling us out of the EU is only the first half of the battle. The second will be to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard is in Westminster.

The way to achieve these goals is also simple: vote SNP. An SNP vote is the only way to keep the Tories out, stop Brexit and ensure that Scotland has a choice in its future.

By the time you receive our next bulletin we will (probably) know the outcome. To ensure it is a good result let’s all get out there and vote to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.



Next week is also a big week for the fight against Climate Change. The European Parliament will debate the future of Europe’s Green New Deal. There’s a lot of work to be done and in the midst of this Brexit election it is too easy to forget the bigger challenges we all face. You can read more about the EU’s plans here.

Aileen will be representing Scotland during the debate on the Deal. This week she spoke about Scotland’s circular economy story at an event hosted by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research on Delivering circular economy through the European Green Deal to try and find policy solutions for high-impact sectors such as textiles. Her piece from earlier this year on how we fight climate change outlines why we need more international cooperation, not less.

Christian was supporting Robert Leslie last weekend in Orkney and also met with local fisherman.

This was just before participating in an important European Parliament Fisheries Committee hearing on Landing Obligations. (Neither the Scottish Conservative member or the Brexit substitute attended this.)

In some rare good news, the UK has made commitments to remain in the European Space Agency. As with so much else, simply staying in the European Union would make this much easier!

There is no UK Commissioner at the moment, but you can find out who else is in the College of Commissioners and what their priorities are here.

This week Aileen welcomed a call from the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to reduce the use of pesticides, and to allocate more funds for research and better monitoring of bee populations.

Alan Winters of the UK Trade Policy Observatory has put together this handy guide to the Tories’ Brexit deal. As he concludes: “it’s not quick or easy: ‘oven-ready’ is just not true.”

Open Europe have put together an explainer of how free trade agreements impact on the immigration policies of countries.

Britain’s trade in goods and services could be affected significantly by Brexit which would put the country’s global competitiveness under threat, according to a briefing by the National Institute of Social and Economic Research.

And finally, the election. There is a lot to play for but be wary of the polls. It will come down to individual votes in key seats so we don’t know what will happen. If you are going to try and follow the polls, then this handy guide of how not to interpret polls is essential reading.