Scotland in Europe Update 7th June 2017

Another week, another lie of the Leave campaign exposed for what it was. This time, it was the turn of the nonsense peddled about Turkey’s application to join the EU. My fellow MEPs and I passed a further report on Turkey’s application to join the EU. It re-stated our position to freeze all membership negotiations. For those of you interested, point 7 is the key line:

“[The European Parliament] Recalls its position from November 2016 to freeze the accession process with Turkey;” 

The full text is of the report is available here:


Unfortunately, it is currently falling to EU politicians to step in and be honest to the UK about what Brexit means. Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the EU, has been pointing out what I have said for months: the ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ line is both dangerous and inaccurate. This was the focus of an important speech he made earlier this week that is well worth a read:

“I want to be very clear: in a classic negotiation, ‘no deal' means a return to the status quo. In the case of Brexit, ‘no deal' would be a return to a distant past.” Michel Barnier

Too many politicians (Corbyn included) are simply playing along with the Brexit fantasists rather than being honest. As I argued in my column this week, a second indyref isn’t going to happen immediately but all options, including the UK as a whole changing course away from Brexit, must be left on the table.

As always, I hope you continue to find these emails useful, and please do feel free to share this update and encourage people to register for more at .

Yours aye,


The man who was in charge of Vote Leave admits that leaving the EU could be an error.

As the UK dreams of trade deals the EU delivers another, this time with Japan.

In response to the UK decision to renounce the London Fisheries Convention Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the EU, stated:

“UK denunciation of London Convention=no change: EU law/Common Fisheries Policy had superseded it. EU 27 interests=my priority for negs”

Ian Dunt summed up Michael Gove’s actions well as “meaningless, strategically counter-productive and designed primarily to make reactionaries feel better about themselves.” If you wish to understand the issues surrounding the London Fisheries Convention his article is a great summary.

‘Bloody difficult’ Britain has already blown its chances of a good deal from the EU27, according to Steve Bullock who worked at the UK Representation to the EU from 2010-2014.

“To make Brexit work, Britain needs to show Europe it cares” says John Bruton, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland 1994-97.

"Put simply, for Ireland, the decision of the people of the UK to vote to withdraw from the EU is a bad thing." This is the view of an Irish Seanad report on Brexit.

David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland, has called on Labour to fight to stop Brexit.

The UK should continue “full and continued engagement” with EU higher education programmes, according to an EU Report from the independent High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation.

Tobias Lock of the Scottish Centre on European Relations has written an important paper on the so called ‘Great Repeal Bill’.

The Brexit talks may need to be lengthened, according Romanian MEP Siegfried Mureșan, spokesperson of the European People’s Party (the largest group in the European Parliament).

The European Council on Foreign Relations is moving operations to the continent because Brexit means it is no longer “appropriate” to be based exclusively in London.

The Institute for Government have put together this handy table explaining the differences between the EU and UK negotiating positions on EU citizens’ rights.

And a further handy explainer on the Customs Union.

Speaking of which… the CBI has argued that the UK must stay in the Single Market and Customs Union until a final EU trade deal is complete.

The text of the speech by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, titled “Scotland- EU Relations as Brexit Talks Unfold” can be read here.

Investment in the automotive industry fell by more than 30% according to figures compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

King’s College in London is considering a European Campus.

61 per cent of voters across the UK think that the Scottish Government should be at the table for the Brexit negations according to a Daily Record/Survation poll.

In other polling news, over 60% of UK Citizens want to keep their EU citizenship.

Helsinki has formally put itself forward to host the European Medical Agency, which will be leaving the UK as a consequence of Brexit.

Joseph Curtin of the Institute of International and European Affairs has written a report exploring the impact of Brexit on climate change.

Banks and investment firms are looking to move jobs to the since the European Union has made clear that so called “letterbox entities” will not be tolerated.

Deutsche Bank is planning to move large sections of its trading and investment-banking assets to Frankfurt.