Scotland in Europe Update: 7th June 2019

And so, the hurly burly’s done, the EU election is lost, and – in the SNP’s case – won, won emphatically at that. So, with gratitude for your confidence in us, we get to work.

Your new team of SNP MEPs have already hit the ground running. French national Christian has already been dubbed “M’sieur Ecosse” in corners of the Parliament and we can see it sticking! The clear message Scotland sends its allies – electing a European "New Scot" among your representatives in Europe – is not missed. The contrast with the rest of the UK could not be starker.

Aileen returning to Brussels already knows her way around and has a clear plan of what she wants to achieve. As a former minister in the Scottish Government with responsibility for climate change and the environment, it will come as no surprise that the environmental agenda is one area that Aileen now intends to follow closely at EU level. Scotland is a world leader in legislating for a low-carbon economy, with a 2045 target for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases enshrined in law. You can read more about Aileen's plans here:

Meanwhile back in London the Tories are still arguing about which version of their fantasies is best. With very few exceptions (and frankly there are a lot of candidates!) they are all pretending that either no deal has no consequences, or that May’s deal will magically pass by October if they simply put their name on the front page instead.

It is worth reiterating, (for any Tory leadership candidates that accidently read this if nothing else!) that the choices are still no deal, May’s deal or revoking Article 50. Theresa May’s departure changes nothing. The reality is that many of these candidates, like May before, will almost certainly ask for an extension and kick the can further down the road. The unity of the Tory party always comes before Scotland’s interests.

So we continue to work to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard and our interests represented in Brussels. There is another week of negotiations to come as the new parliament comes together and, rest assured, we will be standing up for Scotland.


Your SNP European Group,

Alyn, Christian and Aileen



There are worrying reports that as many as 1.6 million non-UK EU citizens in the UK may have been denied their vote in the recent European Parliamentary elections. A number of your MEPs are already working together to look into this.

Toby James has put up a handy explainer on how the UK government’s long-term failure to improve our electoral laws and short-term pressures led to many people being denied their right to vote.

The Centre for European Reform have put together a good podcast titled 'What is a Customs Union?'.

Fabian Zuleeg of the European Policy Centre has put together a piece on where we are. It is always worth emphasising, as he does, that “any attempt at convincing Brussels to substantively change the deal will be futile.”

US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson said that the NHS, will be “on the table” in a future US-UK trade deal after Brexit. This was confirmed and then denied by President Trump.

So, what does it all mean? Well, Open Democracy have put together an article on everything you wanted to know about Donald Trump's designs on the NHS but were afraid to ask.

The negotiations surrounding the European Commission and Parliament continue, you can read a good summary of some of the issues here.

To commemorate her final official day as Prime Minister, the Guardian have put together a nice set of charts showing May’s time in office.

Rui Costa, Swati Dhingra and Stephen Machin of the LSE have put together some research that shows that the big drop in the value of the pound caused a rise in import prices, which has led to a fall in both wages and training for workers.

The Scottish Government has launched a second phase of the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan which aims to double the turnover value of the industry to £30 billion by 2030. Scotland’s food and drink sector has grown year on year, increasing by 78% since 2007. Leaving the EU seriously imperils this progress.

Scottish Affairs Committee has highlighted the deteriorating levels of trust between the UK and Scottish Governments and calls for a review of the role of the Scotland Office.

If you can stomach the nitty gritty of the Tory leadership contest then this article will at least explain the rules being used.

And finally, as huge swathes of the Tory party engage in fantasies of an imperial golden age which never existed, it is worth remembering Michael Gove has a good track record for arguing against historians that his version of England’s story was the one which should be taught in schools.