Scotland in Europe Update: 7th September 2018

This week has seen some good news for EU citizens as the Scottish Government unveiled its Programme for Government. Building upon existing SNP policy, the Government announced that it will bring forward legislation to ensure that all EU nationals resident in Scotland maintain their Scottish voting rights in the event that Brexit takes place.

It is very simple really: anyone living in Scotland is Scottish. We are a nation comfortable with multiple identities and nobody who lives here should be cut out of our society. After all, we need more people not fewer. I am proud that our Government is taking real moves to reassure people - who have paid us the supreme compliment of making Scotland their home - that they are welcome, valued and part of the community. 

The UK Government's shameful exclusion of EU nationals from voting in the EU Referendum still causes much upset. The Government also announced that it will pay the registration fees of all EU nationals employed by it, if the UK Government goes ahead with this unwise and divisive proposal.

The Scottish Parliament has only recently regained the power to legislate for votes in Scotland, and we fully intend to use it. Presently many nationals of other countries (like the USA) cannot participate in Scotland's democratic process despite being resident here and part of our community. We will change this.

We have already implemented votes at 16 and will broaden the franchise as far as possible for Scottish and local government elections, and any other elections to regional bodies.

This is important. The Scottish Government cannot independently stop Brexit whilst we are part of the UK, nor can we mitigate all the damage of a hard Brexit but what can be done will be done.



Jean-Claude Piris explains here why joining the EEA, though not impossible, is not easy. Remaining in the EU is clearly the best option. This article isn’t new, but is worth a re-read.

The UK is already losing medical contracts due to leaving the EMA.

The first EU nationals are applying for settled status.

A former Governor of the Bank of England has said that it ‘beggars belief’ that the UK is contemplating stockpiling medicines.

The meat industry has warned again that the lack of vets post-Brexit will damage the industry, including exports.

There are still a lot of issues to be dealt with in the negotiations. EU observer has a nice summary here.

The GMB has announced its support for a People’s Vote on the referendum.

No deal would be terrible for the UK. This piece of research by the UK and a Changing Europe’s research confirms what we already know.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have concluded that living costs for low-income households would increase by an estimated £480 per year in a no deal scenario.

The UK Government has been discussing Operation Yellowhammer: no deal contingency planning. As I have said before, I do not think a no deal is likely, it is simply being held up to make the UK Government’s deal look good.

Having said that, the EU 27 have to take the UK at its word, so they are also starting to do some preparation for a no deal Brexit.

European Futures have put together a useful piece on Criminal Cooperation, Brexit and the devolved nations. The devolved nations will have to play an important part in this challenge which means the UK Government needs to engage with the Scottish Government.

The penguins of the Falkland Islands are facing losing their funding due to Brexit.

And finally, you can see me at the Beyond Borders festival discussing Brexit, Scotland and what happens next.