Scotland in Europe update: November 11th 2016

It has been another busy week across Europe (and the world). As the Scottish Government declared its intention to enter the Article 50 Supreme Court case Charles Goerens, an MEP from Luxembourg, tabled an amendment to the European Parliament calling for the establishment of an European associate citizenship. This would apply to those who wish to be part of the European project, but are nationals of a former member state (such as the UK in the future).

Although there are a number of significant challenges that may in the end be insurmountable it is clearly worth pursuing, so I met with Mr Goerens to discuss his intriguing proposals.

After events this week we must all continue to work together and stand up for the basic rights and values that we all know are central to who we in Scotland are. Here in Brussels I will continue to do just that.

 “…more than four months after the referendum the UK Government has still not made its strategic intentions clear” is the conclusion of Michael Russell, the Scottish Government Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, after the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) meeting.

The Scottish Government announced its intention to join the Article 50 court case to seek clarification regarding the role of the Scottish Parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent. So legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered."

and the Welsh government also joined the action:

“If European police and prosecutors are to cooperate effectively, legal mechanisms that provide a robust institutional framework have to be put in place and remain there” according to James Wolffe QC, the Lord Advocate of Scotland, who met with a series of key figures in Brussels this week to emphasise that we in Scotland recognise the important role the EU plays in keeping us all safe.

Fabian Zuleeg, member of the First Ministers Standing Council and Chief Economist at the European Policy Centre has written an interesting analysis of the impact of the high court judgement on Brexit.

Theresa May didn’t have the most successful trip to India in her attempt to build a relationship for future trade ties.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator gave an interesting interview once again confirming the EU 27s position: “The basic position of all the institutions in Europe is very clear: The four freedoms are bound to each other. The internal market is based on four freedoms — not three, or two. Goods, services, capital, and the free movement of people. You cannot separate them. I think this is a perfectly firm and clear position for everybody.”

The Supreme Court of the UK could refer parts of the Article 50 case to the European Court of Justice according to Andrew Duff in a detailed statement to the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament

Aileen McHarg has analysed the potential role of the Scottish Parliament in the triggering of Article 50.

Brexit could shrink the Irish economy by nearly 4% according to Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

Milan is offering to be a European home for Asian and Gulf financial firms looking to leave the UK after the Referendum result.

Finally, to end on better news, the EU outlined its contribution to create safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans. This is another great example of the kind of internationalist work the EU can make a contribution to.