StrongerForScotland-banner.png
portrait.jpg

Hello, and welcome to the website of Alyn Smith MEP. Here you can find out more information on my work in the European Parliament, sign up for my newsletter, and get in touch.

Below are some of the latest pieces from around the rest of the site, click read more to go to the full article. 

  • Scotland in Europe Update 13th April 2018

    As we all watch the Commonwealth Games (and cheer on Scotland!) it is worth remembering what the Commonwealth is and – more importantly – what it isn’t. A number of senior UK Government ministers such as Boris Johnson and Liam Fox have expressed in various ways what seems to be a nostalgic yearning for the Empire. This reached a highpoint when officials started talking about Empire 2.0. We also saw this during the referendum campaign: Westminster exceptionalism blended with a desire to get back to the ‘good old days’ has proven to be a toxic yet potent message. To be clear, the Commonwealth is mercifully not the British Empire, but neither is it a trading organisation nor an EU alternative. The assumption that the legacy of Empire can seamlessly replace, or better the UK’s current trading arrangements with the EU is fanciful. The bottom line is simple: in 2015 about 44% of UK goods and services went to the EU while 9% went to the Commonwealth.
    read more
  • Scotland in Europe Update: 30th March 2018

    There is now less than one year to stop Brexit. In the first Scotland in Europe update after the 2016 EU Referendum, I said that “until such time as we are no longer part of the EU, I remain your Member of the European Parliament and I have a job to do.” I stand by that. Scotland voted to remain and I will continue to represent the people of Scotland in the challenging weeks and months ahead. We know that Brexit will damage our economy and our society. We know those who advocated Leave never had a plan and that what ideas they had have been exposed as undeliverable or flat out lies. We know that many people voted for their promises in good faith and are now wondering what will happen.
    read more
  • Scotland in Europe Update 23rd March 2018

    Welcome to this week’s Scotland in Europe update. Today my thoughts are with the people of France following the events in Trèbes. Speculation helps no one and so all we can do at this stage is give our condolences to those involved and keep them in our thoughts. I also want to thank the many people who have been getting in touch to let me know how useful these updates have been. Your kind words are very much appreciated!  In Brussels there have been two major developments. The first is that the EU27 and the UK have agreed a transition agreement… well they have agreed some of a transition agreement: ec.europa.eu/...
    read more
  • European Parliament passes EU-UK future trade guidelines

    Today the European Parliament approved a position on the future EU-UK relationship by 554 votes to 110 with 51 abstentions. The resolution sets out Parliament’s input ahead of 22-23 March summit of EU Council when it is expected that guidelines for negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be approved. Any deal with the UK will require the approval of the European Parliament.
    read more
  • Scotland in Europe Update 16th February 2018

    I, and other members of the SNP, have for many years called upon the UK Government to rethink their migration policy. It has divided families, callously rejected pleas for asylum from some of the world’s most vulnerable people and I am increasingly concerned that it will be extended to include EEA nationals. As this week’s Home Affairs Committee report stated: “Over recent years the Government has increasingly chosen to outsource much of the enforcement function [of immigration law] to employers, educators, landlords and providers of public services under the policy known as the ‘hostile environment’… We find it unacceptable that the Government has not yet made any assessment of the effectiveness of the policy and call on them urgently to do so.” publications.parliament.uk/... It is abhorrent that this system exists in the first place, but to bring another 3 million citizens under its remit is unthinkable. As Ian Dunt wrote this week, this shows there is nothing liberal about Brexit – despite the assertions of Boris Johnson – and the so-called ‘Lexiteers’ will be sorely disappointed by their choice. His column is well worth a read: politics.co.uk/...
    read more
  • Scots food produce at risk of Brexit labour shortages

    SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has today (Monday) reacted with concern to findings published by NFU Scotland that conclusively prove the scale of the crisis facing Scots farmers due to Brexit uncertainty.
    read more
  • Statement on Citizens' Rights

    I believe it is utterly wrong for people to be placed in a situation where - after making a home, enriching a community, and contributing to society - they are now facing this awful uncertainty. The European Commission has produced the following 23-page memo on citizens' rights, which I believe may be of interest. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/2017-12-12_qa_citizens_rights.pdf
    read more
  • We must work together to correct harmful immigration falsehoods

    IN the last few months I’ve grown really weary of unthinking tribalism in Scottish politics. Like many SNP types, I started my political journey identifying most closely with the Labour Party. I never joined the party, as my time in Brussels and London that crystallised my view that Scotland could be better independent, but I still rejoiced at the 1997 election when Tony Blair’s Labour swept away the Tories. I joined the SNP the week after. It turns out 20 years is a long time in politics! But I say all that to prove that I’m up for coalitions.  First published in The National, 2 August 2017
    read more
  • Credit where it’s due – it’s EU that has ended mobile roaming charges

    ONE of the few good news stories to emerge from the UK’s decision to leave the EU is that people have started to engage with European politics in a more active way. I admit this is ironic but it means that for the first time people are aware of developments in the EU beyond that being covered by the major news outlets. First published in The National, 28 June 2017
    read more
  • European Parliament Recognises Scotland’s Remain Vote

    Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament and Joan McAlpine, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament have today welcomed the draft European Parliament resolution which will form the basis of the first official response to the triggering of Article 50 by the UK government.
    read more