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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 15th September 2017

    So, there it is. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has been agreed in principle by the House of Commons and now moves on to the detailed consideration in the Commons and the Lords. This is despite a clear majority of Scots rejecting Brexit across every local authority in the land, and an even clearer majority of Scotland’s representatives in Westminster rejecting it too. While I think Scotland can do better independent, I don’t want to see the UK have a bad time. The Bill approved in the early hours of Tuesday morning is offensive to me in almost every possible way.  
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  • Scots will realise independence in Europe is the only way out of this Brexit mess

    IF you voted Leave on the promise of more powers for Holyrood and a stronger Scottish Parliament, I’m sorry to say you’ve been had. As I write this, I find myself deflated by a vote in the House of Commons. You’d think I would know better by now. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has been in principle agreed by the House of Commons, and now moves on to the detailed consideration in the Commons and Lords. This despite a clear majority of Scots rejecting Brexit across every local authority in the land, and an even clearer majority of Scotland’s representatives in the Mother of Parliaments rejecting it too.  First published in The National, 13 September 2017
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  • Scotland in Europe Update 8th September 2017

    This week the European Parliament got back to business after the summer recess and set about assessing what had been, or rather hadn’t been, achieved in the negotiations that had taken place over the summer. President Tajani’s comments say it all: "Given the current state of play of negotiations and the current position of the UK, it would seem very difficult that sufficient progress can be achieved by October on separation issues in order to enter phase 2 of the negotiations. In this case I would think it wise for the European Council to postpone this point to its December meeting." www.europarl.europa.eu/... Brexit is not inevitable, not when the people supposedly in charge of it don’t know what they want, those opposed to it can’t agree on an alternative and we in Scotland don’t want it at all and voted clearly and decisively to reject it. I’m in a luckier position than many MEPs in that my constituency, the whole of Scotland, voted to remain in every counting region, from Shetland to Stranraer. My instructions are to keep us in So I’ll repeat here what I’ve already promised myself, my team, and the public: I will not be complicit in an act of national self-harm, especially one that is so demonstrably against the interest of the people I serve. EU membership is best for Scotland. Let’s not be browbeaten into acquiescence. www.thenational.scot/... Yours aye,  Alyn
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  • Most people voted Leave on an entirely false promise

    I’ve been struck in various meetings lately that there seems to be a bit of hopelessness setting in to discussions on Brexit, especially amongst those who are not involved in politics. The feeling seems to be that “it’s going to happen, it’s going to be bad and I need to work out my own escape route, what a mess”. I’m being asked what my own plans are when, well, you know, it happens. Well I disagree. I don’t think anything about Brexit is inevitable, because the people supposedly in charge of it don’t know what they want, those opposed to it can’t agree on an alternative and we in Scotland don’t want it at all and voted clearly and decisively to reject it.  I’m in a luckier position than many MEPs in that my constituency, the whole of Scotland, voted to remain in every counting region, from Shetland to Stranraer. My instructions are to keep us in, and properly ventilate each and every possible alternative. First published in The National, 6 September 2017
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  • Scotland in Europe update 1st September 2017

    So, that was the third round of negotiations. I must admit, even I thought this was the week when the UK would get serious. In reality, nothing has happened. As Michel Barnier, the lead EU negotiator, said at the end of the week “we made no decisive progress on the main subjects”. The situation is rapidly becoming a farce. From the very beginning the EU has made clear that citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border come first, and then talk of trade deals will follow.
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  • They’d love to see Yes movement implode but it’s Unionist castles that are built on sand

    THIS week, I return to Brussels after the European Parliament’s recess, but the strange feeling of being in a parallel universe continues. While I did get a few days off here and there, I stayed home, backed away from social media a bit, and caught up with meetings and paperwork. I decided to take a few weeks off from writing this column, because it seems that the Silly Season this year was even sillier than usual.  The various spats among a few self-appointed spokespeople in the Yes movement have been a sad thing to behold. Politics worldwide is in a strange place, and a lot of people are feeling anxious and frustrated. I’m one of them. So now more than ever we need to make sure that the quiet, thoughtful, sensible majority aren’t spoken over or pushed aside.  First published in The National, 30 August 2017
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  • Scotland in Europe Update 25th August 2017

    This week we have begun to see the mask slipping. Make no mistake - Brexit Britain is going to be a mean, nasty little place. Eva Johanna Holmberg was one of around 100 EU nationals to be sent a letter stating she was to be deported. The letter (which can be read here twitter.com/NaomiOhReally) was apparently sent in error but hardly proved surprising. Frankly, there should be sackings and resignations over this, but I doubt it will happen.
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  • Scotland in Europe Update 18th August 2017

    My thoughts and solidarity go out to Barcelona, a wonderful city reeling from yesterday’s horrific attack. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani released a statement unequivocally condemning the attack, and the Parliament fell silent today to commemorate the victims. www.europarl.europa.eu/... We live in frightening, unsettling times, but as a wise woman once said, we have far more in common than that which divides us. Stay safe. Yours aye,  Alyn
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  • Scotland in Europe Update 11th August 2017

    So this week the main action took place in Scotland as ministers from the Scottish and UK Governments met to discuss the Great Repeal Bill. The current bill is a blatant power grab and will mean a range of devolved policy areas currently controlled by the Scottish Parliament will be returned to Westminster and Whitehall.
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  • Scotland in Europe Update 4th August 2017

    Last week the UK Government looked at undermining our farmers and food standards through a TTIP style US trade deal; this week Michael Gove began selling out Scottish fishermen. finans.dk/... (And coverage in English: www.bbc.co.uk/...) In a marked contrast to the rhetoric of Leave in Scotland it seems that foreign boats will continue to access Scottish waters after Brexit. I am not sure many will be surprised by the volte-face but the audacity of it all is breath taking.
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