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.
The resolution will be adopted next week in Strasbourg, and states: “Whereas a large number of United Kingdom citizens, including a majority in Northern Ireland and Scotland, voted to remain in the European Union”.
The resolution also emphasises that:
Concluding the exit terms must come first before any future trade deal;
The first part of this withdrawal agreement must resolve “the legal status of European Union citizens living or having lived in the United Kingdom and of United Kingdom citizens living or having lived in other Member States”;
The UK must honour all of its legal, financial and budgetary obligations;
Any transition deal must not be for longer than three years;
The UK cannot conclude any trade deals until it has left they EU.
Alyn Smith MEP said:
“The acknowledgement of Scotland’s remain vote shows a clear will in Brussels to engage with the conundrum we face as a Remain voting nation within the UK.
“The rest of the draft motion is for the most part common sense and should not surprise anyone. That the UK must honour its obligations and cannot sign trade deals until we have left the EU is simply a matter of law.
“I hope that the UK Government will approach the negotiations in a pragmatic and constructive way, though I must admit, their track record to date does not inspire confidence.
“The UK constitution clearly is what it is, and the UK is the member state, but Scotland will not be silent within this process, and that has been recognised by the Parliament.”
Joan McAlpine MSP, who convenes Holyrood's Europe Committee, added:
“It is clearly welcome that the European Parliament’s draft acknowledges the will of the Scottish people. Scotland clearly voted to remain but the UK Government has simply ignored this and refuses to constructively engage with the Scottish Government to find a solution.
“Following this week’s vote in the Scottish Parliament there is now a clear mandate for an Independence Referendum to take place. Only this will allow the people of Scotland to choose what kind of country they want to live in.”