SMEs starting to feel the impact of Brexit

Joan McAlpine, Member of the Scottish Parliament and Alyn Smith, Member of the European Parliament, today expressed concern over the impact of Brexit on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

World First’s Global Trade Barometer is based on a YouGov survey of 515 senior decision makers in UK SMEs. They concluded that “over a third of UK SMEs have been negatively impacted by Brexit” and that “almost half of all businesses admit to being worried about currency volatility”.

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Scotland in Europe Update 17 February 2017

Last week was a rough one, I don’t mind admitting. Having to watch the House of Commons debate how, when and if the UK Government should begin the withdrawal process from the EU was horrible.

So many lies, so many half-truths, so many unapologetic proven shysters getting away with it. The SNP MPs, and plenty of others, tried their best but the die was cast. The Tories in the UK Government have been given a blank cheque. It turns out “taking back control” actually meant “give control to the Tories”.

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SNP Deliver "Not Proven" Verdict on CETA

In favour of a deal,
just not this one.

The SNP Members of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton MEP and Alyn Smith MEP have today (Wednesday) voted against giving consent to the EU-Canada Trade Agreement, known as CETA.  The Agreement was nevertheless approved by a majority of the Parliament, by 408 votes to 254 with 33 abstentions.

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Scotland in Europe update 10th Feb 2017

This week has been challenging. As the House of Commons voted in favour of handing Theresa May a Brexit blank cheque, the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly against triggering Article 50. Never before has it been so apparent that the views of Scotland’s national legislature and those of Westminster are so at odds. In Holyrood the SNP were joined by the Greens, Liberal Democrats and the majority of Labour in opposing the UK Government’s ‘plan’.

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Scotland in Europe Update 3rd February 2017

This week MPs backed a bill giving complete control of the process of leaving the EU to the Tories. It went forward despite SNP opposition and only one Scottish MP voting in favour.  

There is a still a long way to go, and the fight is not over yet but this illustrates the scale of the challenge. Despite the efforts of the SNP, MPs are simply not holding the government to account. The Bill they have initially approved is a blank cheque with no controls or restraints to rein in the hard Brexit Theresa May is proposing. There is still some time for changes in committee stage but I have very little hope any will be made.

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Scotland in Europe Update January 27th: it isn't a Bill, it is a Blank Cheque to the Tories.

This week, by a majority of 8:3, the Supreme Court found that the UK Government cannot trigger Article 50 without an Act of the UK Parliament. However, it was not all good news since although the UK Government lost the case the Court also concluded that they do not need to consult the devolved legislators such as the Scottish Parliament.

This is the cold reality of the UK constitution where power devolved is power retained. It also graphically illustrates that the so called "partnership of equals” described in 2014 is just political fluff. The full judgment of the court is available from here:

In response to this the UK Government has put forward a Bill to allow them to initiate article 50. 

It is pitifully short and vague. In my opinion it isn't a Bill, it is a blank cheque to the Tories. 

Reaching out to our European friends and explaining our proposition to keep Scotland in the Single Market is crucial. As part of this I delivered a lecture to the College of Europe in Warsaw. I lived in Poland in the nineties, when it was not a member of the European Union, and I know what Europe means to Poland. These were fascinating times and, in the same spirit, I want Scotland to remain in our family of European nations because we are better off.

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Scotland: A good news story for a troubled Europe

Madam Vice-Rector, Professors, friends, good morning, or dzień dobry as I should say, and thank you for the invite back to my old college. It’s great to see how the place has gone from strength to strength since I studied here in 1995. We were the first year fully in Warsaw, and it was a time of great energy, excitement, and not a little upset for people. The Berlin Wall was still not long down, the initial euphoria of regaining freedom from the USSR had dissipated somewhat and the hard job of building a nation was underway.  I have very happy memories of my time here and hope you're enjoying your time as much.

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Alyn urges Scottish applications for EU animal welfare board

In a move set to promote animal welfare throughout the EU, the European Commission has today (Tuesday) created a dedicated animal welfare platform

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Scotland in Europe Update 20 January 2017

It has been a very busy week, with Theresa May finally delivering her long-heralded Brexit speech. It was far from being a plan, or a white paper but it did at last give us some idea of the direction of travel. A wish list is perhaps the best description!

It is clear she has at least listened to European leaders and worked out that Single Market access means freedom of movement must continue.

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A welcome move for CCTV in French slaughterhouses

AGRI MEP Alyn Smith has today (Friday) welcomed the French Parliament’s decision to push for video surveillance in slaughterhouses. 

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