Scotland can be the success story the EU needs

Contributing to the annual EU State of the Union debate in Strasbourg today, SNP MEP Alyn Smith slammed the deeply dishonest Leave campaign in the UK, and appealed to European colleagues for time while the implications of what Brexit actually means are worked out.

Speaking after the debate, he stated:

"The annual event is always a mixed bag, but with the spectre of the Brexit vote stalking the Chamber like Banquo's ghost there was an added poignancy to the proceedings.

"I believe we are at an existential moment for the EU, and if those of us in favour of internationalism and co-operation do not argue for it in principle and in practice we might lose it altogether.

"I was struck by Guy Verhofstadt's point that those who oppose the EU and offer false solutions are always talking about walls and fences.  The challenges we face are bigger than any one country, bigger than Germany, bigger than France, bigger than the UK, and indeed bigger than an independent Scotland.

"That is why we need to work together, and why it is all the more important that we in Scotland remain engaged and informed as whatever Brexit is moves forward.  We are also not without arms in the discussion, at a time when the EU needs a good news story Scotland could be it.

"Scotland will not be silent within this process, and where Prime Minister May has committed herself to 'a UK approach' we will engage with that in good faith.  But we will also be clear what is in Scotland's interests, and vocal in defending them.

"Meantime, I am concentrating on keeping the doors in Brussels and across member states open to us, and am heartened with the response we are receiving."

A clip of Alyn's contribution to the State of the Union is available on his YouTube channel.